Welcome to another instalment of my attempt to review the entire TPDL by Rick Warren. Today we get to the details of the Believe or Burn(tm) thread made in the last chapter.
According to Mr Warren this life is only the dress rehearsal for your "actual existence", also known as an eternity in god's fellowship. Apparently, if you know that the end of this life will not be the end of you, you will somehow live a better life. According to Warren, if you don't think that some magic sky fairy will grab you when you die, you don't have to worry about the consequences of your actions, you can just start living it up today.
I was expecting the Burn part of the threat to come through much stronger, but I misjudged our Ricky. He only goes so far as to say that those who rejected god here on earth will have to live without him forever in the hereafter. I suppose the message that all heathens will be tortured forever doesn't fit in well with his vision of a cheerful happy christianity. I would happily spend an eternity without god. Not that I think there will be any such thing, unless computer technology evolves enough during my lifetime to emulate conciousness by the time my body is worn out.
I would argue (the same as many other atheists), that knowing that this is your only existence makes it so much more valuable. I believe we all should extract every last drop of enjoyment and worth from this life, after all it is our only bite at existence, we had better make it count.
It is also very precious how all these assertions are based on some musty old book, and there is not one verifiable shred of evidence, just reams of bible quotations and unverifiable statements. Here are some baseless assertions from this chapter that caught my eye:
"We won't lie around on clouds with halos playing harps! We will enjoy unbroken fellowship with God..."
"There's far more to life than just the here and now!"
"In heaven we will be reunited with loved ones who are believers..."
"...this life is preparation for the next."
"Only a fool would go through life unprepared for what we all know will eventually happen"
This chapter was only 5 pages long, but my brain really started to hurt towards the end.