Pro-afterlifers, especially of the Abrahamic (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) variety, believe that the faithful adherents of their particular superstition go to heaven when they die. They also believe that heaven is a wonderful place. So wonderful, in fact, that it’s far more enjoyable than any place or state of existence currently conceivable by us mortal humans. And as I’ve noted in a previous blog entry, many pro-afterlifers of the Christian variety are so excited about heaven that they just can’t wait to get there. Some of them even hang out on rapture-themed forums, praying with each other for God to initiate a Biblical Armageddon and take them all up into heaven; to figuratively and literally kill them (although they would likely disagree with my “kill them” characterization, the only way to get into an immaterial heaven is to expire physically. So no matter how you cut it, they technically want to die).
But what happens to these death-worshippers’ wishes when they are called to task? What happens to their convictions when the cards are laid out on the table? Hurricane Katrina recently barreled through the United States, causing incredible amounts of damage, destroying the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. And while the body counts have only just begun, we can be pretty sure that there are thousands dead, if not tens of thousands.
Every American, from Christian to atheist, is mourning this national tragedy. What I have noticed most is the universal outcry of grief from all superstitious (pro-afterlife) bodies. There are editorials in pro-Israeli news publications where the blame for hurricane Katrina is put on Americans for supporting the Gaza pullout. There are Muslims claiming that the hurricane is punishment from Allah. Surely there will be Christian leaders who will claim that Katrina is God’s punishment for gay marriage, or abortion, or some political issue. While I think those kinds of opinions are ignorant and grossly inhumane, I also think it is interesting to see that regardless of the wide variety of interpretations of the meaning of this hurricane, they are all negative in nature. Specifically, all superstitious bodies, both pro and anti-American, consider this hurricane to be a very calamitous event for those affected.
If heaven is a better state of existence than this life, and if the afterlife is supposed to be our ultimate goal, then why do these superstitious bodies consider this hurricane a calamity? To be fair, a Muslim would assume that the infidels who died in Katrina’s path are destined to arrive in hell, not heaven. But what about the Christians? America is about 85% Christian, and the area that Katrina hit is a bit more Christian than the coastal areas of America. So we can assume that of those who died in Katrina’s path, at least 85% of them are Christians. And according to the Christian worldview, most of these people would be destined for heaven. So again, why would these superstitious bodies universally view the hurricane as a calamity? Shouldn’t they be rejoicing that God came and swept a bunch of faithful followers up into heaven? When God came to test their faith, the pro-afterlifers balked. When their opponent called, the pro-afterlifers folded their hand.
I think that Katrina proved just how much Christians (and other theists) commit the stolen concept fallacy. They act like heaven is “the bomb,” but when the (figurative) bomb drops, they flip-flop. There are a few exceptions, like the infamous 9/11 hijackers and the Palestinian suicide bombers, but under the gun, they borrow from the materialist worldview and recognize that death is a bad thing. So much for the “no atheists in foxholes” claim! These pro-afterlifers all became temporary atheists and ran for their material lives as soon as Katrina showed up.
If you believe in God, and you believe that your faithful self will go to heaven when you die, then Katrina is God’s will, and if you are in Katrina’s path, that means God has chosen you for the VIP line into heaven. No more waiting in line because you get the fast-pass! Why try to defy God’s will and evacuate? I say you should climb to the roof of your house, spread your arms wide and scream to the sky, “Thank you God for taking me off the stairway to heaven and putting me on the teleporter! Beam me up, Jesus!”
I expect 99.9% of all pro-afterlifers to consider my argument preposterous. Well, that’s my point. Why would a pro-afterlifer consider this argument ridiculous? because they are borrowing from the materialist (atheist) worldview! Sure, they will spend all day praying for rapture and the subsequent Armageddon. Sure, they will fantasize about how marvelous heaven is and how horrible this material reality is. But when push comes to shove; when it’s time to show your cards; when it’s time to pay the bill (and numerous other metaphors), these pro-afterlifers don’t really want to go to heaven! They fear for their lives! They don’t want to die!
Therefore, they lack the courage of their convictions. Their true colors are shown. When they lay their cards down, we discover that they were bluffing all along: Their hand is a royal flush of materialism. There are no theists in foxholes.