After several billion years of growth and development, a planet forms in one arm of a rather common galaxy.  A few billion years later, one particular form of life emerges on that planet, with the peculiar trait of being self-aware.  These beings are born, they live, they die, in a span of time which is the barest fraction of the time it took for this species to evolve to this point.  They form societies to protect themselves against a hostile environment.  Their curiosity leads them to take guesses as to what caused all that they see around them, and from those guesses, religion is born.

One of those religions supposes a pact between these curious, self-aware beings and their putative creator.  It insists not that they should DO something or ACHIEVE some laudatory goal, but that they BELIEVE something.  That something violates evidence, natural law and common sense, yet they must believe it anyway.  It further insists that these beings MUST believe as the creator dictates, and that one of two outcomes are available as consequence, one theoretically highly desirable, the other horrific in the extreme.  All this resulting from belief or a failure to believe.

And after a lifespan which might be less than the time it takes for one orbit of their planet about its sun or more than 100 such orbits, how long do those aforementioned outcomes persist?

A 1,000 years?

A 1,000,000 years?

A 1,000,000,000 years?

A 1,000,000,000,000 years, longer than the universe has existed to this point?

Answer: none of the above, for all the above are bounded by finite time.  The pact defined by this religion, imagined by its promoters, prescribes INFINITY as the reward or punishment for a physical lifetime which passes in a flash, compared to the eons it took to cause them to be.  Indeed, long after all the suns in all the galaxies have exhausted their fuels and their light is extinguished and darkness returns to the face of the deep, those two possibilities are supposed to remain in force for all who ever lived on a tiny rock in a vast void.

How absurd is that?

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Comment by Joan Denoo on August 23, 2012 at 12:38pm

@Edward Teach, OH! YES LOREN DOES! BECAUSE HE DOES IT SO WELL!  


Comment by roland707 on August 23, 2012 at 12:02am

Excellent!

Comment by Loren Miller on August 21, 2012 at 2:24pm

Thanks, John.  Every so often, my muse wakes up.  I guess today was one of those days...

Comment by John Aultman on August 21, 2012 at 2:11pm

Loren you are a WORD SMITH...

Comment by Loren Miller on August 21, 2012 at 12:19pm

@Edward: I don't?!?

@Reason Being: Grazie, guy - was wondering when you'd discover my blog (what there is of it)!

Comment by Reason Being on August 21, 2012 at 12:13pm

Great post Loren.  The idea that we will be punished or rewarded for "infinity" is completely absurd.  Let alone, who would call a deity "good" or want to worship one that seeks to punish someone for infinity?----not me...

Comment by Edward Teach on August 21, 2012 at 12:00pm

Damn, Loren. You don't have to tell it like it is!

Comment by matthew greenberg on August 21, 2012 at 11:49am

awesome Loren. 

Comment by dr kellie on August 21, 2012 at 10:24am

I agree with Joan.

Comment by Loren Miller on August 21, 2012 at 8:53am

Please be my guest, Joan.

Reality is absurd enough as it is, without such ridiculous imaginings, yet some people lean on such foolishness as though it were real.  That there is no evidence to support it doesn't matter.  That they can't justify their belief doesn't matter.  Apparently, only their fear matters, because it is that fear that motivates all the rest.

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