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I Make Too Much of Coincidences

By Herb ~

I haven't written to this site in some time, but I decided to write now because of a problem that just cropped up.

My father was a Seventh Day Adventist and my mother was from a Pentecostal type church known as The Church of First Born. Both churches taught a literal interpretation of the Bible. We were to follow whatever the Bible said no matter how ridiculous or senseless it was. To them, the Bible was just a bunch of rules to follow. Because of this approach to following the Bible and obsessive compulsive disorder, I developed a bad case of scrupulosity. I was always worried about what was right and what was wrong and whether or not I had done the right thing to be saved.

When I was 26, there was a person at work who was an agnostic. Knowing him and conversations with him about religion and the list of books he recommended for me to read gave me the courage to give up religion. But I still have OCD, so now my religious obsessions have taken a different direction. I now worry about religious anecdotes that I read or hear. I have to run them around in my head until I come up with a natural explanation for them. I also tend to make a big deal about coincidences.

A coincidence that's bugging me now and why I decided to post this message at this time pertains to the number 8. The number 8 within the Judeo/Christian mythology means "heavenly". The coincidence that bothers me is that the numerical value of the Greek spelling of Jesus is 888. This seems like such a coincidence.

It doesn't seem right that somebody would be condemned to an eternity of torture just because they don't accept a certain belief on faith.I don't like the Christian religion because of the concept of salvation through faith. It doesn't seem right that somebody would be condemned to an eternity of torture just because they don't accept a certain belief on faith. It's also hard for me to believe that there is an afterlife. Consciousness is dependent on the brain. When the brain dies, there no longer is any consciousness. How can a soul be conscious without neurons? How can a soul see or hear without any eyes or ears? For those who believe like my Adventist father that the afterlife comes at the end of time with a physical resurrection, it would seem that all the molecules of the brain would have to be regathered and chemically reanimated, since the memory is tied up in all those molecules. What about somebody who has been cremated and their ashes dropped in the ocean?

 Who could keep up with all those molecules after they're all scattered? Those still in their graves, are there angels with shovels that are going to come down and dig them all up? It all sounds so far fetched. So using Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation is that Jesus's name having a numerical number of 888 is just a coincidence rather than Christianity and the afterlife being true. But such coincidences like that still bother me.