Death and the moonbat

All religions, at all times, in all places, have one of two goals: to give meaning to life, something usually tied to morality, or to allay the fear of death. Some religions, of course, serve both goals. It is the second goal — defusing death — that I write about today.

People who do not have a religion have no comforting philosophy about death, whether the philosophy is an immediate ascension to Heaven, resurrection on Judgment Day, or reincarnation. All they’ve got, when thinking of death, is plenty of nothing. For that reason, while it is human nature to fear dying (otherwise, how would the species survive?), the atheists among us have a particularly well-developed fear of death. I think this fear of death has a significant impact on the war against Islamic terrorism.

First, the atheists, who tend to the secular, anti-War Left, do not take the Islamists very seriously. They know, of course, that Islamists can and do kill, but they keep thinking that, if we in the West could just strike upon the magic formula of apology and empathy, the Islamists’ hostility will magically cease. Part of this willful obtuseness is almost certainly the fact that, historical evidence to the contrary, atheists simply cannot understand a culture that is not only unafraid of death, but embraces it. They can’t wrap their minds around the fact that a few groveling apologies from an uninspiring middle aged woman parading in pink is nothing compared to the allure of luscious virgins draped around you in an eternal Paradise. Atheists, staring fearfully at their post-death nihilism, are incapable of grasping how strong a draw those nubile virgins are to men steeped in a culture that celebrates dying and the rewards of death.

Second, the secularists utterly fail to understand our military. Thankfully, our military is not a culture that is steeped in or embraces death.  It is a religious culture, though, with the majority of military men and women embracing some form of Christian faith.  Indeed, 40% of Americans in the military describe themselves as Evangelical.

Christianity, of course, doesn’t encourage suicide, but it is a religion with a comprehensively realized theology about the afterlife.  For those in the line of fire, that theology may not diminish the fear of dying, which is often an unpleasant process, but it must bring with it a more comforting view of death than the void atheists face.  In other words — and feel free to correct me here — I’m supposing that, while our troops do not want to die, they have a philosophy that supports them as they contemplate the possibility.

And just as the atheists on the Left cannot recognize how fiercely the Islamists embrace a martyr’s death, creating a complete willingness to die to achieve that Paradise, so too are they incapable of recognizing that many, if not most, of our troops are more sanguine about the inevitability of death than the average atheist.  Indeed, it’s probably the fact that they are sanguine that helped them enlist in the first place.  People who fear death too much wouldn’t expose themselves to the inevitably increased risk that goes with military service.

It’s this inability to bridge the gap between their own beliefs and the beliefs of others that leads our secular Leftists to don their silly pink clothes and try to save adult men and women from freely made choices that the pink-clad non-believers would never make for themselves.  At one level, you have to appreciate the anti-War crowds’ kindness in trying to save others from that which they fear the most (assuming that they are indeed motivated by that goal); at the other level, you really have to worry about their complete inability to imagine the mind of the “other,” and to recognize that people guided by religious beliefs (or the absence thereof) make choices and get to abide by the consequences.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Jose

    You are absolutely right that secularists have little grasp of the motivation driving Islamists. As I said on an earlier post, the biggest danger to a secular United States is the inability to recognize the danger we are in.

    The secularists also have no basis for any definitive moral standard. Without a standard, they’ll never take a stand that something is absolutely wrong, or evil.

    Their call for dialog keeps makes one wonder if they never got beat up on the playground. I learned there that dialog is often not productive unless backed by force. I have no doubt these are the same people who ban dodgeball and tag.

  • Buzz

    In the main I would agree. But I think that this may be a cart and horse issue. I didn’t join the military because of my religious beliefs (Evangelical), but because duty and responsiblity seem to be my driving motivations. The “Duty, Honor and Country” reason, as trite as that may sound, motivated me to choose the military. My religion may have been incubated by my military activity, at least once I reached the 30 y/o milestone, but was probably not the prime reason.
    In my 30 years military and the 7 or 8 since as a military contractor I have seen an increasing number of people express belief in and regular attendance at church. It definately is a culture of life and helo, not death and destruction.

  • Trimegistus

    I’m an atheist myself, and my psychic hedge against death is an old one. I will survive through my family and my people. It’s the origin of altruism: I may die, but people carrying my genes will continue. My society adds a “meme” component: I may die, but people who share my ideas and beliefs will continue. Perhaps I will even be remembered.

    And this is why my wrath against the Islamists dwarft that of any milquetoast Christian. By striking against America — my _people_ — Al-Qaeda and all the other death-cultists threaten that non-supernatural afterlife. Give them all their imaginary virgins right away; two lines, no waiting. And keep my people safe to carry on.

