Thursday, January 04, 2007

Better Believe In A Christian God...Or Else

A close relative (who shall remain anonymous) sent me the following letter, certainly with concern for my agnostic ways and the good intent of convincing me to see the light:

Subject: FW: what the BIBLE says about death

Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death! Make a personal reflection about this. Very interesting, read until the end…>>

It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7): “Be not deceived; God is not> mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Here are some men and women who mocked God:

JOHN LENNON:> Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said:> “Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about> that. I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, Today> we are more famous than Him” (1966). Lennon, after saying that the Beatles> were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.>>
TANCREDO NEVES (President of Brazil):> During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his> party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. Sure he got the votes,> but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.>>

CAZUZA (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet):> During a show in Canecïo ( Rio de Janeiro ), whilst smoking his cigarette,> he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: “God, that’s for you.” He> died at the age of 32 of AIDS in a horrible manner.>>

THE MAN WHO BUILT TITANIC:> After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic> would be. With an ironic tone he said: “Not even God can sink it” The result:> I think you all know what happened to the Titanic.>>

MARILYN MONROE:> She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show. He said the> Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her. After hearing what the> Preacher had to say, she said: “I don’t need your Jesus”. A week later, she> was found dead in her apartment.>>

BON SCOTT:> The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang: “Don’t stop> me, I’m going down all the way, down the highway to hell”. On the 19th of> February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.>>

CAMPINAS/SP IN 2005> In Campinas, Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend. The> mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of> her friends and she said to the daughter - holding her hand, who was already> seated in the car: “MY DAUGHTER, GO WITH GOD AND MAY HE PROTECT YOU.” She responded: “ONLY IF HE (GOD) TRAVELS IN THE TRUNK, CAUSE INSIDE HERE IT’S ALREADY FULL”> Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident,> everyone had died, the car could not be recognized what type of car it had> been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact. The police said there was no> way the trunk could have remained intact.> To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none were broken.>>

Christine Hewitt: a Jamaican Journalist and entertainer,said the Bible (Word> of God) was the worst book ever written, in June 2006 she was found burnt> beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.>>>

Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that> was given so much authority as the name of Jesus. Many have died, but only> Jesus died and rose again, and he is still alive.>> JESUS!!!>> P.S: If it was a joke, you would have sent it to everyone. So are you going> to have courage to send this?. I have done my part, Jesus said “If you are> embarrassed about me, I will also be embarrassed about you before my> father.”>> What benefit does it have, if a man gains the whole world but loses his> soul? What can man give in exchange of his soul? (Matthew 16:26).

Unfortunately, this piece of contrived propaganda has been making the rounds for some time. As noted on the website Crazy Christian Emails, this letter is “…a nice little mix of urban legend, hearsay, threats, and ignorance”. And as with most Christian “knowledge” these days, what is NOT included says far more than few snippets cut out to support a personal conviction. Kurt Vonnegut reached 84 last year and John Lennon made his statement in 1966 but wasn’t murdered until 1980 – God’s Angel of Death needs some target practice! And by the way, Mark David Chapmen, Lennon’s murderer, was a born-again Christian and went to a Christian college – so much for Christians maintaining a higher moral standard than atheists). The last one is a Christian myth, with no data to substantiate the claims - much like Darwin's mythical recanting on his deathbed. If I were to take a rational, scientific approach to this (as a thinking person), I would have to ask the following:
-What are the data on the lives and deaths of “active” Christians (none die horribly? None die at a young age?)? Do they die at a lower rate and greater age than atheists?
-Eight examples hardly comprises a valid statistical sample in a world of several billion people; How does the rate and age of death among atheists worldwide compare? Since this requires specific “Christian” allegiance, how do those rates compare among Muslims? Jews? Hindus? Wiccans?

In answer to that last question, I found some data to see what was not being presented in that letter regarding the relationship between atheism and age at death. Here are some famous atheists and their quotes:

"All thinking men are atheists."
Ernest Hemingway, Died in 1961 at age 62

"I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religion than it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism."
Albert Einstein, died in 1955 at age 76

"I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or agnostic. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."
Isaac Asimov, died in 1992 at age 72

"Religion is based . . . mainly on fear . . . fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race."

"Fear is the parent of cruelty, therefore it is no wonder if religion and cruelty have gone hand-in-hand."
Bertram Russell, died in 1970 at age 98

"All religions bear traces of the fact that they arose during the intellectual immaturity of the human race – before it had learned the obligations to speak the truth. Not one of them makes it the duty of its God to be truthful and understandable in his communications."

