Summerlander wrote: Death means death folks. I would find nothing wrong with his statement if he could bring himself to write: In my opinion Death means death folks. instead ramming it down as the only truth. Again that is his view and in my opinion he is welcome to it, but may we differ?
It is the truth. The only truth. There can't be any other opposing truth or it would not be a truth in this case. Death is irreversible unconsciousness, a point of no return, total oblivion, the cessation of being i.e. no heaven or hell, no conscious experience of any sort. NDEs are a product of a living brain - even if this active brain comes close to dying. Clinical death does not mean death, in case you are mistaken on this respect.You might want to chew over these quotes:
“The artist's job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.”
― Woody Allen
“At last the cold crept up my spine; at last it filled me from foot to head; at last I grew so chill and desolate that all thought and pain and awareness came to a standstill. I wasn't miserable anymore: I wasn't anything at all. I was a nothing-- a random configuration of molecules. If my heart still beat I didn't know it. I was aware of one thing only; next to the gaping fact called Death, all I knew was nothing, all I did meant nothing, all I felt conveyed nothing. This was no passing thought. It was a gnawing, palpable emptiness more real than the cold.”
― David James Duncan, The River Why
“He suddenly felt nothing, or rather Nothing, a pre-tornadic stillness of zero sensation, as if he were the very space he occupied.”
― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
I'm not as agnostic as Teraku there, although I do see where he's coming from and respect his views. To me it just seems pretty obvious that there is absolutely nothing. I've got no reason to believe and plenty of reasons to disbelieve.
Teraku wrote:Believing in Jesus just because of hell doesn't seem like actual belief to me. It sounds more like being scared into believing, or being baited into an eternal reward (heaven) when you do believe.
I wholeheartedly agree with this. I'm an atheist myself but if there is an afterlife and I am confronted by an all-powerful deity over my disbelief (highly unlikely scenario, btw) I can always modestly say: "My dear lord, there wasn't enough evidence..." - And if this god is as merciful, noble, and as understanding as they say, he will appreciate my brave honesty over the hypocrites who "believed" out of fearing hell or hoping to reside in a heaven.
Anyway, why should we care about a Common Era carpenter that we are not even sure existed as what was written about him came many years after the fact? Moreover, if he existed, he was most certainly an ominous cult leader who, according to Biblical scripture, ordered his acolytes to bring before him anyone who did not believe in him and put them down by the sword. And yet, after his concomitant crucifixion, adulation for this madman proliferated and continues to this day.@ DreamerMan:
And Islam is the worst. I'm sure you've heard about the latest tensions here in the UK. What kind of God has eternal punishment reserved for those who are honest enough to say, "there isn't enough evidence", and a heaven for those who fearfully believe because they want to escape hell and crave for epicurean rewards? The God of the monotheisms is amoral and immoral. What kind of individual says "believe in me or you will burn for eternity". A bully! This god was made up by barbaric minds of the Middle Ages.
Islamic despotism is detrimental to civilisation. Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, whatever the bleep you want to call it (the delusion), is an evil tyrannical God. Have any of you ever opened a Quran? I had that previlige as a friend of mine was thinking about converting to Islam and wanted a second opinion. I did not like what I saw. Also, did you know that in Iran the age of consent is nine? Apparently a tribute to their paedophile prophet's youngest wife! Nice belief!
But be careful with what you say, my friend! Even when you apologise in advance about offending! When the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa to have Salman Rushdie killed, no moderate Muslim spoke out against him. To ridicule religion isn't discrimination but there seems to be a creed in the world where Iron Age beliefs should be respected however absurd. We are merely pointing out why you'd be better off without such silly cults and superstitions. Moderate Muslims give terrorists the perfect excuse to commit atrocities. As long as Islam is respected, there will be martyrs and jihad because the Quran mandates it.
The pious do themselves a disservice for mentality and physically abusing children, for starting holy wars, for killing in the name of God, and for being rude and offensive to atheists by saying they will burn in hell. Their beliefs are harmful, retrograde, and they are the ones who haven't the foggiest about how important evidence is. Indeed, it is us (the intelligent and reasonable ones), and them (obdurate in ignorance). Us, who are humble enough to admit we don't know everything but seek real answers (the hallmark of an educated person with common sense), and them - who claim to know without evidence (the hallmark of a blind fool). We would like you to wake up and abandon the very belief stemming from mankind's infancy (which stultifies our dignity and forestalls our development). I guess Freud was right when he said the religious impulse will be ineradicable until mankind manages to conquer its fear of death and overcome its tendency for wish-thinking. What we deal with here is wishy-washy peasants who continue to pose a threat to all life. It won't be long before they decide to bring about Armageddon and Judgement Day with nuclear warfare.
