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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Atheists Don't Die

I'm working on an entry for the two science lessons of dinosaurs, but I noticed some comments on Ray's posts on atheists.

Ray made a simple post with only a subject of "'No one ever dies an atheist.....' Plato." The Atheist Blogger rightly pointed out that Ray has gotten lazy. But beyond that, there are three points to note:

1) Where is the source for this quote? If he's going to keep quoting people and usually wrongly (just as he quote mines Charles Darwin on the eye), he must start citing sources. I searched for maybe ten minutes but could not find a source for this quote anywhere, but several websites saying it is improperly attributed to him.

2) Plato lived in the fourth century BCE. I don't say this to make an argument that if it is old, it is wrong. Plato made significant contributions. I am applying it only to religion. This is a time before modern science when there is so much unknown about why things happen or explanations about our origins. It is like when he quotes Newton with him describing all the complex organisms and how they couldn't have popped into existence. This is a man, though, who lived over a hundred years before Origin of Species.

3) The main point though:

Allow me to pull out my Ray Comfort shtick: To make such a claim that no one dies an atheist, you must have absolute knowledge. You aren't omniscient Ray, only God is. Therefore, you do not know... you are agnostic (ignorant).

To this post, I made a simple comment:
No one ever dies a Christian.....
My hope was to provoke some kind of a response such as "how can you say that," "how do you know that," etc. My statement is as baseless as the apparently misattributed quote to Plato. You cannot know that no one dies an atheist unless you specifically know that there is no one who ever dies an atheist. Then you must also know what they believe the moment they die. As The Atheist Blogger also makes the point to mention, this is just like the thoroughly debunked saying "there are no atheists in foxholes." Why do people like Ray make such absurd statements? Because stories like the afterlife give them great comfort and hope. They don't have to approach an unknown. It is simply a transition for them to eliminate the fear. They can't see how someone can possibly approach death without such false comfort.

Atheists handle their own death just as we handle the death of those we love. We don't comfort ourselves with false hope. When one of my loved ones dies, I am bereaved. I believe I will never see this person again, and it causes me great pangs. I don't turn to some comfort of "they are in heaven now." Neither will I when I approach my deathbed.

To the point of my comment: to one quite picked up on it, though. Our old friend keywesthaven1 (who has posted two comments to this blog) responded:
Christians die every day, atheists die every day, but they quickly find out there is a "God" when an angel tells them so, and escorts them to Hell. There is no debate, you come along quietly.
Muslims die every day, Christians die every day, but they quickly find out that Allah is the one true God when an angel tells them so, and escorts them to Hell. There is no debate, you come along quietly... right along with us atheists.


Others on this topic:

1 comment:

The Ranting Student said...

DI, great job.

I keep saying ray is claiming positives, that he himself must be able to prove if we are to take him seriously.

his followers of course are always there to defend him...

makes me sad really.