The idea of an after life has got to be the most manipulative and powerful concept ever invented by mankind. It has made poor people complacent about their status in life by promising them eternal rewards. The meek are told that they will one day inherit the earth. It's untestable promises have kept slaves in bondage in Jerusalem, in Africa, the Asias, in the Americas and across countless generations. The fear of punishment after death has led to the denial of sexual desire, repression of science, intelligence, progress and intellectual debate. It has lauded obedience above reason and mildness over justice. It has given power to those who don't deserve it and can't handle it and made sacrifices of the week, impoverished and uneducated. It has made sinners out of babies who weren't splashed with water soon enough after birth. Behind its trail it has left a wake of complacency, acceptance, fear and abuse. And today it creates an atmosphere where blowing people to smithereens is okay because you will be rewarded with virgins and martyred in the name of God. It has allowed the infestation of incivility to fester and become more than acceptable, it has mutated into righteousness. Christians can rest easy because gays will reside in Hell and perverted old men can have sex with altar boys because they yield the promise of eternal salvation as easily as they do their dicks.
What would this world look like if the concept of eternal life had never been? How would we act if we knew this is all we had...no reward and no punishment, just the direct results of our actions. If personal accountability dictated how we treated others as opposed to their skin colour, religion or status? What if someone asked us to blow up a plane and we knew that if we did that it would be the end. No virgins, no respect, no reward - just death.
How much have we lost by allowing our humanity to reside in the clouds rather than on the earth?