This was in response to a 'discussion' on another page....
Oh, for fucks sake...we ABSOLUTELY know what 'happens' when we die. We KNOW the composition and physical attributes of the brain. We KNOW there is NO 'energy' or force, down to the quantum level that in ANY way keeps the information stored in the biochemical pathways that constitute our thought, memory and personality whole. Our consciousness is not a 'thing', it's a process that ENDS, shuts off when it's physical matrix, the 1300 grams of goo that we call the brain dies. What's it like? Exactly like that point in time before the sperm and egg that joined to make you ever hooked up.
I get tired of nit wits of the theistically challenged variety piously intoning that we 'just don't know' what happens when we die, when we damned well DO.
There is a reason I at times characterize Christians as, well, Nuts.
I mean aside from the whole belief in someone Rising from the Dead [cue 'Dark Shadows' style organ rift...]. But a kind of built in, deep seated neurosis based on opposing concurrent beliefs.
They hold the concept of "Original Sin", in which we are all BORN vile, evil and totally deserving burning for eternity, or at the least, for those liberal christers who don't read or don't agree with the bible, an unavoidable inborn predilection for being naughty. The bible says that 'none are righteous, no, not one" and that all our righteousness is as "filthy rags" (that would be the rags used to wipe ones ass) In other words, all our attempts at BEING good are shit.
Now couple this esteem lowering bit of self loathing with the incredible Egotism and Narcissism of those who think the Universe and everything in it was made Just For Them. And the cool part is, they believe by following a prescribed ritual of debasement, atonement and general celestial ass kissing, they are due a Golden Ticket to ETERNAL bliss, happiness and a type of Mind Wipe that precludes any possibility of guilt or regret over past actions.
This part is where I point out the LACK of anything resembling a 'moral compass' being involved. One does not have to be good, in fact, as pointed out, one can not BE good enough to get in the gate. One must perform the mandatory ass kissing, which in and of itself is the sum total of Christian Morality.
Some Guy on the Street: "Hey, you got a minute?"
You: "Sure, what do you need?"
Guy: "Well I'm just here to let you know, that because at some point in ancient history, one of your ancestors pissed off my Dad, (who's immortal and invisible), I must kick your ass daily at say, 4:00 PM for the rest of your life."
You: "That seems rather harsh..."
Guy: "Well yes, but Dad's word is law."
You: "Any way I can talk you out of this butt kicking?"
Guy: "Yes, but it will require you to hit me in the face with this shovel."
Guy: "Yes, seriously, it's the only way to get Dad to forgive you."
You: "But, in spite of the threat of a daily pummeling, you seem to be a nice enough guy, I don't WANT to hit you in the face with a shovel."
Guy: "It's Ok, you won't REALLY hit me in the face, I'll stand behind this light pole, and you close your eyes and swing."
You: "But, isn't that sort of cheating?"
Guy: "Nah, your eyes will be closed, who knows, you may get in a lucky shot."
You: "And that will do it, I mean, make your Dad forget about it?"
Guy: "Yes, that and you have to kiss my ass."
Guy: "Yep, I'll just drop trou' right here, and you plant a smooch on whichever cheek suits you."
The basis for Western religion is magic, pure and simple.
The believers never couch it in such terms of course, that would be silly.
The Magic of bronze age savages, slinging blood from the severed throats of birds to cure disease, talking to flaming shrubbery, stopping the sun in its march across the sky so an army can slaughter a few more people.
Their prophet spoke to angels in a cave, flew around on a winged woman-beast and visited hell and heaven. He spoke to ants. Magic.
Their savior got a room full of drunks more intoxicated at the behest of his mom. Spit in the eyes of blind people to cure them, fed a stadium full of people with a loaf of wonderbread and some tuna... In the end, he raised himself from the dead, haunted his followers for a bit then flew off to the skies. Magic.
You would think we'd have grown past it by now...
Let's be honest...
ALL of you Theistically Challenged people that haunt these boards are liars.
You lie to us, your families, friends, co-workers and most of all, you lie to Yourself.
