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Christianity &Islam &Judaism &Rationals Thomas on 21 Mar 2011 12:57 am

The problem with people who ask those who are sick and dying to convert to religion

Christopher Hitchens has been fighting cancer. Here are his observations on those in the religious community who have asked him to convert to their religion because of his illness:

Why would a rational person start believing in imaginary beings, superstitions like prayer, stories of imaginary fairylands like heaven, etc. as part of the process of dying? The fact that someone is dying does not change rational thought – it does not cause you to start believing in the imaginary.

28 Responses to “The problem with people who ask those who are sick and dying to convert to religion”

  1. on 21 Mar 2011 at 1:26 pm 1.Anti-Theist said …

    Your premise is akin to thinking that poverty would one no more susceptible to robbing a bank; rebuttal would be best offered after you imagine your children in the throes of starvation, which is a horrible way to pass. I personally would not hold accountable nor vouch for any mind, other than my own, in the residency of expiration; and find it contemptibly discussing that any demographic would pray on those encompassed by that reality.

  2. on 21 Mar 2011 at 3:08 pm 2.Anti-Theist said …

    Looking good Christopher!

  3. on 21 Mar 2011 at 6:27 pm 3.Tigerboy said …

    The next clip, of Sam Harris at the same event, is (of course) outstanding.

  4. on 21 Mar 2011 at 6:40 pm 4.Tigerboy said …

    When my husband was dying, the priests kept coming around, and even the nurses kept pestering him to speak with somebody about religion.

    It is truly offensive to ignore what a dying person is saying, and to keep prosthelytizing for your religion.

    Hitchens’ final comment is exactly how I felt about it at the time: “Fuck that!”

  5. on 31 Mar 2011 at 10:10 am 5.saved said …

    Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…..u do not have to believe its a choice God gives us….but what’s true is that when u die and your eyes are open in hell and u realized u made a huge mistake but its too late….like the rich man in the bible who died and was in torment in hell and asked the angel to come back to the earth and tell his family to believe in God or your soul will burn in hell forever….he told him he has the christians on the earth who will tell them of the gospel of jesus christ…but he knew they would not accept it….this is your moment of truth; please God loves u turn from your sins and repent and believe in Jesus so you can experience heaven one day….God soften there hearts show yourself to the ones reading this so they too will have hope in you and not death in there sins and then hell……God loves you and I do too

  6. on 31 Mar 2011 at 10:32 am 6.TGHO said …

    @5 saved,

    That’s some messed up type of love, to torture someone because they didn’t “love” you right. We call that abuse, and people go to jail for it.

  7. on 31 Mar 2011 at 10:59 am 7.saved said …

    Its called justice basically u reap what u sow….bottom line is if u don’t accept Jesus as your personal savior your fate is hell…..God gives everyone a chance to repent if you don’t that’s your choice don’t blame God its your choice if you dnt want to go to hell belive in christ and repent…..but if you don’t hell will be your everlasting resting place, in which you and only you have to blame

  8. on 31 Mar 2011 at 12:20 pm 8.MrQ said …

    @saved #5
    Is it also true that if you don’t believe in Tinkerbell then she dies? It’s what I heard and you seem to be an authority on this kind of stuff.

  9. on 31 Mar 2011 at 1:56 pm 9.Lou said …

    5.saved said …

    “like the rich man in the bible who died and was in torment in hell and asked the angel to come back to the earth and tell his family to believe in God or your soul will burn in hell forever….he told him he has the christians on the earth who will tell them of the gospel of jesus christ”

    If “the rich man in the bible who died and was in torment in hell,” then how did he tell anyone about it? I don’t know of anyone who went to hell and is telling anybody about it.

  10. on 31 Mar 2011 at 1:59 pm 10.Lou said …

    7.saved said …

    “Its called justice basically u reap what u sow….bottom line is if u don’t accept Jesus as your personal savior your fate is hell”

    To not “accept Jesus as your personal savior” is not sowing anything.

    It’s a ridiculous, ignorant, superstitious belief that anybody goes to hell for anything, especially anything so insignificant as not accepting Jesus as a savior, especially when he didn’t save anybody from anything.