"The most serious parody I have ever heard was this: In the beginning was nonsense, and the nonsense was with God, and the nonsense was God."

"There is no devil and no hell. Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body: fear therefore nothing any more."
Freidrich Nietzsche, died in 1900 at age 56

"The wretchedness of religion is at once an expression and a protest against real wretchedness. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feeling of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of unspiritual conditions. It is the opium of the people."
Karl Marx, died in 1883 at age 65

"I don't think we're here for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."
James Watson, still living at the ripe age of 78

"Faith is believing something you know ain’t true."

"If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be -- a Christian."

"It (the Bible) is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies."

"A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows."
Mark Twain, died in 1910 at the age of 75

More where these came from. There are no data whatsoever to suggest that atheists and agnostics live less productive lives than bible-believers. Their deaths come from the same mixture of life events, overall health, genetics and statistical life expectancy as everyone else on the planet. If God is indeed loosing an Angel of Death on the population to kill all those who don’t follow him then the best that can be said is that the Angel acts much like evolution…randomly.


Rick said...

Good post here. It's also important to remember that the vast majority of Christians don't condone thinking like this. The Galations passage in question has more to do with a person being accountable for their own actions. My paraphrase of that verse is, "You can fool yourself that what you're doing is ok, but you won't fool God." It does NOT mean that God will unleash an angel of death any time His name is taken in vain. That's an egregious leap of faith, but one that a few people unfortunately decide to take.

Christopher O'Brien said...

You're correct. Sometimes my posts border on the zealous side and I forget to temper the comments to clarify that not all Christians behave or think like this. Unfortunately, it is the raving fundamentalists who seem to be the primary voice of Christianity at the moment and they, quite frankly, piss me off...

Anonymous said...

Just a simple example before u complicate everything and confuse yourself. Pls mind my language as I am not english-----Example: You are a fashion designer & you design forinstance a favorite shirt for yourself.You dearly love this shirt but it accidentally gets stained, very badly.Now you wont hate the shirt but the stain in it. Am i wrong? hence you wont wanna wear it unless you get rid of the stain- Now the same with God, he created you and He loves u dearly but becoz of "the stain"(sin-Romans 3:23) in you He cannot accept you"[just as you wont accept yo favourite shirt unless it is stain free]. Hence as He says in John14:6 & pleading in Rom6:23b Unless you come to Jesus to rid the stain He cannot accept you GOD HATES SIN NOT MEN.He sends SIN to hell not men but unfortunaly becoz Sin is attached to men, men is dragged to HELL together with SIN, unless men come to Jesus and be washes by His blood.

Anonymous said...

Amen Anonymous. Very well stated.

patty kay said...

Just got this email and wanted to verify whether its claims were true. Suspect they are not.

Anonymous said...

Since I recently learned that Jesus was not only a powerful wizard, but also the first recorded zombie I am not surprised to also learn that this god fellow is a ruthless, serial killing, undead creature. I never knew religion was so fun, but now I know why nuns are so evil.

Anonymous said...

Since I recently learned that Jesus was not only a powerful wizard, but also the first recorded zombie I am not surprised to also learn that this god fellow is a ruthless, serial killing, undead creature. I never knew religion was so fun, but now I know why nuns are so evil.

Nisinae said...

Not all of these are true. i have been doing some research, though i haven't gotten far yet, i have found that the Titanic quote is not true. The Titanic was not called "unsinkable" - without qualificatio - until AFTER she sank, when the VP stated "I thought her unsinkable...".

Just 18 said...

Decent discussion- i suppose. To be brutally honest, you need to properly cover all premises in the circulating e-mail if you go about questioning validity of content.
(I found myself here when idly looking for relevant authorities who reported the same events in the e-mail-- to evaluate the reliability.)

I must say, you're on the right track to critical thinking. Just..
If you're punching holes in premises a conclusion was drawn from, DON'T USE THE SAME FLAWED DEDUCTIVE methods for your rebuttal!

I couldn't help but notice that. It may enough to sway some. However, to the trained critical thinker: it all merely seems like a battle of longevity between God-fearing and Atheist.

الفيسبوك said...

i better believe in Islam coz its very reasonable and give answers for many many things that's other religion with all my respect doesn't or cant give said...

A great deal of effective info for me!