by John Richards
‘Afterlife’: the ultimate kick into the long grass.
The notion of an ‘afterlife’ is one of the most heinous aspects of several religions.
Firstly, it is a deception. There is no evidence for life after death and promising eternal bliss in the company of loved ones who predeceased you is simply raising unrealistic expectations. Offering false hope is as immoral as selling ‘alternative medicines’ consisting of nothing more than watery potions or sugary pills. Clergy who do this are no better than snake-oil salesmen, they are asking for your commitment on a pretext. If you sign up, you are contributing to an insurance policy that has never been observed to pay out. That’s the crime of fraud.
Secondly, it can be used as a main attraction in a program to impose control on individuals, or even on whole populations. Once a person has indicated their vulnerability by signing up to the ‘afterlife’ insurance scheme they can be locked in. Sanctions can be set up to deter disobedience and departure. In some states the punishment for ‘apostasy’ (quitting) is death. Threatening to withdraw the bogus benefit of ‘afterlife’ if you don’t join up and stay onboard is the crime of coercion.
Thirdly, it absolves the believer from personal responsibility for actions committed during life. A Christian can think, “It doesn’t matter how badly I behave while I’m alive because, as long as I repent before I die, I will get to live forever in heaven.” That is encouraging anti-social behavior; a bad influence. Why aren’t clergy regarded as bad role models?
Fourthly, it actually encourages criminal actions. A Muslim can think, “Allah will be so pleased that I killed many infidels with my suicide belt, I’ll be welcomed as a martyr into paradise where I will be rewarded with seventy two virgins.” That is the crime of inciting criminal behavior.
Fifthly, hearing confessions and granting ‘absolution’, or forgiveness, for the behavior implicates priests and pastors as partners in sin/crime. They are offering a bogus solution to a bogus problem.
That’s a protection racket, which was once favored by Chicago gangsters…