  11. on 31 Mar 2011 at 2:17 pm 11.Anti-Theist said …

    #5

    Okay, so anyone who has different beliefs than you burns in hell for eternity after they die; fine. What if we atheists acknowledged your warnings and verbally (to you) accepted our eternity in hell? Would you then piss off?

  12. on 31 Mar 2011 at 4:42 pm 12.DPK said …

    Ok, I am not as articulate or educated as some of the good folk here, but I have yet to see the theists here actually ANSWER any of the multiple challenges to their reasoning that have been presented.
    So, here I’ll add another, and wait for an explanation that doesn’t involve “because it says so in the bible”.

    By almost everyone’s definition of god, and most certainly the christian god, he is omniscient. He knows everything. And, according to the christian belief, I must accept Jesus as my savior, believe in him to be god, or accept my punishment as eternal torment in hell.
    But god, being omniscient, and having made me who I am, would have known, well before the moment of creation 14 billion years ago, that I, and many more like me, having a rational mind and created in his image, would require some evidence of his existence in order to “believe”. And in his infinite love for me, he failed to provide it, condemning me to hell for eternity. That’s pretty shitty of him, isn’t it? I mean, I could become afraid of damnation and SAY I believed in Jesus…. but that’s not the same as really believing it, is it? And all knowing god would see though that ruse right quick. So, no matter what I do, I’m screwed… because of how god made me and what he chose to provide me in the way of “evidence”… a collection of ancient writings by men with questionable motives that is chock full of contradictions, falsehoods, and moral atrocities.
    If he loves me, why did he stack the deck against me, knowing full well his actions would result in my eternal damnation? When I had doubts about his existence in my youth, why didn’t he reveal himself to me when I asked? Why does he play these silly games??

  13. on 31 Mar 2011 at 8:38 pm 13.Diane said …

    If you are dying and convert, then what does it hurt? If you are dying and do not convert and then there really is a God, then you will be the only one who knows what became of your spirit anyway.

  14. on 31 Mar 2011 at 8:55 pm 14.Horatiio said …

    Diane they only reject theism, they are really non-committal.

    LOL!!

    No, just kidding. I tried. It is because they have a worldview and if anyone leaves it even at the end of their life it is a rejection of their religion. You must understand the passion religion brings out in people.

  15. on 31 Mar 2011 at 9:08 pm 15.DPK said …

    Diane, a deathbed conversion is not really a conversion… I doubt “I decided to believe because the odds were better” would pass mustard with an omniscient god being.
    I love the “what if you’re wrong?” argument.
    What if YOUR wrong? What if you’re a christian and the Muslims have it right? You’re screwed!
    What if the Roman god Jupiter greets you at the gates of paradise and wants to know why you wasted your life worshiping the wrong god?

  16. on 31 Mar 2011 at 10:07 pm 16.Burebista said …

    I like the “What if you are wrong?” too. All the religions have covered one scenario. Who has not? Atheists.

    A pretty bad wager. Atheism offers nothing that I can see. Well they claim science but that is a lie. They claim freedom from delusion but that is just hate speech and opinion. No charities, no long term purpose and no hope. It really seems sad.

  17. on 31 Mar 2011 at 11:05 pm 17.TGHO said …

    @7 saved,

    Blaming the victim is also not an acceptable defence in modern society.

  18. on 31 Mar 2011 at 11:08 pm 18.TGHO said …

    @12 DPK,

    That’s well said. :)

  19. on 31 Mar 2011 at 11:09 pm 19.TGHO said …

    @13 Diane,

    Why would an atheist do that?

  20. on 31 Mar 2011 at 11:22 pm 20.Luis said …

    “When I had doubts about his existence in my youth, why didn’t he reveal himself to me when I asked? Why does he play these silly games??”

    Ever wonder why there are so few atheist and so many who follow Christ? Just asking, is it not just possible you may have hardened your heart and God is not at fault but you?

    Reminds me of my neighbor whose son wrecked the car and blamed his dad for buying the car.

  21. on 31 Mar 2011 at 11:56 pm 21.TGHO said …

    @16 Burebista,

    Got anything to back up your ludicrous and ridiculous claims there? Or are you just comfortable spouting continuous lies and mistruths?

