8/05/2011 | Share this article:By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~
Why should anyone buy into a religion that only pays off after you die? Look around you. Can anyone prove that Christians are happier, healthier, or more fortunate in any way than non-believers in this life? Of course not. In fact, some of us suspect that many Christians may even prefer suffering. It has been claimed that Mother Theresa withheld pain medication from her patients because she thought suffering was good for them, making them better able to appreciate the suffering of Jesus on the cross.
So the payoff must come after you die. But, do the salespeople of this religion ever show you a sample of what you’re going to get then, in anything except more words? Words, threats, and promises are all you ever get. Would you buy a piece of property in Florida on nothing more than a salesperson’s words? No pictures, no video, no actual visit, just words? Wouldn’t this make you an excellent candidate for a swindle?
Christianity gets your attendance in church, your time in prayer and evangelizing, and your money, and you get . . . nothing but hopes and wishes; one of which being the hope that you aren’t getting scammed. Religion preys on - and succeeds through - those who will buy based on nothing more than the words of some people who wrote thousands of years ago; people we don’t know and don’t know anything about. These were people who wrote about miracles like talking snakes and jackasses, shepherds’ staffs turning into snakes, saints coming out of their graves and walking through a town, and a man whose prodigious strength depended on the length of his hair. These are basically the same men who wrote those assurances that if you will worship their god, you can live forever.
Personally, I don’t understand how it can make sense to anyone to buy anything from the guys who wrote a string of tall tales like that. How can these superstitious primitives still command any credibility in a scientific age with such obviously made-up stories? And, if I can’t believe this story - “Then Samson said, ‘With a donkey's jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey's jawbone I have killed a thousand men’" - then why should I believe that a man was a corpse for several days and then just stood up and walked away to preach some more? How is the latter any more believable than the former? By what criteria could one story be believable and the other not believable? Both require the suspension of the laws of nature, laws which have never been known to be suspended before, anytime or anywhere.
And then they tell me that if I can’t or won’t believe their story, then I will suffer for an eternity in a lake of fire after I die. Now that sounds to me like an ancient version of carrot and stick, or good cop/bad cop. If they can’t entice me with heaven, then they threaten me with hell. Could this be a simple intimidation tactic, do you think?
As Greta Christina so eloquently put it, on her blog, “Religion is ultimately dependent on belief in invisible beings, inaudible voices, intangible entities, undetectable forces, and events and judgments that happen after we die. It therefore has no reality check.” There is absolutely no testable evidence for any of these things beyond what other people have said or written, and this is why we are told to trust to faith, to rely entirely on what religious leaders tell us is and isn't true about the world.
Unfortunately, it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that religious leaders are wrong far more than they are right (if they are ever right). Down through the ages, man has worshiped thousands of gods, whose descriptions contradict one another, which is solid proof that religious leaders are almost always (or always) wrong.
And our intuitions, our feelings, aren’t any more trustworthy than our religious leaders. Moslems commonly speak of feeling Allah within their hearts, while for Hindus it is Vishnu or Krishna, and for Christians it is god or Jesus. We can be absolutely certain that such intuitions are wrong far more than right (if they’re ever right) since no religion can claim more than a third of the world’s people. Do the math; most of the people MUST BE wrong, most of the time, about what they’re feeling!
In 1925, a man “sold” the Eiffel Tower by claiming it was to be torn down and sold for scrap. I can understand someone being taken in by such a story. After all, he could see that the Tower was real, and that it might have some rust on it here and there, and reason told him that its upkeep must be very expensive to the city. The buyer only needed to have a little faith in the seller. But being taken in by a story that some man died and then came back to life, and if I believe this then I can live forever and ever in a spirit-world paradise that no one has ever seen? Now that takes a whole lot of faith. No salesperson can show me this spirit-world; all he can do is promise me it’s there, and claim he knows this for sure, because . . . because someone else told him it was there. No thanks. My chances are better on the Florida land deal. At least I know Florida is real, because I’ve been there.