Earlier this week, Gore Videl died. For those who don’t know, he was a giant intellectual and a vocal atheist. I wrote about his death on Examiner and some Christian had to chime in on it in the comments section. She writes:
“It’s so sad to me to realize the genius of Gore Vidal yet somehow he had such an ignorance about what is heaven and the hereafter. However it will be God’s grace that will get him into heaven. Wow I bet he is surprised now.”
She is obviously a pretty liberal Christian because she didn’t say that he was being tortured in Hell for all eternity. But still, the arrogance here should be surprising and yet it is so common among religious believers that it really isn’t surprising at all.
Based on no evidence, she is making the claim that she knows the details of the hereafter. Gore Vidal was a very educated individual who liked to learn. Sure it is possible that she does know something about something that he didn’t know, but the fact is that in this case she doesn’t.
All the evidence suggests that when we die, that is it. While it is possible that something else happens, those possibilities are unlikely. Even if something does happen after we die (as unlikely as that would be) it is pretty obvious that Heaven and Hell are almost certainly not what happens. Those are ridiculous stories of bronze-age sheep herders.
Anyone can assert any claim they like, but unless they can back up that claim with actual evidence or at the very least a solid argument; no one should take those claims seriously. But when someone claims that their mere assertions are absolute reality with no evidence at all, we should laugh at them. Such assertions and the dogmatism of certainty that accompanies them is the height of arrogance.