Saturday, 7 April 2012

What? No Afterlife? Is God A Nihilist?

Browsing my trusty KJV Bible today I came across the following astonishing passages - well, astonishing that is to anyone who believes that the god of the Bible gives their life purpose and reason and promises an eternity in Heaven (or Hell):
So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no one knows whether love or hate awaits them.

All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.

As it is with the good, so with the sinful;
as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them.

This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. Anyone who is among the living has hope — even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.

Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

And doth thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; Turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.

But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
Blimey! So God tells us in his inerrant book that there is no afterlife and it doesn't matter what you do in life, it'll all count for nothing in the end! No purpose and no meaning to life whatsoever. What a forlornly depressing thought, unless you find a purpose for it yourself and so give your own life meaning...

It's a pig! On my life! Would I lie to you?
Talk about Nihilism.

Where on earth did all the later stuff about Heaven and Hell and having a grandstand seat to watch everyone who disagrees with you suffering in eternal agony for that heinous crime come from? Surely it can't have been made up to give sanctimoniously self-righteous people something to look forward to, or so preachers could pretend to be selling us something useful, like a pig in a poke, could it?

Mind you, it was a master stroke any snake-oil salesman would have been proud of: it'll only work after you're dead - when it'll be too late to come looking for me, even if you are aware of the con, which you won't be, according to Ecclesiastes 9:5.

Still, at least the Bible has nailed that lie and agrees with Atheists, eh?

So, it looks like the only thing left is to do what Atheists and Humanists advocate - enjoy life, live it to the full and try to leave earth a little better than the way you found it. No ambition could be more noble and worthwhile that that modest ambition.

It's probably easy to work out why this is never taught in Sunday-school or preached about from any pulpit.





submit to reddit




9 comments :

  1. Ah, the Book of Job my favorite book of the Bible. It's so full of those pearls of wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was taught in my Sunday School and I have heard Job preached. Personally I love the book of Job. It is a later writing built on a very ancient set of history, legends, and stories. Chronologically "Job" lived before Abraham and as such you are dealing with a very primitive understanding of religion and especially the afterlife. Job is not a Nihilist anymore than the Epic of Gilgamesh is Nihilistic and both are depicting people and views from the same place and time period.


    I think it is also very important to understand that the Christian idea of heaven doesn't exist pre-Christ. What you have is the idea of Paradise, or the Elysian Fields and even this is a recent development for even Homer is quite bleak in his understanding of the afterlife. Thus we need to respect the text and not be anachronistic.


    Now if you have read Job, you know that it doesn't say "enjoy life, live it to the full, and try to leave the earth a little better than the way you found it". What Job says is that one should always bless the Lord -- when the Lord gives, and when the Lord takes away -- suffering doesn't mean that God has abandoned you or that God hates you, be faithful even if all is bleak, and do not think that you can be so proud as to know what the mind of God is.


    Essentially Job is about hope in the face of despair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >Now if you have read Job, you know that it doesn't say "enjoy life, live it to the full, and try to leave the earth a little better than the way you found it".

      Where did I claim Job said that, please?

      Thank you for explaining how we can't take what the Bible says as reliable or anything, and how we need to make up our own beliefs and then just pretend the Bible supports us if we can't think of any rational reason for believing it.

      I think many people will find that technique lack the necessary intellectual honesty however, so I can't recommend it myself.

      Delete
  3. "Thank you for explaining how we can't take what the Bible says as reliable or anything, and how we need to make up our own beliefs and then just pretend the Bible supports us if we can't think of any rational reason for believing it."

    Where did Lurker claim that, please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here you go: >Chronologically "Job" lived before Abraham and as such you are dealing with a very primitive understanding of religion and especially the afterlife. <

      Did you not read it, or did you just not want to understand it?

      Delete
  4. You can't 'win' against those with 'faith'. They will simply twist the meaning of the words in the bible to fit their views.
    "All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not." - They will say that means we all face judgement.
    "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten." - They will say that simply means that the dead will not sin further until the time of the resurrection.

    We, on the other hand, don't depend on twisting the words of a cherry picked collection of books. It seems logical to me that if an engineer designs a machine capable of going wrong he/she has only him/herself to blame if it does go wrong. To judge it as 'bad' and attempt to punish it is morally wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazing isn't it.

      Imagine having a favourite book which is so at odds with what you believe that you need to change the meanings of the words in it to make it acceptable. Just imagine if we read science or geography books that way.

      Delete
  5. You know who invented "carpe diem"?
    Someone dead.

    You are not nihilist, you are an idealist who embraces stupidity and atemporality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your characteristic Christian judgmentalism and smug sanctimony.

      I don't know where you got the idea that a standard Latin phrase was invented by a dead person from but it isn't relevant to the blog. I don't suppose I'd get a rational answer if I asked.

      Delete

Obscene, threatening or obnoxious messages, preaching, abuse and spam will be removed, as will anything by known Internet trolls and stalkers or by known sock-puppet accounts.

A claim made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Remember: your opinion is not an established fact unless corroborated.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Web Analytics