eloso asked:

Just in regards to that last Ghost question, I'm not sure who to believe. I'm working from a copy of Awake that was handed out on campus, i took the time to read it and appreciate the succulent comedy therein before tucking it away for later disection, but it just reminded me. According to Awake! June 2009 article Should You Be Afraid of the Dead? The Bible's Viewpoint:
- The bible declares that the dead are "conscious of nothing at all! and "impotent in death" (Ecclesiastes 9:5, Isaiah 26:14)
- Adam committing sin made him a "Dead soul" (Numbers 6:6) and that all of us inheriting original sin will die when we die (Romans 5:12) (Derp)
- Invisible spirit forces called demons are behind such attacks, and they delight in harrassing and frightening people (Luke 9:37-43, (Ephesians 6:11, 12)
- Satan, the father of the lie, is behind the lie that the soul is immortal

So, is there an afterlife or not? Because, according to these segments of The Bible, there is no Heaven, no afterlife, no reason to suffer or prostrate yourself unto the lord because when you kick the great bucket, that's it. If there's no heaven... why bother?

Awake is a publication made by the Jehovah Witnesses. Like Mormons and Scientologists, other Christians consider them a cult (except when they share the same political views, bigoted anti-homosexual agenda and anti-science stand).

The bible, being the great book of multiple choice where depending on what texts you decide to read you can support any desired conclusion, also supports the existence of heaven and hell after death (see Luke 16:19-31 for example). The fact of the matter is that the bible contradicts itself more often times than not.

The mainline christian doctrine on hell and heaven goes somewhat like this:
1) You die.
2) Believe in Jesus?
Go to heaven. Chill there until Jesus’ second coming where you will be (for some reason) resurrected to be with Jesus (although you were previously with him in heaven but whatever).
3) Don’t believe in Jesus?
Go directly to hell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Be tortured eternally for a temporal crime.

The funny thing is that if you ask 10 Christians what they think heaven and hell is you will get at least 15 different answers. And don’t ask them about angels. The inanity only gets worse.

The texts you read in the magazine are used by Jehovah Witnesses to support their idea that after death there is nothing unless one is resurrected by god. There is an afterlife but not in spirit form (unless you are part of the 144,000 chosen but that is another more wacky story).

In reality no one knows what happens after death. Personally I think it should be very similar to what happened before one was born.

Take care.
In reason:

-FA

mayden-mother-crone asked:

Hello, I am a big fan of your blog! I just had a baptist man and his teenage son visit my front door to tell me that heaven is the only option and give me shitty pamphlets. I used to greet these people with a fake smile and nod and a polite "I'm not interested," but I would listen to their crap. However, they keep coming, every couple of weeks, and I am now starting to get very annoyed that these people are going door to door to spread lies. I'm thinking, next time, I'm going to tell these people that there is no god and if they have a young person with them to tell them they have a choice and that they don't have to follow a religion. I was wondering how you would deal with this type of situation...

I love when Jehovah Witnesses knock at my door. I respectfully listen to them but also challenge their religious assumptions. To do this effectively, one has to devote time studying these subjects before trying to engage them.

Remember that these folks take the effort to knock on your door because they actually believe the superstition they are peddling is true. Plainly telling them they are wrong will only serve to produce an “I am persecuted because of the truth” self-reinforcing mindset.

My approach is one of questioning. Of trying to get across the need for doubt and skepticism in all aspects of life, including religion. A well placed question can be way more powerful than the most thought out argument one could give.

I believe there is a pressing need for all atheists, rationalists and evidentialists to speak up in favor of truth and reality. I am glad you realize the same.

Take care.
In reason:
-FA