The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Barbara Walters' Heaven

Well that was depressing. I just watched BabaWawa's Heaven: Where is it? How do we get there? special and man, what a sad spectacle. How many people are out there living for a future life, living for the "next life", or living only to kill others because of their lack of faith. People buying into the spiritual blackmail of "do good or else".

The three minutes of Ellen Johnson was just the typical token skeptic to say, "no, there's no Heaven, it's all superstition, it's comforting to believe, but there's no rationality behind it". There were two short clips of an atheist camp and a researcher showing that near-death experiences are explainable through brain chemistry, but these were quickly forgotten when the anecdotal tales of white lights, pleasant thoughts, and dead relatives came back to the forefront.

It makes me sad that so many grown adults are placated with such base niceties as "white lights", "stairways with happy dogs and cats", and "everything was green and compassionate". To think that way demeans your life and makes you only live to get your personal reward - so whatever you do here is a means to an end. A selfish end.

Having your life be finite, as an atheist believes, makes your actions have consequences. You are responsible for your actions and you must atone not with an invisible father figure, but with your peers. Your memory will be forever tainted if you kill people, defraud people, or otherwise take advantage of the less fortunate. Atheists realize that this is what we have and we are lucky to have it; we help those who need it because it is the right thing to do to push our society forward.

Why do believers want so much more? If a person, an atheist for example, lives a good life, helps people, is compassionate, has a job that makes others better (a doctor, counselor, or firefighter...), that may not be enough to get you into their version of Heaven. You have to believe in their book. All the other good things are meaningless if you don't believe. A man who kills ten people can go to prison and "find God", ask forgiveness, and go to heaven - but an atheist cannot. That makes not an ounce of sense.

There is hope, connectedness, and accountablility in having a rationalistic worldview. There is a lot to learn from how non-theists live and work, but Barbara Walters didn't look for us, she took the easy route. As expected, no surprise there.

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