And ignorance is what led a great many people to be subjugated and exploited. It's funny how the theists have used the "Stalin" card against atheism. And yet, we all know how well Stalin exploited Russia's theocratic inheritance where the czar is the head of the church and somewhat of a demigod. A successful dictator, as the late Christopher Hitchens pointed out, would be a fool not to exploit such ignorance: millions of credulous servile people! All he had to do was rewrite the previous theocracy. The leader must be revered. Everything comes from the top. Lysenko's biology must be believed if you want three harvests a year... For the theist to have an argument against atheism in power, they'd have to point to a society that adopted the teachings of Lucretius, Spinoza, Thomas Jefferson, Darwin, Albert Einstein, Thomas Paine etc., that fell into famine, dictatorship, torture and genocide. I don't think the God-worshippers can...
The word fascism comes from "fasces", which, in ancient Rome, was a symbol of authority and magisterialness. What is the difference between a God who judges, sanctions genocide (remember the Canaanites?), subjugates his minions, blackmails them, bribes them, and a Nazi dictator who practically did the same? What is the difference between a Hitler who brainwashed German children against Jews by having them learn about a Zionist conspiracy theory at school and a Pope who stayed out of his way in order to have control over their religious education, curb sexual offences against children propaganda, baptism, marriage etc. (whilst reaping the benefits).
Despite Hitler trying to replace Christianity with pseudo-Nordic rites and race myths founded upon his Aryan fantasy, the Church was complicit in his fascism! The Vatican sought to accommodate Nazism! In the early 30's, Hitler's government had a treaty with the Vatican. The Vatican wanted control of the education of Catholic children in Germany, the dropping of Nazi propaganda against the abuses inflicted in Catholic schools and orphanages, and the concession of other privileges to the church, the Holy See instructed the Catholic Center Party to disband, and ordered Catholics to abstain from any political activity on any subject that the regime chose to define as off-limits. At the first meeting of his cabinet after this capitulation was signed, Hitler announced that these new circumstances would be "especially significant in the struggle against international Jewry". Millions of Catholics living in the Third Reich, many of whom had shown great individual courage resisting the rise of Nazism had been gutted and gelded as a political force. Their own Holy Father had in effect told them to render everything unto the worst Caesar in human history. From then on, parish records were made available to the Nazi state in order to establish who was and who was not "racially pure" enough to survive endless persecution under Nuremburg laws. And don't forget the heartwarming letter Pope Pius XII sent to the Fuhrer six years before the end of the war.
And there was also the Lateran Pact between the Vatican and Mussolini, where the Church recommended that people vote for him, a man they described as being "of providence", and in return they would have monopoly powers over birth, marriage, death, education, and the spread of their dogma. Mussolini even used religious reasons for carrying out his massacre of the Abyssinians.
In Aristophanes's "The Clouds", a sceptical Socrates is asked the sort of questions that the faithful would ask by a farmer. If there is no Zeus, who brings the rain to water the crops? Socrates points out to him that if Zeus could make it rain, there would or could be rain from cloudless skies. Since it doesn't happen, ir might be wiser to conclude that the clouds are the cause of the rainfall. Who moves the clouds into position, says the farmer? Not Zeus, says Socrates and he goes on to explain about winds and heat. what about lightning that punishes liars and wrongdoers? It does not discriminate between the just and unjust, says the philosopher. It has struck the temples of Olympian Zeus himself. This is enough for the farmer to recant his belief in the mighty Zeus. Today, this is more or less what atheists, who think for themselves, have to deal with.
Finally, allow me to quote Hitchens: "To believe in a god is in one way to express a willingness to believe in anything, whereas to reject a belief is by no means to profess belief in nothing." - God Is Not Great.
There is no heaven or hell! Have a good look at what neuroscience has already accomplished and pay close attention to brain malfunction and damage. There is no afterlife. You merely go back to your pre-birth state of nothingness. Nothing to fear, btw!