  22. on 01 Apr 2011 at 12:00 am 22.TGHO said …

    @20 Luis,

    So many who follow christ and christianity? Really? The numbers don’t back up your claim:

    http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

    And that 33% of christians covers all the various sects, tropes, cults and groups which claim to be christian.

  23. on 01 Apr 2011 at 3:33 am 23.DPK said …

    “What if you’re wrong?”

    If, at the end of things, if I am completely wrong and humans do transcend their bodies and get to me the designer and creator of all the universe, and whatever else is beyond, before, and after… I doubt that such a being would be so petty as to punish me for all eternity for the crime of not believing in him.
    Such an amazing intelligence would not require worship. That would be like me killing my dog with sledge hammer for not coming when I called him. We would call such a dog owner an insane monster.

    But I doubt it. There is no evidence to indicate that consciousness survives the death of the brain.

    If you are trembling in fear before the concept of a vengeful and jealous god, go ahead and pretend you believe in him and live your life believing in superstitions and other foolishness.

    But answer this, if you are a Christian, and you believe in god, you believe he loves you, and you believe he is looking out for you, the next time you or someone you love is seriously sick, will you go to a doctor or a priest?
    Will you scoff at the “lies” of science? Will you trust Jesus to make you better?
    Do you “really” believe, or do you know how to compartmentalize your faith with reality?

  24. on 01 Apr 2011 at 3:10 pm 24.Lou said …

    16.Burebista said …

    “Atheism offers nothing that I can see.”

    EXACTLY! Atheism isn’t and idea or belief. It’s a rejection of one – theism. It’s a simple concept.

  25. on 01 Apr 2011 at 3:16 pm 25.Severin said …

    13 Diane
    “If you are dying and convert, then what does it hurt?”

    If I wished to convert, shall I convert to Islam(and which denominations) or to Christian (which denomination)?
    To avoid wrong choice, I expect your kind explanation, thank you.

  26. on 01 Apr 2011 at 3:26 pm 26.Severin said …

    23 DPK
    “I doubt that such a being would be so petty as to punish me for all eternity for the crime of not believing in him.”

    Don’t expect an answer!
    From time to time I pose the same question, stressing the fact that my ONLY “crime” is in my disbelieving in god(s) (who never made any effort to convine me he/tehy/she/it exist), because I live a decent, honest, responsibe and joyful life.

    They NEVER (NEVER, EVER!) answer such questions!
    They just pretend such questions do not exist.

    They also NEVER answer questions about why is Christianity better than Islam (or v.v.)!

    Some questions they do answer, using circular reasoning and many other false logical tools, most of which are based on “negative” conclusions, such as: universe is complex, so it could not exist withou creator.

    But question you posed they NEVER answer!

  27. on 01 Apr 2011 at 3:41 pm 27.Lou said …

    20.Luis said …

    “Reminds me of my neighbor whose son wrecked the car and blamed his dad for buying the car.”

    Reminds me of the many stupid comments that I read on this blog.

    How did the son know who bought the car for him? The car wasn’t anonymously given to him, was it? No, it was obvious and known by all to see that the dad gave it to him. Not only that, it’s obvious who designed and made the car. And did the dad eternally punish the his son for wrecking the car? No, of course not. His dad still loves him and possibly replaced the car.

  28. on 25 Apr 2011 at 4:29 am 28.mediator said …

    alright christains, religion is a betting game. who can pick the right God and make it to the afterlife. so out of the hundreds of religions you all have your ticket on jesus. and the islamic have theirs. and so did the greeks with zeus. the simple fact is that i don’t like to gamble. especially when the Grand prize has not been presented to me. I have no clue that i will even get it. so i prefer to save my money and time instead of buying a ticket(church, praying every night, obeying God, etc.) and spend it on something else. For in the end there will be only one winner, and all of those who had hope will be crushed. however how can those be crushed who didn’t have hope in the first place? i myself will say fuck off to any creator who kills if they are not recognized. a true understanding God will realize that it has created a being that has the ability of comprehension, and with that they expect logic for proof. otherwise this God is just a kid; if he doesn’t get what he wants then all hell breaks loose. well i’d like to see that hell, for then i have angered the almighty. Showing that even the bible’s God is not perfect. just a silly greedy boy wanting attention.

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