  • swampacreage

    Human activity and political decisions might be better served based on evidence and facts(chillax . . don’t hurt me ) .People aren’t born Jewish,Sikh ,Islamic,Christian etc. Everyone is born with a blank slate(scientifically speaking).You could say everyone is born atheist (well you could say it . . I just did ) and then inculcated (okay brainwashed . . . well ya gotta do something . . don’t just sit there)by there environment. None of there choosing.(child abuse . . chill out relax . . it could be true ).
    Maybe atheists value life because that’s all you get (scientifically speaking) and therefore they want to get it right here and now (not just sex,drugs and rock and roll) instead of some pie in the sky later(okay if it’s apple I’m there) .Secularists want to keep political decisions seperate from religion , and that is okay ,and they are still nice as you and me . .huh huh . . it could be true? Relgion is looked upon as a private matter(live and let live. Do unto ohers as they would. . .). And of course a smart response to 9/11 was needed by the West. Did we get it ? You tell me. Read lee”he thinks he is so smart and reasonable” Harris ‘s book The Suicide of Reason :Radical Islam’s Threat to the Enlightenment.where he says Liberal Internationalism can defeat Islamofascism wtihout becoming too much of a mirror of the tribal forces it is trying to defeat..
    In the end who enjoy s the hunt of the day ,the most , the tribal wolfpack or the lonely solitary cougar ?
    In the end , no secularists ,moderates or fundamentalists factually knows where you go when you die.People choose different ways to handle the unknown. We are more the same than different in what we believe ! So start pulling together America and stop worrying about those cushy jobs up for grabs in a year from now. Chillax ! And never forget you gotta be able to beat them in the back alley before you can beat them on the field !

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    I don’t know why, Book, but your title looks like “Death to the Moonbat” to me. It must be that subliminal suggestion thing.

    I think the Japanese Kamikaze letters sheds some more light on such phenomenon.

    There is also the aspect that transnationals believe that the time of nations is past us now, rather it is time for transnational oganizations like the UN that supercede nations such as the US. An interesting goal, given that the Left tries to construct this world through corruption, bribery, self-delusion, and self-deception. Transnationals do not understand the love of a nation because they do not love nations. Without it, they cannot replace nations except in their own religious is nationalism fantasy land.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar
  • Pingback: Bent Notes » Blog Archive »()

  • Pingback: The Anchoress » Blog Archive » Will 2008 finish what 1968 began?()

  • http://www.nmmng.co.uk/ No More Mr. Nice Guy!

    I know you’ll delete this comment, but my non-existent god, what an incredibly stupid post. As an atheist I am less afraid of death than any religionist I know. It’s the religionists who are so afraid of death that they frantically buy into a bronze-age superstition without a shred of evidence to support it. Wishful thinking at its most frenzied.

  • paradoctor

    Psychological studies have shown that sincere atheists are as immune to death-fear as sincere theists. Both have made their peace with the Reaper. What matters is certitude, not its content. It is the in-betweeners who are anxious.

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    Does it strike any of you as interesting that No More Mr. Nice Guy is certain I’ll delete his post just because he disagrees with me? As you all know, I delete posts only if they are obscene, threatening, abusive, or hate-filled. I probably wouldn’t have deleted the comment even if Not Mr. Nice Guy had called me, not my post, stupid, but I’m certainly not going to delete it. Where the heck is this guy leaving his comments that this is his assumption?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    It’s the religionists who are so afraid of death that they frantically buy into a bronze-age superstition

    You must have glossed over the fact that people who have truly conquered their fears don’t need to bring up how afraid others are.

    It strikes me as predictable, Book, that those that cannot adequately defend themselves would lash out first in an uncalled for pre-emptive strike.

    Guy doesn’t even know when the Bronze Age was.

  • http://shandresen.typepad.com steven andresen

    You said in this post,

    “…People who do not have a religion have no comforting philosophy about death, whether the philosophy is an immediate ascension to Heaven, resurrection on Judgment Day, or reincarnation. All they’ve got, when thinking of death, is plenty of nothing. For that reason, while it is human nature to fear dying (otherwise, how would the species survive?), the atheists among us have a particularly well-developed fear of death…”

    I am sure that you mean to say that your religion gives you some ready answers about death and the worries people have about dying. If you meant that the important thing about your religion was that it provided certain philosophical answers or arguments to give to people, then, I suspect you have been hasty.

    I haven’t been hard on people I know about their religion and what their religion tells them about things. I guess I’m not hard on them because they are fragile and their religious convictions are based on their reverence for their own parents and the people around them that are virtuous and well-meaning.

    However, if you think philosophy provides certain answers about death, then I would want to challenge what you’ve said from the point of view that philosophy is also interested in what might be true, not just revered.

    Suppose we thought a little bit about the comforting view about death that you mention here. When Dostoevsky thought about that in the character of Ivan Karamazov, for example, he thought that the system that he was told the Christian God set up was barbaric. It allowed the torturing of small innocent children and the forgiveness of those who tortured them. Ivan was so appalled that to him an honest person should realize that life in this world constituted one’s agreement with such a system,, and for such a person the only honest protest would be to “give back one’s entrance ticket.”

