Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Varkam Kills Himself Some Afterlife

Friend and commenter Varkam, whom I've posted about before, recently posted an essay at Neural Gourmet. The essay is entitled "The Scars of Religion's Profanity," and in it, he makes some acute observations:

The belief that there is life after death (which, definitionally speaking, is a contradiction of terms) serves to ease the fear of nothingness, but does little to cope with the reality of the situation.

...Religion has murdered humanity. The murder weapon is the afterlife.


The whole essay is good readin', so go read it.

Thanks Varkam!

7 comments:

Me said...

'the reality of the situation' - and the reality is that there is no afterlife? How can anyone possibly know this for sure, since it's a journey from which no one ever returns? The true reality of the situation is that we simply don't know, and won't ever know, until each of us individually has to face it. Make sense?

varkam said...

Thanks Aaron! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Ben C. said...

To me.

Does the fact that we cannot prove the non-existence of zeus mean we should accept the possibility that we may one day have to face him for our crimes?

Of course not, your argument is based on the assumption that since we cannot know we should accept those that believe it is so as normal.

If afterlife belief was not so engrained in our tradditions and culture and not so wide spread in its belief we would consider it as rediculous as zeus.
Also if we feared death less that would help to.

To paraphrase dawkins there are 3 bad reasons for believing things.
Athority
Tradition
Revelation
Afterlife belief falls into all 3 catagories, its told to us to be true by religious leaders, its handed down in tradition, and some claim it to be true through divine revelation to them.

Intergalactic Hussy said...

I still can't get over the ego-centric selfishness of it all.

Aaron Kinney said...

@ Me,

'the reality of the situation' - and the reality is that there is no afterlife? How can anyone possibly know this for sure, since it's a journey from which no one ever returns?

You made your first error here, in your premises. You assume that death is a journey of some kind before you even ask the afterlife question!

Well, death isnt a journey. It is an extinguishing, in definition, in concept, and in reality. Does a fire take a "journey" when it is extinguished by a water hose?

For a journey to occur, there has to be something THERE to partake the journey. What possibly is taking a journey when the body dies? Your consciousness? No, for your consciousness is not a thing that can travel. Consciousness is a function or a property of the living brain. Consciousness is not an organ, nor a component. Consciousness cannot be packaged like a liver into an ice chest and implanted into another body.

What part of my person takes a journey when I die? The electrical signals in my head? Well not really, they just dissapate. They dont travel into some other dimension. When a computer is destroyed, does its operating system live on in another dimension? When a digital clock battery dies, does the actual meta-data of what time it was keeping get go to time heaven? No, the information is lost, and the electricity that comprised the meta-data has dissapated.

The true reality of the situation is that we simply don't know, and won't ever know, until each of us individually has to face it. Make sense?

No that does not make sense, especially since you assumed a journey which requires a continuation of your consciousness before you asked the afterlife question. There is no afterlife just like there is no before life. To assume the existence of something for which one has no evidence is irresponsible at best, and deadly at worst. In the case of the afterlife, its the worst. And I have the offspring murder club member roster to prove it.

In fact, we DO know that there is no afterlife. We have OVERWHELMING evidence to support the claim that the consciousness of the individual is wholly material, and wholly dependent upon the electro-chemical functions of the living braing organ in order to exist.

I suppose next that you will propose that the circulatory system can still function without blood, or a heart? Will you next claim that "we dont know" if a computers operating system continues to run even after the motherboard is smashed? Will you next claim that sound waves just go into an afterlife dimension when the speaker is turned off?

olly said...

"When a computer is destroyed, does its operating system live on in another dimension?"

If so, I nominate Windows to populate hell!!!!!

LOL

That article was a good read, thanks Aaron,

-olly

Aethlos said...

religion has committed 'attempted murder' on humanity... but i'm not sure the weapon is the afterlife... i.e.: if no such thing as religion existed - wouldn't the cold hard reality of death be just as dreadful? religion has simply provided an alternative escape from truth/reality. marx was right. religion is crackcocaine for pussies.