Zebrafish Lab Eureka! » « Funny and effective Better eternal nothingness than that If you’ve ever seen John Edward or James van Praagh, or any of a thousand other idiot spirit mediums, you’ll know how conversations sound in the afterlife. Death is apparently a leading cause of brain damage. Share this:PrintEmailShare on TumblrTweet Zebrafish Lab Eureka! » « Funny and effective
Alan Kellogg says
The truth is, Microsoft won the contract to provide the life-afterlife contact interface, and God is having a bitch of a time getting tech support.
I was just thinking last night that the desire for a heaven is infantile. Like a little kid dreaming of being able to eat nothing but candy forever. Or the woman in that David Byrne movie who never got out of bed because she was so rich she didn’t have to.
They say life without an afterlife is meaningless. Actually eternal perfect life would be meaningless. No limits, and thus no achievement, no challenges. After the first read through the cosmic instruction manual, no mystery and thus no surprises, no wonder or awe. In a sense no context to anything.
Pretty pathetic even wanting such a thing.
I am not a violent person. I have never been in a physical fight in my life. But my father was a minister and I watched him comfort and support people whose loved ones had died, and I saw the desperate need and the vulnerability and the exploitability of these grieving people. And . . .
. . . when I think of Edward, van Pragh, et al, I get so angry I become physically sick. If I were suddenly to find myself in the same room as van Pragh I would punch him right in the face, the amoral fucking vampire, sucking off the pain and need of grief-stricken mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, spouses . . . . stealing their money for a transparently phoney, unhelpful fantasy . . . .
Just thinking about it sends my blood pressure off the charts. Exploiters of the emotionally bereaved deserve a special punishment in (non-existent) Hell.
Death is apparently a leading cause of brain damage.
Yeah….. Can’t think of anything much more damaging to the brain than death….
How long is the brain deprived of oxygen before the soul moves on?
Could be this lose of intelligence is needed if the saved soul can stand to constantly praise the big sky daddy for all eternity. I think a person of even below average intelligence would seek to end their afterlife after just a few hours.
“Is there a Jon in the room?”
“Hey, My name’s Jon!”
“Is there a John in the room?”
“There’s one down the hall to the left.”
BTW, that brain-damage thing makes complete sense. The first thing the dead forget is where they hid the money. Also the stock certificates and the deeds.
There is a clear and understandable critique of this stuff and also a good, inspiring section on being an atheist in the book ‘Tricks of the mind’ by Derren Brown. I’m nothing to do with him but I was surprised on reading it that he is so obviously vehement about supernatural quackery.
Another, albeit more simple, critique of this type of thing is the South Park episode entitled “Biggest Douche in the Universe” starring John Edward.
Hairhead, can you explain the difference to me between what your father did and what John Edwards does? To me it seems there is no difference (comforting people with lies) except your father was not paid as much, and was perhaps more sincere.
Uh-oh! Cognitive(?) dissonance!
I saw a Minneapolis-based cable program that said in heaven we were going to talk about the Lord, and how wonderful he is.
And she’s been there! Nyah!
“Better eternal nothingness” is right! I can’t think of any hell worse than having my consciousness leave my body and float around in some kind of limbo where I could see my loved ones grieving and suffering but not be able to reach them except through some grief-whore like Van Pragh or Edwards. What a low-down, nasty profession these douchebags have. I’d put them somewhere just above child molesters on the ladder of subterranean life.
Sastra, OM says
I once saw a “debate” on Larry King between several people who “talk to the dead” and a group of skeptics, which as I recall included James Randi and a rabbi. The rabbi made an interesting objection which would seem to make sense from the theist point-of-view. How likely is it that people who die — who visit the afterlife and gain the knowledge of God — can contact the living and say nothing more profound, nothing more relevant, nothing more informative than how they’re feeling and confirm how they died (which is already known)? The spiritual revelations are bland, and the information is useless stuff like “I’m looking after your cat.” The rabbi was as scornful as the atheist.
Spiritual cold readers don’t just degrade, contaminate, and trivialize the memory of the people who have died. They pretty much make a silly mockery of religion, too.
Like that needs help.
That the only dead people who will deign to talk to a medium are those who have nothing to say or think about has been known for quite some time. Here’s Mark Twain on the subject in 1882:
Read the conversation with the uncle
Confirms my brain damage theory of the afterlife. Just gossip about the greatness of big sky daddy. A much better fate would be seal people longing about on the beach and laughing at farts. At least that will end.
Sastra, OM says
“The only good that I can see in the demonstration of the truth of “Spiritualism” is to furnish an additional argument against suicide. Better live a crossing-sweeper than die and be made to talk twaddle by a ‘medium’ hired at a guinea a séance.” (attributed to T.H. Huxley)
Bride of Shrek says
Last week I listened to a radio interview on one of our station called Triple J which is a very popular but alternate station. They were interviewing Alison Dubois, who the TV gobshite show Medium is based on. Funny, with all her woo spirits informing her, she didn’t catch on that they were taking the piss badly out of her. I nearly choked when they led her up this path:
JJJ: So to you there’s no change between life and death, you can still talk to the people after they’re dead and nothing changes.
AD: Pretty much, my relationship with them remains the same.
JJJ: So when one of your friends is really sick you basically don’t give a shit?
AD: (Silence then small , hesitant giggle.)
Classic moment in radio.
Scott Hatfield, OM says
Unfortunately for believers, a lot of conversations in the present about the dimension of faith seem to have the same convoluted vagueness. I number myself among that unhappy band at times!
Hey Bride Of Shrek, do recall which show Dubious was on… Safran, Jay and the Doctor etc because it may be available as a podcast?
Kevin L. says
I don’t know if you visit this site reguarly, PZ, but you need to see one of the previous comics – http://saintgasoline.com/2007/09/15/riches-of-science/
Also – the psychic comic: hilarious.
Bride of Shrek says
Pretty sure it was Jay & the Doctor and it was, as I think about it harder, about two -three weeks ago. Hope you can find it!
Ecc.9:5 seems to confirm that the dead won’t know anything any more and thus aren’t going to be great conversationalists.
Meanwhile, there are prohibitions in the Bible about even attempting to talk to the dead (undead zombie Jesus apparently didn’t count to his alleged followers!). Eg:
Lev.19:31 makes it clear that people who claimed to talk to the dead already existed in the society (and that it was bad to go to them) – and v26 vaguely implies that witchcraft etc works and is bad rather than stating that it’s futile and thus bad. Lev.20:6 makes it a bad move even to be “friendly” with such people.
Lev.20:27 makes it clear that it’s also bad to be one of those mediums or wizards – and again fails to point out that they’re only con artists anyway. But of course it’s the rival con-artists who are running things. So they could hardly admit that.
Deut.18:10-14 is an interesting contradiction of Gen.1:14 – and again implies that the abilities being banned exist and work. The same (contradictory) theme continues in Chronicles.
One could take the health-and-safety regulations view of the laws and suggest that the prohibition is intended to be humane because the authors were well aware that believing in that sort of rubbish really messes with people’s minds (the living ones that is!) and can be self-destructive without it having to be true or work. However, the fact that the religious leaders are doing the same things anyway does rather ruin the possibility of giving them the benefit of the doubt.