In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Afterlife - TheThinkingAtheist


Can you have a meaningful life without an afterlife? I asked several friends to join me in exploring the merits of human existence and the concepts of posthumous reward and punishment. It is my hope that this video will answer religious claims that a secular life is meaningless and void and remind us all to cherish our precious and temporary tenure on planet earth.

The Afterlife is Meaningless Without an After-Afterlife

If the lack of an afterlife would make this life meaningless, why stop there? Is the afterlife meaningless if there’s no after-afterlife?

Debate: “Death Is NOT Final”

If consciousness is just the workings of neurons and synapses, how do we explain the phenomenon of near-death experience? By some accounts, about 3% of the U.S. population has had one: an out-of-body experience often characterized by remarkable visions and feelings of peace and joy, all while the physical body is close to death. To skeptics, there are more plausible, natural explanations, like oxygen deprivation. Is the prospect of an existence after death “real” and provable by science, or a construct of wishful thinking about our own mortality?

On one side, we have a mountain of semi-anonymous and uncontrolled anecdotal accounts and on the other side we have physics and neurology.

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Think about what the concept of an afterlife does.

We live in a world in which 9 million children every year die before they reach the age of five; year after year after year. That’s a tsunami of the sort you remember from (Indonesia) 2004 every 10 days killing only children before the age of five. Think about these children. Think about their parents. Know that virtually all of these parents believe in God and were praying all the while that their children would be saved. And their prayers are not answered. Now the “afterlife” comes into the midst of this reality as a promise that all of this is going to make sense in the end; as if at the end of existence we’re all going to be let in on the punchline and have a mighty laugh with Almighty God for all eternity. Now, there is no evidence of that.

Therefore this concept of the afterlife really functions as a substitute for wisdom. It functions as a substitute for really absorbing our predicament, which is that everyone is going to die, there are circumstances that are just catastrophically unfair, evil sometimes wins and in justice sometimes wins, and the only justice we’re going to find in the world is the justice we make.

I think we have an ethical responsibility to absorb this down to the soles of our feet. And this notion of an afterlife, the happy talk, how it’s all going to work out and it’s all part of gods plan, is a way of shirking that responsibility.

-Sam Harris

stfueverything:

Girl Kills Herself To See Her Daddy Again

this is so fucking sad.

Terrible. Also a little sad is how Cenk messes up a really great point by bringing up that nonsense about Christianity being a Roman invention/conspiracy to control the Jews. Let historian Richard Carrier explain why that’s bullshit. You don’t need a conspiracy to get people to modify their religion with such rules as “suicide leads to hell”, a natural selection of religious memes is all that is needed to bring about such a rule. Otherwise all faiths that believed in paradise after death would commit mass suicide. Think of it as an adaptation that allows heaven-believing religions to stick around.

If you honestly believe heaven awaits you

Wouldn’t a swift death, at this very moment, be the best thing that could possibly happen to you?

Woman claims she smelled God during near-death experience

hatefulatheist:

A guest on Tuesday’s edition of “Fox and Friends” claims she smelled God during a recent near-death experience.

“I saw an immense brightness. A brightness I could feel, touch, taste, hear, smell that infused me.” Not like I had five senses but more like I had 500 senses,” Crystal McVea, author of a new e-book, “Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again,” told Fox host Gretchen Carlson.

A recent university study found that people who recount their near-death experiences (NDE) have more vivid memories of the events, whether they be the imagined events that take place during the NDE or the real ones from earlier in life.

In 2009, McVea was being treated for pancreatitis. After having an adverse reaction to pain medication, her heart stopped for nine minutes before doctors were able to revive her.

(Click the link for the full article)

It is astounding to me that so many people come up with a story to try to cash in on their near death experiences. It isn’t as surprising that Fox News is willing to give these deluded con artists a platform to shill their nonsense.

mmmm.. Smells like… Bullshit.

skepticalavenger:

Yeah, there are people who think like this…

What do think heaven is like?  Do they really think that the only people who manage to make it there are the ones who think exactly like they do?

I’m reminded of this lady:

confrontingbabble-on:

Praise Bots: Fundamentalist Christians, rant, rave and go bright red in the face, demanding their FREEDOM (all the while working tirelessly to deny minorities theirs)…not fully appreciating that in the ETERNITY which the bible writers outline in the bible…they will have NONE…ever!

You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia,” but only slightly less well-known is this: "never surrender your freedom for the promise of paradise".

confrontingbabble-on:

Praise Bots: Fundamentalist Christians, rant, rave and go bright red in the face, demanding their FREEDOM (all the while working tirelessly to deny minorities theirs)…not fully appreciating that in the ETERNITY which the bible writers outline in the bible…they will have NONE…ever!

You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia,” but only slightly less well-known is this: "never surrender your freedom for the promise of paradise".