Squidville illustrates precisely my sentiments about eternity in heaven, nesgirl. I think we agree on that point and we should be glad that it's not true. That was certainly a good speech by Sam Harris, deschainXIX. He speaks so much sense! It is a rare quality in a person. By the way, I didn't think you believed in an afterlife either. That was an odd response by nesgirl!
Belief in the afterlife can be a real problem. Take a look at Iran with its surplus of orphans as well as grieving parents and relatives, whose sons and daughters and nephews and nieces were used as cannon fodder in the eight-year war with Saddam Hussein. These people were forced to applaud the evil tactics of clergyman who promised heaven to the credulous but never cared to risk martyrdom themselves.
There was a time when Westerners could holiday in Iraq amongst Kurds and even visit Erbil and learn about its history. For example, it was there that Alexander the Great defeated the Persians. A few years ago you could fly direct from several airports in Europe to a couple of efficient airports in Iraqi Kurdistan. Now, as you know, the country is in turmoil due to the Islamic State. Business must have really gone down for these people:http://www.theotheriraq.com/
In Kurdistan, the prime minister Nechirvan Barzani even arranged for a memorial to be built for fallen American soldiers. Despite being devided by different sects, Kurds are quite united and friendly to Christian minorities. In the past, many Arab Iraqis had fled the bedlam in Baghdad and Basra for the Kurdish safer
If there is a people that the US government can rely on in Iraq and Syria today, it is the Kurds. It was Kurdish intelligence that first exposed the direct link between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Osama Bin Laden. They have bucked Saddam Hussein, al-Qaeda, and now, they face the ISIS problem.