Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fossils - what do they really mean

This post has been revised. Click here.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Afterlife – a Moral Necessity

As many people have noticed, in this world, the wicked frequently prosper while the righteous frequently suffer. For example, Mao and Stalin lived long, successful lives while many people who opposed tyranny met early and painful deaths. Considering this, it would seem clear that, in many cases, virtue is foolish and evil is smart. Crime can indeed pay very well.

That is, unless one believes in an afterlife.

The afterlife means that ultimately, justice will prevail. Virtue is always the smart choice and evil is always foolish. Whether in heaven, hell or some future incarnation, all accounts will be balanced out and good will triumph.

Of course, like any concept, the idea of an afterlife can be misused. Evil leaders can promise their followers a reward in the afterlife if they will do evil. However if one believes in a loving God who wishes us to help others and who will punish destructive behavior, then the belief in the afterlife is a powerful incentive to be a kind, patient and generous person.

The atheist, however, has no such incentive and on the contrary will quickly learn that dishonesty, selfishness and violence are often rewarded and, unless he simply has a very good natural temperament, he will behave accordingly. Atheism not only permits vice, a really virtuous atheist is simply a fool. His behavior contradicts his beliefs.

A belief in positive moral principles and an in an afterlife, where virtue is rewarded and evil punished, would seem to be the foundations of a successful society.