The reason why people cling to religion is often a fear of death, the more obsessed with death, the more religious a person is. Goth and Emo kids are mere morbid amateurs compared to fundamentalist religious believers who live their lives as if it’s a mere dress rehearsal for the afterlife that they hope death brings them or brings to them.
Death is part of life, necessary even, so what happens will be part of the natural universe, this being the case, no need to fear or attempt to anticipate or manipulated the process as religious believers attempt. There’s no reason to believe that death is any different for humans than it is for any other animal.
To the best of our knowledge, biochemical energy present in life converts to heat energy in death and our inert bodies become food for other animals on down to single cell organisms, depending on the circumstances of death. Energy isn’t lost, it’s recycled and composted.
Believers hope for some kind of continuous conscious existence after death and live their lives according to their chosen religion to achieve their preferred afterlife. Well, attempt to – more often than not, religion is a trial and error, providing an unattainable ideal, requiring either several lifetimes to get it right or requiring repentance for forgiveness.
Such forgiveness being in awfully short supply from those that expect it from their god for themselves, but are usually unwilling to extend such courtesy to other people, proffering gloating over “you’ll get yours when you die, atheist”; which puts a chill on the idea of heaven, since it clearly cannot exist without hell; and how can any truly morally person be pleased to be in heaven, knowing that hell is full of people just as deserving of forgiveness as those who are in heaven?
Non-believers don’t concern themselves with inevitable and uncontrollable things like death – so when believers ask non-believers to engage in Pascal’s Wager, it’s futile for more than the obvious reasons of picking one of tens of thousands of equally viable gods and that any deity worth worshiping would hardly be fooled by hedging one’s bets in halfhearted belief and worship.
The cost of living your life according to an arbitrary, contradictory and impoverished morality such as lowest common denominator frameworks that religions demand, is to waste your life being a morbid control freak overly concerns with trifles such as magical garments, time consuming group meetings, meaningless ritual, what or who to do with your genitals and worse, far too much concern with what other people may or may not be doing to or with their genitals.
People who claim to be pro-life attach themselves to preventing living women from terminating unwanted pregnancies or terminating life support of comatose people who have no likelihood of returning from a state of mere existence to a state of life. Preventing these beings that are merely existing and are not independent living beings in any meaningful understanding of life and living, from returning to the god that the pro-life purport to believe in, seems contrary to their faith and are in effect, an attempt to control the existence of other people.
These other people being those living pregnant women and family members who are seeking to end a mere existence and reduce suffering, their own and likely that of the comatose person, and to terminate an unwanted for whatever reason pregnancy, which is a special kind of suffering that no child should ever have to understand, being unwanted.
Strange then that these people should call themselves pro-life, when they support military troops – people of youth and prime breeding age more often than not – to be sent into war to be maimed, killed or psychologically harmed, resulting in impaired post-war living.
It would seem to me that to actually be pro-life, one’s mission should be focused on improving the lives of people currently living, not preventing the death of people merely existing post traumatic brain injury with little hope of or any meaningful recovery or the unborn potential person. Since the actual impact of pro-lifers is not the improvement of anyone’s life, but the merely meddling and intimidating in other people’s lives and life decisions, we should call them by what they are, rather than how they would like to be seen – and that is, pro-death.
An important aspect to understanding any group motivation is to review the characteristics of the group, and what’s most telling is that the majority of so called pro-lifers are publically Christian, heterosexual and largely Caucasian and upper to middle class. Poorer social classes tend to not have the leisure time to protest, so there’s a certain affluence required to be able to menace medical staff and clients at abortion clinics or families at hospitals discussing terminating life support during working hours.
What’s significant about the protestors being largely Caucasian, is that a large motivator is racism, often, people are only against abortions by women of their same group, as they are in fear of being outnumbered by other groups of people – thus there is often scathing remarks about cultures that live in multi-generational family units with pooled resources – something all people engaged in pre-industrial revolution and pre-middle class who started packing granny off to nursing homes post WWII.
The benefit of living in a secular democracy where personal freedoms are guaranteed are the ability to make life’s decisions for yourself, free from interference from the state, but more importantly, from the interference of other people.
This is the concept that is missed by religious pro-deathers. They are not able to understand that is it not their place to impose their choices and beliefs on other people. They do not accept that they are living in a secular society that has determined individuals the right to choose and they seek to insert their god and beliefs into government policy and assert control over your life and body. This is not acceptable and should be vigorously rebuffed, as they would rebuff any attempt to assert control over their lives.
What’s particularly interesting, is that the pro-deathers are unable to separate their beliefs from their person – and when the matter of gay rights comes up for a referendum in the US states and to a lesser extent, when gay marriage was debated in Canadian Parliament – the rally cry was that gay marriage not be forced upon their lives.
A truly bizarre argument, since no government has ever considered passing a law requiring people to marry anyone of the same gender as themselves – in fact, secular governments do not make laws requiring anyone to marry, they only confer certain rights and benefits to married people.
That gays form pair bonds and make lives together does not take away anything from straight couples who do the same. This idea that marriage becomes a lesser state, less desirable for straight people if gay people are also permitted to marry ties right back to that believers seems to only be able to enjoy the idea of heaven, so long as there is a hell for most other people.
It is a particularly childish and vile behaviour that their enjoyment of a thing is only pleasurable so long as others are denied the same. Which may make sense why they focus on making the lives of as many people as possible miserable by forcing them to full term an unwanted pregnancy and expect the baby to be offered for adoption for presumably more deserving and worthy people – as long as they are a straight couple of course, forcing people to bankrupt on medical bills on a hopeless and meaningless extension of existence and for the family of the comatose to experience prolonged suffering and grief, and to send perfectly healthy young men and women to fight for the continued profits of the rich in a religious crusade.
It is not the case that new atheists are particularly different from whoever the old atheists were, it is merely the case that atheists are no longer willing to coddle the sensibilities of religious believers who have consistently demonstrated no compassion or concern for anyone else, and who are now reaping the treatment and consideration that they have sown.