Thursday, November 7, 2013

The living dead?

The JW's (Jehovah's Witnesses) payed my house a visit Monday whilst I was away at work. They talked with my wife, left a pamphlet, and said that they'd be back this weekend. Given the nature of the selected hand-out, they must be being schedule. A pamphlet about the dead living again? Halloween was last week!

Let's take a look at what the JW's thought was so important to share at 9am...
Can the dead really live again?

Would you say... yes? no? maybe?
Well, for me that really depends on what you mean by 'live again'. If you mean metaphorically, then sure... Or at least I hope so. I hope to live on in the memories of those I love, and would love it if I was also able to make a big enough impact in life to be remembered by those that I may have never even met. Perhaps something that I created will continue to make an impression on the world after my passing? So in that sense, I expect that I will outlive my death in the metaphoric sense.

Or do you mean that part of me will live on? When I die, I will be cremated (after science is done with me). From there I don't really have any cares of what will happen with my ashes. Perhaps they will be planted with a tree. If that tree were to dine on the nutrients and matter that were once 'me', you could say that 'I' would become part of that tree. In that sense, the matter of my body may one day live again.

But what they are really talking about is 'me', the sentient being I am, rising again to another life just as I am. Not much different than when you go to sleep and later wake up. Only this sleep is death, and you wake up in the afterlife rather than your nice warm bed (I think I'd rather had my nice warm bed). So to the question of if the dead can live again, in this way, i must say no! When I die, my brain stops functioning and everything that was 'me' ceases with it. I'll be gone... nonexistent... no different than 'I' was 500 years prior to my birth. For all religion's claims of an afterlife, there is no evidence for any of their claims. So no, the dead can not live again.
What the Bible says.
"There is going to be a resurrection."
-Acts 24:15, New World Translation.
So? Given that the Bible has not been proven to be correct, why should I simply believe what it has to say about anything? Buddhism says that if you worship the wrong god, you will be reincarnated as a lesser being. But if you are true in your search of enlightenment, you will rewarded in the next life. Likewise, those that are true to the Norse religion will find themselves in Valhalla, while those that fail the test shall be doomed to Helheim.  All they're playing is a great big game of he-said, she-said.
What that can mean for you

•Comfort when loved ones die.
-2 Corinthians 1:3, 4
How? Christianity proposes a Heaven and a Hell. Everyone simply assumes that their loved one goes to Heaven. But the reality is that if you truly believe in both places, you have to worry to some degree that you mother, father, sister, brother, friend could actually wind up in Hell. Is the possibility of eternal torment really something you'd call 'comforting'?
•Freedom from a morbid fear of death.
-Hebrews 2:15
Morbid fear of death? I don't know about you, but I don't have a fear of death at all. I will one day die, and I've made peace with that fact. I posses the extraordinary gift of the life I am living and intend to make the most I can of it. Given how lucky I am to be alive, I find it vain to demand a second life as well. Instead, I'll hold tight to this one precious life, and live it to the full.

It's odd that they mention fear of death, because in my experience, it's the Christians I know that fear death. And why shouldn't they. They are told that they are born dirty, damaged and disgusting. Born deserving of Hell. They believe there is a great place called Heaven, and the goal is to make yourself worthy to go there. But they also believe that there is a horrible Hell. A place they are born destined for by default. They believe there is a Hell and fear going there. I don't. So who's the one who fears death again?
•A real hope of being reunited with your dead loved ones.
-John 5:28, 29
Unless your loved ones are in Hell and you're in Heaven. Or if you picked the wrong religion. This is nothing more than wishful thinking.
Can we really believe what the Bible says.

Yes, for at least three reasons:
Actually, no... we can't. Why? Because there's no evidence to back it up, it regularly contradicts itself, it obviously the work of primitive peoples ignorant of the knowledge we now hold, and makes mistakes as trivial as saying that bats are birds. (Not to mention how gruesome and hateful it is.)
•God is the Creator of life. The Bible calls Jehovah God "the source of life." (Psalm 36:9; Acts 17:24, 25) The One who gave life to all living creatures is certainly capable of restoring life to someone who has died.
So the Bible can be believed, because the Bible says God created life? Um, no... That's not going to cut it. Every religion has it's own creation myth. What about the other gods that created life? Mbombo vomited life into existence. Life came from Atum's semen. Ptah spoke life into being. Kamuy build the world on the back of a trout. Vishvakarman created the universe. Brahma created the universe and programmed it with life. Pangu separated Yin from Yang and formed the Earth and all. Those are just a few of the other deities that are also said to have created life. The Bible's god isn't claiming anything new. It's just another unevidenced myth to add to the list.
•God has resurrected humans in the past. the Bible reports eight instances of humans -young, old, male and female - who were brought back to life on earth. Some had been dead for a short while, but one had been in a tomb for four days! _John 11:39044.
Evidence please? One can repeat the claims of the Bible all they want. But without proof that it actually happened, they might as well stay silent if they hope to convince anyone who values reason and honesty. Also, what about the resurrection stories of the Greek, Hindu, Zen Buddhist and other religions? They claim to beat death too. So why pick Christianity over them?
•God is eager to do it again. Jehovah hates death; he views it as an enemy. (1 Corinthians 15:26) He has "a yearning" to conquer that enemy, to undo death by means of the resurrection. He longs to bring back those who are in his memory and to see them live on earth again. -Job 14:14,15.
If God views death as an enemy, and he is eager to put an end to death, why not just do it already? He's supposed to be all-powerful, so if he wants to do something, he can just do it. No if's and's or but's. It's also funny that they mention that he wants to bring back 'those in his memory'. He's also supposed to be all-knowing, so 'those in his memory' would be everyone. For a god that hates death so much, that could end it with the snap of his finger, it's odd that he's never done anything about it.

So despite their claims, the JW's really don't have any news to share about death. Just wishes and claims that have no support, mixed in with odd statements that actually fit them better than those they aim them at.

 Also, why do they come door-to-door anyway? The JW's believe that only144,000 believers will make it into Heaven. So why try to recruit more JW's? Wouldn't it be in their favor statistically, for there to be a smaller pool of JW's for that 144,000 to be selected from? Or do they work on commission? The top 144,000 JW's with the best 'sales' figures get in, and in the event of a tie? Bible jeopardy!

-Brain Hulk

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