No Mystery in Life After Death for Atheists

When we die, our senses shut down and there is nothing more.  The Great Beyond is a void.  To believe in an afterlife is foolish since rationalism proves it wrong.

A reasonable person can find no logical bit of evidence to support a religious outlook.  No Jesus, no Mohammed, no Vishnu, no Isis, no Apollo.  Wake up people.  Stop getting duped.  Religion is a scam and people must stop pretending to believe.

At least that is what the American Atheists are telling the world by their billboard messages.

The American Atheists want to get their message out louder and clearer than it has in the past.  Some reasons for this new campaign:

  1. They believe most people are atheists and passively go along with religion just to get along with others.
  2. They want to separate the hold Christianity has on Christmastime (a.k.a. winter solstice) by attaching the birth of Christ to it.
  3. They want to raise awareness of the American Atheist organization.

Actually I do like one aspect of this billboard, the multi-religious symbols on the churches, synagogues, mosques, etc.  If you’re going to slam religion, be an equal opportunity slammer.

It is true that religion has a hand in human suffering.  Popes in medieval times have led less than stellar lives.  The child abuse by 20th century priests doesn’t redeem Catholicism.  Islamic leaders praise the murder of any number of Christian or Jewish people and their followers hold them in high esteem.

And it’s true no one has come back from the dead and explained it all to us.  Near death experiences may just as well be explained by tricks of the mind than direct proof of an afterlife.

But this doesn’t negate the human drive for the spiritual.

Logic can only take us so far.   The Great Beyond is unknowable by mere human understanding.  The truth as the American Atheists see it is a shallow scratching at the limits of human senses.  Any scenario after death is possible.  Any religion may have it right.  Absolutely nothing may in fact lie on the other side.   Or the human brain may not have yet conceived the actual course of events after death.  Only faith can explain it. If the universe is infinite, an infinite set of possibilities exist.

Atheists claiming to know the Truth cross over into the realm of faith. Anything is possible, we just cannot know.  At least not on this side of the fence.

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3 responses to “No Mystery in Life After Death for Atheists

  1. Just two things:

    First: Many atheists, myself included, are really unhappy with the recent AA campaign. While we disagree with the claims made by the world’s religions, a scam is a specific interaction involving willful deception and most atheists are educated and reasonable enough to understand that this is not the nature of most religious experience.

    Second: Death does indeed close a door for us, but there’s no reason to assume that observation would be impossible if the human mind did continue living after the death of the body. Everything we’ve learned about the brain and the mind suggests that consciousness is inextricably linked with physical phenomena. For this reason I think we’re within our rights to say that death is probably the end, even that all signs point to it.

    This is by no means an expression of certainty, I just want to point out that not having first-hand experience doesn’t barre us entirely from making educated judgments about the likelihood of life after death.

    • Atheists should never be barred from making educated guesses about the hereafter. I said that any scenario is possible and a complete void is one possibility. I lean in that direction myself, but fight with my strong longing for spirituality. My best connection with the spiritual comes from literature.

  2. I think your post is half right., but it s the other half where you fall down.

    “Logic can only take us so far.” CORRECT

    “The Great Beyond is unknowable by mere human understanding. ” CORRECT

    “The truth as the American Atheists see it is a shallow scratching at the limits of human senses.” CORRECT(ish), I guess, although I think that most atheists accept that science has only scratched the surface of reality.

    “Any scenario after death is possible.” CORRECT, we have no idea.

    “Any religion may have it right. ”
    CORRECT, for all we know vikings are right and we all go to Valhalla.

    “Absolutely nothing may in fact lie on the other side. Or the human brain may not have yet conceived the actual course of events after death.”
    CORRECT, we don’t have enough knowledge to rule out any possibility.

    “Only faith can explain it. ”
    INCORRECT. I’m sorry but that just does not follow. Faith cannot explain it. Nothing can. Nothing we know (yet, or possible ever) explains it. Not science, and certainly not faith. The difference is that science is humble enough to recognise this and say “we don’t know”, whereas religion claims that it does know, and the answer is that there is an all-powerful creator who we will join in heaven when we die.

    “Atheists claiming to know the Truth cross over into the realm of faith.”
    INCORRECT. Atheists (at the scientific ones) only make claims to know things that they can know. For example that the earth goes round the sun, or that humans and apes have a common ancestor. They don’t claim to know the truth about the so called ultimate questions. Most atheists concede that it is theoretically possible that the Christian god exists, just as there is a theoretical possibility that Mohammed, Apollo, Zeus, Thor, or fairies exist. They just don’t see any evidence to believe in any of them. Meanwhile a Christian claims that Apollo, Zeus, and Thor don’t exist (they are almost certainly right) and that the Christian God does exist (they are almost certainly wrong).

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