The alleged eternal life offered by the religious is a complete hoax. The real cruelty of this deception is its obstruction of another possibility; that scientific discovery will eventually solve the eternal life problem.
If you forgo the following logic, you do so with the knowledge that you are/were so frightened into accepting the fantasies of your day and age as to even relinquish the eternal life you so desire.
Let me explain allowing reason to determine the outcome and not superstition:
Even taking on board the Pope’s wistful proclamation that the Earth can endlessly support 40 billion people, (Against the advice of proper science I might add) has to have a following wondering at what happens after the 40 billion mark is reached. The rather dubious explanation of the civilising effect slowing the birth rate is no more than a hopeless wishful-thinking experiment to salve the troubled religious conscience.
The nations with vastly numerous populations now are the most poverty stricken. If developing nations gained the same percentage of wealth as the gluttonous wealthy ones, with the gigantic leap in energy and consumer goods utilisation, the environment would be placed into a compromising situation that it would not recover from. Even so, in the medium future this does not look like it is going to happen and poor populations will continue to wreak havoc on their immediate environments as desperate peoples seek to eke out a living, whilst the rich rob from them as much as they can.
Patriarchal religious attitudes to women as chattels up to second class citizens (In all cultures), is not only supported by the main religions, but it is driven by them to accomplish differing degrees of control over fertility. Procreating numerous religious clones is a planned consequence. This is only half of the concern though, as the very same dominating religions all consider they are right and all others wrong.
The poorer a religiously controlled nation is, then the greater is its collective hatred of richer nations, especially of other faiths. The other side of the coin exposes the richer ones as being ready to use excessive violence to ‘defend’ their possessions and myths against any critical questioning of them.
We have reached a point in history where we are religiously/politically poised to annihilate ourselves. We are moments away from total destruction at every second of every day. We kid ourselves if we do not recognise the extreme seriousness of a planet bursting, with not only intent to harm, but having the capacity to fulfil that desire with weapons of immense power and consequence.
Suddenly, or even in slow decline, the boisterous radio signals from our planet will cease and this small part of the Cosmos humanity has called home, will become silent for ever more. The Universe will go on for billions of years into the future and eventually die, having only noticed us for a mere few hundred radio years and then nothing again as was before. Our brief blip on the screen of existence, seen by no-one or nothing.
To deny the large role religions have played in reaching this ghastly position faced by all and everything, is equally a nonsensical position to adopt as is accepting the mythical stories themselves. Our overactive imaginations that have been produced by evolutionary survival mechanisms have distorted our reality to such an extent as to make us not see the inevitability of our demise if change does not happen and happen quickly.
Our species has only recently, in the last few hundred years, codified science. Discoveries of the workings of nature are unfolding at a rate never seen before on the planet. The rub is though; the power of our ever increasing knowledge of nature is being hijacked and crafted into tools of our destruction. Important decisions are continually made by religiously influenced minds supported by religiously predisposed populations.
It has been forgotten that we are one people, the human race, and our real and enduring commonality is that of our annihilation at death. We are bound together by this cruel joke of evolution, in which we have no say, and no matter how many games we play in pretending that existence goes on, it doesn’t. Deep down, even religious fanatics know this to be true. There is nothing new about denial.
Science is at its beginnings and it is unimaginable what knowledge it would preen from nature, in say, a million years or a billion. Would it be able to offer some kind of real or cyber eternal life, even retrospectively?
If we look at humanity as it has become more civilised, it also has tended towards greater compassion for its own and other species. Imagine if power was to become free and environmentally friendly from geo-thermal, fusion reaction or something as of yet unknown. Will a future step in science generate nano-technological machines that can reproduce any item, be that food, clothing or even life. Science is already heading in these directions after only a few hundred years of investigation. The outcomes of a billion years of science is more incomprehensible a concept than is that of a god.
Just think about a super-compassionate race of humans with an understanding of nature that may be near complete, or even complete. I say again, a billion years is a very long time. Why wouldn’t they resurrect you and me and every living thing and at least offer a chance at living for ever, or for an amount of time of ones choosing. This seems to be within the bounds of possibility, especially considering how bio-computers are about to expand computing power beyond belief and this after only a few decades.
The fly in the ointment though, is and has always been religions.
We may never reach the Utopia I have just postulated. Evolutionary driven religions may be beyond beating in the short time before it is too late. They may be beyond beating at all. These questions remain open.
Above all else, it does seem the wise course of action to work on the assumption that humanity will wake up to itself and choose to think beyond its induced fears, and the way to do this and the only hope for a chance at eternal life, is to reject religion……now!
Just think! You die and immediately are confronted with healthy life again with no ethereal connotations. Many religious people, naturally enough, will be unable to accept their new situation, devoid of mumbo jumbo, and will no doubt proclaim that it can only be the work of the devil. A rigorous de-brainwashing program would be necessary for these persons.
If this were not to work, the only option would be to shuffle them off to a new planet to work out their differences. Sadly, that should eventually solve their problem in a terminal manner.
Of course, you the reader is thinking, slim chance next to nothing more like it, of all this coming to pass! I agree, but it is infinitely better a prediction than all the religious promises offering not only no chance at all, but pig-headedly blocking the only one we may have.
Hidden amongst the above speculations are some very sane realities. Religion is the cause of much of the conflict and environmental devastation we see today. A great deal of the blame is the eternal bliss concept which is deeply imbedded in the politics of all nations to varying degrees.
Eternal life by scientific endeavour may be viewed as nearly a fanciful an idea as an ethereal one. The big difference is between the naturally evolving scientific way as opposed to the preconceived brainwashing of a whole range of ancient myths into young, pliable and unsuspecting minds.
The chance of a scientifically created eternal life, even though it exists as a possibility, is extremely unlikely as a probability. It really boils down to the choice of living now and reaching the full potential of human rationality and understanding or wasting the one flicker in eternity of life endlessly dreaming of a non-existent fantasy realm.
The waste is doubly so when it is realised that the fantasy depends on personal fears, infant indoctrination and peer pressure instead of on the solid evidence such squandered time consumption should demand.
By David Nicholls