    The business about how we are safe after death involves an involvement in an evil system to get there, was his point.

    You said that people with no religion have no comforting philosophy about death. I have thought that Christians often go along with their religion just because they are so afraid of death. It isn’t just people who don’t go along with Christianity who have a fear of death.

    You are so against the atheists. You should be more supportive of the Muslims, then. They have the same idea about death and God that you do. They are sure that they will be going to a better place after they pass through this life. If having the philosophy is important, then you and the Muslims are brothers.

    I am not persuaded that people who reject your religion think that death is scary because its all about nothing happening afterwards. You suggest that one’s life shouldn’t mean much unless it would continue on after death. I don’t believe many people agree that this life means so little. So, if you make something of this life, then death should not make you so sad or afraid. You could die understanding that your good work has made the place a better one for those living.

    You suggested that apologizing for one’s mistakes or wrongdoing and attempting to understand the people who disagree with you or threaten to harm you by “empathy” is obtuse or even dangerous. I find this reaction on your part puzzling. Doesn’t your religion, the Christian one, advocate doing these very things. So if you reject these efforts so strongly, in what sense are you committed to the Christian religion?

    I understand there is some debate about this amongst the Christians. Those who are against the war-mongering argue that there’s something inauthentic about Christians actually shooting up people in foreign countries.

    Christianity is not that much different from other religions. When poor kids in medieval Japan became employed by war lords and were expected to fight well in pitched battles with other gangs of armed youth, they didn’t do well. They were scared and often ran. In order to get their young assassins to kill better, the war lords had to get them to be less afraid. They did this by sending those kids to study in Buddhist Temples. The monks in those Temples at the time believed that people had to soul so that one’s life was otherwise meaningless beyond the gathering of a few brief pleasures. After awhile studying about this answer to the question of death, these kids were able to fight viciously in pitched battles without fear. They were no longer afraid because they believed that their lives were otherwise pointless and their deaths meant nothing.

    The reforms brought about in Buddhism at that time were based on the idea that Gautama Siddhartha could not have meant his “religion” to prepare kids to be better killers. Instead, the idea was that their religion had to be about making people better people, better sons and daughters, parents, and citizens.

    I have to say that you have made modern Christians out to be just poor young thugs who need to go to church to learn how to be better killers. We have, then, to wait for some religious reformer who can argue well enough that Jesus did not mean to prepare anyone to be better killers for one’s cause.

  • Gregory Kong

    Erm, no, steven andreson, that is not what Bookworm said. What Bookworm said was that compared to atheists, committed Christians are more willing to die for what they believe.

    Nowhere was it stated that Christians are more willing to *kill* for what they believe – which your last paragraph seems to imply the post stated.

    Although, speaking as a Christian and (unfortunately) a rather worldly one, the job of the military is not to die for the country, it’s to ensure the other poor SOB dies for his. Nevertheless, it is far better if it does not have to go down like that. But if it does, then it does.

    Yes, I am selfish. I couldn’t care less about my ‘meme’ (which is BS anyways), or my genes, or whatever. I want ME to continue on – otherwise, what was the point of my life, any of it? OK, good, I don’t continue but my work made other people better off? What about THEM? What happens to THEM? They die off TOO! Take it to its logical conclusion and you come up with this inescapable (and logical) statement in three parts;

    1. Mankind came from nothing – just pure undirected random physical, chemical and biological processes;

    2. Mankind becomes nothing – no trace of individual meta-existence after cessation of biological function;

    3. Yet somehow, Mankind’s existence IN-BETWEEN those two times has some kind of meaning.

    Which, if Bookworm will allow me to vent a little, is a mega codswallop and pure hogwash! Bah, humbug! to that. No, life after life is what makes the whole shebang hang together, unless you are a nihilist.

    Think about it this way. In standard Monopoly, your aim is to become the richest tycoon around, and to force everyone else into bankruptcy. If you do not have an end goal (i.e. to reap the benefits of charging rent), however, then what is the point of acquiring the whole set of similar properties, and setting up strategies and deals? SImilarly, there is a point and an aim to life (a catechism says it is to worship God and enjoy Him forever, but YMMV) – and THAT is why we do what we do.

  • Rubble

    So the people wailing that “the Constitution is not a suicide pact” when arguing that we need to sacrifice our civil liberties to protect ourselves from death by terrorism (which, statistically, has accounted for perhaps one death in 10,000 over the past ten years) — are they the fearless Christians or the fearful atheists?

    I’m an atheist, and I really don’t want to die — but I’d rather take my chances with the terrorists than sacrifice my principles.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Rubble must be one of those believers in the “statistics” of the Lancet report, given the priority placed on stats rather than actual reality.

  • Pingback: The Glittering Eye » Blog Archive » Eye on the Watcher’s Council()