You KNOW you don't really believe in MAGIC.
You KNOW you don't believe people can rise
from the dead, bugger around a bit then fly off to the skies. You KNOW you don't.
Just as you KNOW you don't believe in talking snakes and magical gardens with cursed fruit given to little naked rib-women...
Further, you know damned well you've never had a 'personal experience' with any supernatural entity.
Oh, you may have felt giddy once or twice, but most of your claims are so that you can be part of the cool kids and be accepted because THEY all claim to have had personal experiences too.
They are lying, just like you...
I was watching a clip this morning involving a tiny, 17 yo girl who has attempted suicide 3-4 times over the last year. She's visibly twitchy, nervous and shy.
It seems that she was married off to a 60 year old man when she was 12. He beat her almost daily. Her family told her repeatedly that this was her lot in life, and to go back to her husband and just be a good and obedient wife. Such is life in Afghanistan for thousands of girls.
At around 16, she couldn't take it anymore and with the help of a childhood friend, she slipped across the border into Pakistan. Her freedom was short lived. Her brother tracked her down, and attacked her and her friend with an axe, killing the boy she was with and inflicting horrendous wounds on her frail body. He was there to protect his family 'honor'. Deep gashes covered her upper body and part of her brain was visible....
The doctors worked on her, saving her life...
Since she was by custom and law a 'non-person' because of her actions, the Doctors had to spend their own money to acquire the life saving medications she needed. The government wanted nothing to do with her.
I can excuse children for believing in Santa, heck, I encourage in my own grand-kids. The same with the easter bunny and the tooth fairy.
I excuse the mentally ill for having delusions, no matter how absurd.
But frankly guys, I can't excuse grown, mentally competent adults for clinging to absurdity in the face of reality.
When are we as a group going to stop pretending that we can separate the belief from the believer? Why do the liberal-pacifists among us try so desperately to pretend that belief exists in some sort of a vacuum, a thing separate from the people who hold it? You tell me about respect, yet you are condescending to those you seek to defend, treating them as children, not responsible for their own beliefs.
I'm as socially and politically liberal as they come, and I'm not really all that fond of confrontation (no really), but damn, people...
I hear on a daily basis how I'm supposed to respect people even though I think what they believe is lunacy.
So, I either act as though they are delusional and NOT responsible for their own beliefs, as if they are brain washed and indoctrinated children, or I show them TRUE respect, and demand that they take full responsibility for the views they espouse.
The primitive mind likes to see associations where none actually exists. Sew up a lock of hair or a toenail clipping in a rag doll and voila, you have a Voodoo doll magically ‘linked’ to its victim. Then, the ‘theory’ goes; whatever you do to the doll also happens to the real person in the real world.
Some believe that names have a similar power, that is, if you know the ‘true name’ of a person or thing, you can exert control over it. This may seem nonsensical, but it manifests in the beliefs of an awful lot of otherwise intelligent people who refuse to write “God” but rather substitute “g_d” even on the internet.
What turned me off of religion in the first place was hypocrisy.
I went to the church, sang the songs, oggled the little cuties in their Sunday dresses, ate the food and jumped up and down like a trained ape for the prayers and tried not to snore during the sermons... just like everyone else.
But, at about the same time my voice changed I realized I simply didn't BELIEVE. But I stuck around for the company, the singing, the girls and the food for a couple of years.
But the feeling grew on me slowly, that I was lying to everyone around me and most importantly to myself. I quit, and never went back.
But I still see the hypocrisy... people who claim such great 'faith' in god's plan, yet look both ways when they cross the streets. Faith, yet they lock their doors, snap up those seat belts and you can bet that most of them, (the not quite insane bunch at least) put their faith in prayer yet go to the doctor when they get sick.
The majority of Americans say they believe in god... the god that keeps the hell fires burning. Now look around you... do your fellow citizens for the most part ACT like they really believe there is a horrible, eternal punishment waiting for them if they fuck up in the slightest, deviate from the divine game plan in the merest jot or tittal?