Death is the great unknown and not something anyone in their right mind (and with a tolerable quality of life) would strive for. Given the choice, we’d all like it to occur later rather than sooner. But to the ancients, especially those to whom life was a miserable hideous burden, fraught with discomfort, disease, unending toil, unimaginable poverty, the constant threat of sudden brutal death, injustice and little or no prospects of it getting any better, the assurance that their misery will pay off is quite an attractive plum. Besides, the down side of failing to believe guaranteed an eternal afterlife that was even worse than their current existence.
I wonder, given the unimaginably horrible existence of those uneducated peasants, if I had been one of them would I be drawn to belief, and embrace Christianity for its eternal happy after-life ever after prospect? For what would I have to lose? It’s not like I’d have to worry about losing my dignity...as a peasant (or slave) I would have had no dignity to begin with. I doubt you’d have had to ask me twice.
The Church fathers used this doctrine as a carrot and stick recruitment technique. It was a brilliant stroke of genius. Perhaps the best scam ever invented.
But even our most destitute down trodden citizens have more education than your typical 2nd century peasant. One would also expect their level of sophistication and skepticism would be light years more advanced. But it makes no difference. The stick of the finality of death and the carrot of a much better eternal happy life in exchange for accepting a story is hard for the credulous to resist.
Christians will tell you that they don’t fear death, because they know they are “saved” from the finality of death, the punishment of hell’s tortures and the inequities inherent in life on Earth. But they lie. The very reason they believe in the first place is precisely because of their fear of death. The latest Pew Forum study reported that the most devout Christians are the people who spend the most on medical options to extend their lives when faced with a terminal disease. Hedging their bets one would expect .
As a thinking person I don’t fear death. Death is simply reverting to oblivion, the same oblivion that existed before I was born. Fearing death is irrational. I was unbothered by my pre-birth non-existence; therefore I have no reason to believe my post-death non-existence would be any different. Besides, it’s not personal... everything dies. Life is good while it lasts. No harm, no foul. I do, however, fear the prospect of dying. Dying can get quite messy, painful and expensive. That’s a rational response for a neat freak that abhors pain and hates wasting money.
Christians are so befuddled by ancient lies that have been drummed into their heads that they can’t accept life and death for what it is. And in so doing, they waste vast amounts
of the only life time they will ever have immersed in the delusion and make believe of their death cult’s inane rituals, prayers, groveling, and proselytizing.
News Flash, Christians! Death is simply nature’s way of telling us to go away.