Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kristian Katrina Konfusion

Pro-afterlifers around the world are pretty consistent in their views on Katrina. They all agree that it is a calamity; a sorrowful event; a bad thing. As I stated in my previous Katrina-related post, A Hurricane of Hypocrisy, it makes no sense for all the pro-afterlifers of different faiths to consistently view this hurricane as a calamity. And in today’s post, I am going to take a look at the dead, the survivors, and the pro-afterlifers (of the Christian variety) that mourn them.

Christians mourn those who died at the hand of Katrina. Christians tell the survivors of Katrina that they are lucky that God spared them. Funny view to take considering that the dead (according to Christians) are now in that blissful place known as haven for all eternity, while the survivors are facing disease, dehydration, starvation, displacement, and financial ruin. To be fair, maybe not all the dead are in heaven, but the Christian ones are at least, and New Orleans was most likely more Christian than the 85% national average for America.

Assuming that the Christian worldview is correct, it can be decisively said that the deceased are now much better off than the survivors! The deceased are hanging out with Jesus, now free from pain and suffering and sorrow for all eternity. But the survivors are literally swimming in pain, suffering, and sorrow for at least a few more months, if not years. Why do the Christians mourn the dead and consider the survivors lucky?

The Christians mourn the dead as if they were actually dead (as in really dead with no afterlife or continuation of consciousness past death)! A true death, without the continuation of consciousness, would be the only thing that could justify the degree of mourning that these Christians display for the deceased.

It looks very similar to a stolen concept fallacy to me. It’s as if they subconsciously know that death = death, and does not result in some kind of life-after-death (which is an oxymoron if I ever heard one). Consciously of course, the Christians do not realize this, nor would they agree with my statements.

I imagine that a Christian would answer that they are actually mourning the departure of the deceased from this existence. That would be fair, but it would also be very narrow-minded. It would have to ask them “Well, aren’t you happy that the deceased is now in eternal bliss? Shouldn’t you be happy for them? Who are you crying for, yourself or the deceased?”

Clearly, the Christian who argues that they are mourning the departure of the deceased from this existence would automatically be conceding that they aren’t crying for the deceased, but crying for themselves. And that, my friends, would also be an admission by the Christians that they are actually mourning the survivors of the hurricane more than they are mourning the deceased. Whoops!
Either way, the Christian would prove me right: that mourning the (Christian) deceased makes no sense.

So let’s wrap up:

1. Christians mourning the deceased more than the survivors makes no sense.
2. Christians mourn the deceased as if they knew (subconsciously?) that the deceased were really, truly dead.
3. If they are mourning the deceased’s departure from Earthly life rather than their ascension to heaven, then they are actually mourning for themselves (and the survivors) instead of the deceased.

There are no theists in foxholes.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Aaron Kinney said...

Kill the Spam

The Libertarian Defender said...

Great post man!

It never ceases to amaze me how irrational such beliefs are. And you pointed out each and every one of the irrationalities associated with "mourning the dead." I think you're right: Theists are betraying their subconscious knowledge that death is truly final.

It's equally irrational for Christians to bemoan the hurricane itself. It was "God's will," right? Who are we to declare it was tragic? If God did it, I guess Katrina was glorious!

Dozens of churches in Biloxi alone were destroyed by Katrina. Why don't these theists interpret that as a direct message from God that he doesn't want that church there?

I Am said...

Great post. Maybe we should be proselytizing in front of funeral homes.

"Hey you! Christian! Whacha cryin' for? Buck up. Uncle Joe's got his wings."

Too tacky?

Sr.Jesus said...

death is an ugly thing...uncle Joe got his ticket, that's all there is to it.

Aaron Kinney said...

I AM,

We should arrive at the funeral in a power-mega-church style presentation, with lots of hootin and hollerin and catchy pop music with headset microphones and a big dance routine. With nice dress suits that have sparkly crosses on them. Then we talk about how glorious God is and praise him for taking these people up to heaven, and have a big song about how we wish we were GOOD enough and HOLY enough to have been killed in Gods glorious hurricane.

We would to the performance and do it with complete seriousness and sincerity. I could just imagine the outrage that the Christians would feel! They would scream at us for being disrespectful in a time of mourning and then we would reply like "what are you mourning about? this guys in heaven! No TRUE Christian would mourn for something like this! This is glorious!"

It would be pure magic to act in such a way and then accuse the faithful mourners of not being TRUE Christians LOL!

woody said...

As a biologist, teacher of evolution (gasp) in the bible belt and at the very least an agnostic, I am constantly engaged with the irreconsilable aspects of christians. I suspect that muslims, jews and other faiths have similar problems too. I gave up trying to make sense to students who think that the catholics are a offshoot of the southern baptist movement. I live in the present, don't fear death (I will be upset though, that the fun is over. I feel sorry for those that think otherwise. Thanks for reading.

Delta said...

Nice post AK. Kind of reminds me of Celine Dion on the news a few days ago crying for those who were suffering or dead while simultaneously spewing crap about her sky daddy. You point out correctly that, for someone who is a stranger to you, there should be no cause to mourn if you believe that they will go to a eternal paradise. However, I think that if you know someone personally, you could hope that they don't die so that you won't have to live life without them, even if you think that they would go to some sort of great afterlife. This would be a selfish motivation for wanting them alive however.

Stephen T said...

Just came across your blog, as well as the Goosing the Antithesis one. Both are excellent, will call back for more.

Sr.Jesus said...

what`s a couple of years of separation when you`re supposed to meet your loved ones again in paradise? All excuses. Something just don`t fit here. Christians mourn their dead as if death was forever. And I suspect they somehow know it is.

