Mind you, I am not claiming this, merely sharing an intriguing post that I just stumbled upon in another blog. (Click the link above to go there.) Developmental psychologists, take note. Also interesting, of course, relative to the interpretation of near-death experiences, whether glorious or horrendous. How much of our interpretation of NDEs is rooted in assumptions about divine reward and punishment, and what different understandings might arise from an atheistic perspective? What would be gained? What lost? And for those of us who are not atheist, what is our response to this prospect of, say, 5,000 years of humanity without God?
Then again, there’s always “Paranormal is the New Normal”…
Dave Woods says
The fundementalist Christian says “God made man in his image”. The Atheist says “man made God in his image. A parallel to this would be the masochist says “hit me”, and the sadist says….”No!”
An atheist is someone who is so disapointed and angry by the hypocrisy of what can be perpetrated in the name of organized religion, that they reject it all together. They also discount the good that can be done. Fundementalists in a given religion can also be people who cling to it out of fear. Because of this, they will kill, or assassinate the character of someone who believes otherwise. This is because that person shakes them up.
Let’s face it, we did not create this reality, this process we’re going through. The creator what ever, where ever it is, did. If God made man in his image, don’t forget that God also created the tape worm . Hmmmmm…I wonder what a cross between those two would look like?
Reward and punishment, are not things that are only dished out after we die. This concept was created by religions to establish control over the masses.
Speaking for myself, this life process has kicked my butt half way up my back for every mean, thoughtless, egotistical act I’ve ever purpetrated on another living creature. Thank God, that I’ve learned from it, and I’m sorry….., so sorry. Someone once asked me what the Blues was. I said “it’s everything I see when I turn and look behind me, that I wish I’d never done, that I can never go back and change.
Rewards are also things we get in the here and now. The old saying “you don’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need”, is so true. Rewards that have come my way for what ever I’ve done right, were at first not even recognized as rewards, until they filled in a void I didn’t even know I had.
Another thing is don’t reject the sources in this life, that these rewards can come from. Gods messengers delivering the reward can come from any walk of life. Some of the most valuable rewards I’ve ever received came to me through winos, and drug addicts. Perhaps these folks were not lost to god, but had chosen a difficult path to learn from.