Life after Death

January 22, 2007

Andrew Sullivan responds to Sam Harris on a conversation about religion. Andrew ends with this tired cliche from intelligent believers: “Your assertion of nothingness at the end of our mortal lives is no more and no less verifiable than my assertion of somethingness.” This argument basically states that in the abscense of any contrary evidence, religious people can believe any wacky thing they want. (Of course they can, this is a free country.) But this means that Sullivan must admit that Scientology’s fantasies are equally “true”, as is the belief by hard-core Matrix fans that we are plugged into machines and reality is virtual. Even the ramblings of my neighborhood’s insane homeless guy are just as valid as the Pope’s edicts. Rather than make the childish assertion that anything goes, why not admit noone knows and not speculate on the afterlife. An atheist isn’t asserting anything about the afterlife. An atheist says one should base one’s life on things that are verifiably true, not on beliefs and practices that are believed to be true. Frankly, these atheist vs. religious wing-nut arguments are the same everytime. I’m surprised Harris and Dawkins have the energy to keep going.

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