Aaron Kinney said...

Thanx for the comments everyone!

Delta you are right. You said:

However, I think that if you know someone personally, you could hope that they don't die so that you won't have to live life without them, even if you think that they would go to some sort of great afterlife. This would be a selfish motivation for wanting them alive however.


And this is an important point. IF the Christian knows the one who died, and the Christian believes that the deceased is in heaven, but the Christian mourns anyway, then the only was to justify it would be to state that the Christian isnt mourning the DECEASED, but instead mourning their own misfortune at having to remain on Earth without their friend.

The Libertarian Defender said...

" what`s a couple of years of separation when you`re supposed to meet your loved ones again in paradise? All excuses. Something just don`t fit here. Christians mourn their dead as if death was forever. And I suspect they somehow know it is. "

Christians are so schizophrenic on this particular topic. It's as if there's a battle going on between the Christian's conscious theological ignorance and unconscious recognition of reality (death is final).

Aaron Kinney said...

I think that I have hit on an important point with death, mourning, and Christianity. Its quite probable that other atheists have already explored this issue, but I have not read anything else about it from anywhere else.

All of you wonderful freethinkers who have posted in these comments have expounded on it and added to it. Thank you.

It looks like we have an interesting position or argument to develop on. What kind of name can we give it?

Sr.Jesus said...

"I think that I have hit on an important point with death, mourning, and Christianity"

So do I. Explore it to the fullest. If death is not a bad thing and God's will is unescapable, fleing dangerous situations that COMES YOUR WAY makes no sense.

The Libertarian Defender said...

Indeed, even the basic concept of human Free Will is in sharp contrast with the concept of God's infallible plan. For example, say somebody is standing on a beach while a huge tidal wave approaches. The Christian could run away and try to escape. However, God's divine plan might call for that Christian to stay and drown. Doesn't the concept of Free Will refute the notion that God has a detailed plan on everything that will ever happen? In my example, the Christian could either stay or run. Perhaps God's divine plan is more like a "Choose your Own Adventure" book. One also has to wonder why, if God were to have a Divine Plan, he would have scripted the Holocaust, the tsunami, Katrina, 9/11 and the World Wars.

DUB said...

Since I already penned a novel of a response to your previous post (A Hurricane of Hypocrisy ), I will spare you all my longwindedness here.

Of course it doesn't make sense. None of their belief does. Well, as superficial covers for innate human fears and curiosities, but not as a logically thought-out cogitation.

Which is exactly what it all is. Why have religion? Fear (and curiosity). And what is man's biggest fear (unknown)? Death.

Which is why a devout xian will cry and pray for an ailing loved-one's survival in the face of death, call it a blessing if survived, and concede that they're "in a better place" if the struggle is lost. It's all really so pitiful.

This, reluctantly, is one of the main reasons I don't COMPLETELY abhor religion - consolation. If someone's pain is dampened by silly child-like wishfull thinking, so be it. I guess ignorance is bliss.

euclids child said...

Ak,
I would agree with your funeral program, and in fact your entire post except for one scary possibility. The theocracy that is the shrub administration may take your idea and run with it. So instead of they reeling from their inept response to this disaster, they would be able to claim a victory for the chosen people. They could spin this into a GOP and GOD in 08 slogan. Then I would have to move to canada.

Aaron Kinney said...

euclids child, Im afraid youre right. It could backfire in such a way. I could only hope that in that scenario, the lunacy of their religion would be underscored and the average Joe would distance themselves from the Christian right.

Failing that, I would be on the highway to Canada, passing you in my Mustang at 150mph.

DUB said...

AK:

"We should arrive at the funeral in a power-mega-church style presentation, with lots of hootin and hollerin and catchy pop music with headset microphones and a big dance routine. With nice dress suits that have sparkly crosses on them. Then we talk about how glorious God is and praise him for taking these people up to heaven, and have a big song about how we wish we were GOOD enough and HOLY enough to have been killed in Gods glorious _____."

You can fill in that blank.

I'm taking note of this quote simply because that does describe some of the funerals I've been to. Well, it describes a segment of them (except the "catchy pop music" is usually replaced with sanctimonious, unfortunately soulfull gospel). There's some celebration of the lost life, followed by a whole lotta preachin' about how much better off the person is, how much of a lesson it should be to the rest of us, some "savings" and baptisms, yadda yadda.

Atually, I'll stop with that simple observation before I get out of hand, and finish my thoughts on my blog.

Aaron Kinney said...

Wow DUB, thats intense. It actually reminds me of this show I saw about Jihadist suicide bombers on the Discovery Times channel. They were saying things like "dont cry for hashid, for he is with allah in eternal paradise. he is a brave warrior blessed by god and is in heaven. god is great!"

Its sick, sick, sick, to think like that. As Ive noted in previous posts, these people shortchange reality for some kind of immaterial dimension, and the TRUE believers dont really feel bad for their dead but feel good instead (a coping mechanism).

Thanx for the info. I saw the preacher during Reagans funeral talk like that too...like "dont feel bad, for he is with god now!!! glory!" all excited and raising his hands in the air. His portion was the only part of the service was horrible; by far the worst part of the funeral and you could feel the tension and the unnaturalness of it.

Cant wait for your next post.

DUB said...

Pimp My Blog (Xzibit Two):

I finally posted what I was refering to above. The bulk of the post was actually originally part of the comment, but I cut it out and put it on my own page.

It's more of a tangent, and doesn't really stay on your topic of xian's seemingly hypocritical treatment of death.