I have two people dying in my life.
One is my brother-in-law who is finally paying the piper for a life spent in disregard for the future. Liver failure and the shutting down of all the processes of the body as alcoholism takes it toll.
The other is my Mother who is lying in the hospital tonight. She's confused and frightened and all she can say, over and over again, is "heaven and hell" or is it "heaven or hell", it's hard to tell.
My brother-in-law is a Jehovah's Witness...or at least, that's the religion he was entrapped in. JW's believe in predestination...that is to say, certain people are assigned to Heaven upon birth no matter what they do in live and others are destined to hell no matter how they live their lives. It's a hard one, but all lies that say you are going to survive physical extinction are. Not surprising. When you are trying to invent an afterlife in spite of the preponderance of data proving when we die it's all over...everything that has lived has died. If you don't see this as proof that all the fantasies of an afterlife then you need to turn in your rational faculties at the door.
Right now, he's enjoying the comfort of the animals in his life...a feral cat and a stray dog...without anything supporting or understanding from his religion...rule number one is "Christians Lie"...get that through your thick skull if you want to deal with them. Personally, I've give up.
My brother-in-law I'm glad he's got his animals for comfort. My wife and I try to help, symptomatically as they say, is to try and keep him stoned...damn the alcohol industry in this country for keeping him from the only comfort available, Otherwise, he's dying alone and terrified. Christianity makes promises that it doesn't keep. Only atheism...and by that I mean acknowledging your own mortality...can help him now but he's so screwed up by religion he doesn't see that.
My mother was taken into the hospital over the weekend. It hurts me deeply being with her every day, knowing the only peace she'll know is dying and acknowledging her own mortality will take the sting out of dying. Instead, I'm down there every night listening to her say over and over again in her confusion and delirium "Heaven and Hell."
Why should someone who has dedicated her life to the Church go to her death worrying about her eternal salvation?
Yet there she is...and millions of others infected with the disease of religion...going to her death in an agony of indecision and doubt.
Only atheism tells us that when we die we're dead all over.
Only atheism says accept your own mortality if you want to have peace in you life.
Only atheism can truly comfort the dying.
That's what kills me about Christians who claim they offer a solution to the problem of Mortality. They offer nothing. They pile up grief and guilt on people who, in the final stages of their existence, are most vulnerable to their lies.
I am being ripped apart...I am an emotional wreck...I doubt I will be able to get through this...
I am not some person talking philosophy or theology.
I am a real person who has two people he loves very much who are dying.
And I am fucking furious about what religion is doing to these people I love.