Kirk Tingblad, have you ever had any experience where not telling your truth has helped a problem or conflict?
Is it true for you that, "it can be just as comforting to believe the truth, rather than spend my life justifying injustices with lies"?
Well, my wife's nephew drowned from having a seizure and falling into a lake when he was 8 years old. At the time it just seemed cruel to not go along with the rest of the grieving family and bring up the idea that i found the idea ridiculous. So yes I think in a case like that, it does no immediate harm to lie. In the large picture you could say it really does not help by doing that, but causing a ruckus over that at that time did not seem like it would help anyone.
Kirk, I like your take on the subject.
Nerdless, I definitely agree, some bridges need repair and some need to be burned down. I guess it depends on how ruthless and dispassionate and judgmental religious are against others for some constructed reason they believe comes out of their holy book. I have no interest in being gentle with that type.
@ Kirk Tingblad, Point well made.
One suspects you are right. I just reread Shakespeare's soliloquy from Hamlet, about death being an undiscovered country from which no one ever returns. Until they do, the presumption must be that there is no life after death. The more who accept this, the less attention will be paid to religious matters and the more folks will live their lives for the good of all rather than for reunion with a mythical rabbi or partying with 72 virgins.
michelle, here's my commentary on linear left brain thinking. (I used a cinquain form devised by American poet Adelaide Crapsey.)
"I think / Therefore I am," / Said the philosopher. / "Bunk! He didn't feel; he only / half was."
So we have Death Agnostics?
And, of course, if one insists on using nothing but our own senses and the works of scientists who have repeatable, falsifiable theories and experiments, then we are accused of having a Closed Mind!
The burden of proof rests on the one making the claim.
Prove there is life after death. Don't just make the assertion then accuse those who object as being closed minded.
I didn't do all the work...all the research, all the reading...theological, philosophical and scientific...I have on the subject of death to have my conclusion brushed aside as just another opinion on the subject.
I'll be sixty-three this summer. I have been a believer, an agnostic and a non-believer on the subject.
There is a difference between coming to a well thought out, well researched conclusion on a subject than having nothing but an opinion.
That which is presented without evidence can be rejected without evidence.
Don't get me wrong. I love horror stories and movies. I delight in a well-written and produced zombie apocalypse movie...I'm watching the Netflix series Hemlock Grove and would invite everyone to give it a try.
Death is the end of life.
Any other belief is superstition.
The open endedness of rationality is misunderstood. It's not that you can't come to a conclusion, in fact there are certain subjects in which it is highly irrational not to admit to the obvious. The existence of God and human mortality have to be answered.
Rationality is open-ended only when there is new evidence presented. Then the rational mind is obligated as it well should be, to consider and integrate this new evidence.
Not only is there no evidence for life after death there has been no new evidence presented to require a reassessment of the rational conclusion that, as I said before, belief in an afterlife is superstition.
Look at it this way:
Do you believe in vampires?
By your reasoning there is no way you can reject the idea. There is just as much evidence for the existence of vampires as for life after death: none whatsoever.
I am quite comfortable with the conclusion the vast majority of rational people have reached: vampirism is a morbid superstition. They do not exist.
Wow, that is absolute crap, Michele. There is no "astral body" or any other "radiation". There is not enough written on these subjects because they do not exist. How much money to you get people to cough up to hear this nonsense because if you get a penny for it you should be in prison.
Couple of book suggestion for those interested:
Stephen Cave's Immortality: The Quest To Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization is easy to read and relatively short. Cave's approach is to examine the different means of gaining immortality and discussing the inherent problems of each.
And, in my opinion, the definitive work on the subject from a historical perspective is Alan Segal's Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife In Western Religion. Yes, he is a Death Agnostic claiming that science cannot have anything to say on the subject. Nonsense, of course. The evidence for death being the end of existence is overwhelming. He brings out the lateness in human thought of the concept of life after death...and especially of the idea that all people will have an afterlife. And the conflict between the Greek concept of a spiritual afterlife and the Christian concept of a bodily ressurection.
Anyway, two books on the subject that are both 'worth the dig.'
I just cannot buy into astral bodies and all that New Age stuff. Personal experience and anecdotes do not constitute proof or even evidence.