One of the big modern conservative talking points is that they are “facts before feelings.” They don’t need pathos, they have logic and reason on their side. All those leftist (a term I still hate) snowflakes just appeal to emotions and attack people they don’t like! So the mantra goes. You know, until you say something that Ben Shapiro doesn’t like. Then he immediately runs to “anti-semite!” Or if you say something Jordan Peterson doesn’t like, and then he talks about how he wants to assault you. And don’t even get me started on what a thin-skinned little bitch Trump is. The story with the USS John McCain was fucking hilarious. This guy is the Napoleon of little bitches.
So it doesn’t surprise me that Dennis Prager decided to make a video about the existence of the afterlife, and rather than making any kind of rational argument, he immediately runs to the emotional appeal. Same as he did when making his perfectly logical defense of the death penalty. I’m sure he considers himself “pro-life” too. Conservative America is big on being full of shit in that department. Let’s watch the video, then we’ll talk about it.
He begins by asking – is there and afterlife? Nope. Glad we got that out of the way. All of your existence is tied in to the brain, which has your personality, emotions, actions, and ability to feel anything. Without that, you’d die. So yeah, the idea that life continues after that is gone is ludicrous. His answer is just the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard – if there is a god, there is an afterlife. How could you possibly know that? Assuming that a deist god of unknown properties exists, how does that immediately correlate to there being an afterlife? There could be a deist god and still be no afterlife. Or after you die, you could become part of some greater subconscious, a la Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. What happens after death is something that no one really knows, but the possibilities are potentially limitless if a deist god does exist. However, since none has been proven, the reality is that it is almost certain that after you die, you blink out of existence. Not the most comforting thought, but there it is.
Then we get into the emotional appeal. Prager argues that the world is filled with injustice, and since those guilty of injustice aren’t punished in this life, the only way they get punishment is in the next one, from some kind of Hell concept. So not only are we going to stipulate that a deist god has to be involved, but there has to be a concept of Hell too. How do you know that’s a thing? How do you know the deist God doesn’t just sent everyone to the same place? You make so many assertions, without proving any of them. This is all just emotional bullshit.
We then get to him acknowledging that this afterlife pathos he argues for only exists if the deist god is “good and just.” Well then, that rules out the god you believe in. He sent bears to maul children for making fun of his prophet being bald. He commanded his armies to kill pregnant women and smash the heads of babies against rocks, along with taking the virgin girls as sex slaves. His only son said that he wasn’t here to bring peace but a sword. Makes me wonder who you’re talking about. Oh wait, you’re not gonna defend this position. It’s just a postulation you’re making to be able to justify your point of view. Brilliant.
Your next postulation is that the physical reality we exist in isn’t the only reality. Wow. I’m sure he’s not talking about alternate universes, which is an easy thing to believe in. After all, nothing in this universe exists in ones, so why is there only one universe? No, he’s talking about some ethereal plane of existence that just exists. In addition, part of this postulation is that the soul is real and it exists there. Just…wow. So many things without one lick of evidence. It’s all just a thought he has. None of this has any basis in fact. None of this has any amount of proof. It’s just him talking.
He briefly acknowledges atheists like me who think all of this is bullshit, but his counter-argument is – if you believe the stuff I do, there is an afterlife! O-kay. I guess so. To you. But reality doesn’t just conform to the way you want it to be. He says that if there is a god, but no afterlife, then that god is cruel. Um…are you really opening this can of worms, Prager? I mean, the deity you believed in condones murder, has a punishment for rape that is a bad joke, doesn’t like women, has no real compunction against abortion since there is a passage where he talks about forcing women accused of adultery to drink “bitter water” that causes a miscarriage, and is unfathomably petty. Not to mention, he created a realm of existence where you are tortured forever and ever until the end of time, but claims that he loves you. The existence of a mythical heaven doesn’t negate these traits, dude.
Again acknowledging the other side of the argument, he says that those who don’t believe say that immortality is gained through the good works that people do, and the memories of those who loved them. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. The great writers and painters and intellectuals and those who made a mark of society are remembered through those works. I read Michael Crichton’s books, and he lives on in me loving them. But naturally, Prager doesn’t accept this. He said “that’s what they want to believe.” How is it untrue? His argument is that it’s “meaningless.” Um, no, dumbass. It’s meaning that the individual has for their own life. Meaning is something unique to everybody. Some people find meaning through making lots of offspring and furthering the overpopulation of this planet. Some people find meaning through travel, or making works of art, or leaving their mark in a career. Every person has their own sense of meaning. You are spitting on all of those people’s beliefs because they don’t have your sense of belief about the nature of reality. Fuck you.
Then he goes on to make one of the most insulting arguments that I’ve ever heard – dead children and dead babies cannot leave behind good works. What a fucking asshole. I have a cousin who had a Down Syndrome baby who didn’t live to see their first birthday. But that child lives on in the heart of the parents who had him. You spit on that child’s memory because it was too young to accomplish great things. Maybe you missed that bit about living on in people’s hearts, you unsympathetic pile of shit.
His next argument is that bad works usually live longer than good ones. I mean…I guess? It depends on who it is. Bad things are happening all over the world right now that nobody outside of those they are happening to will ever remember. I can’t tell you what warlord is slaughtering people in some African nation right now, but I can tell you what I read about in Neil deGrasse Tyson’s latest book. Part of the problem is that in modern society, where we have click-bait Internet news that loves a good bad story is that it makes it harder to see the bright side. That is a problem and I do think it needs to be addressed. But that’s a problem society has to deal with. We have an issue with nihilism and the despair that comes with it encroaching on society and causing suicide rates to spike. We have a lot of work to do. Not that you care, you unrepentant prick.
Then he goes after people who don’t have children. Because I guess only children can have someone live on in their memories? Yeah, because fuck extended family, friends, loved ones of all stripes, the occasional fur-baby. This idea that we need children to have meaning in such bullshit. This is part of the problem. We venerate parenthood. Especially motherhood. It needs to stop. Overpopulation is killing our species. It’s an unpopular opinion, but it’s true. He goes on to say that living on in anyone’s memory isn’t immortality. Well yeah, Prager. It’s not. Immortality in the strictest sense isn’t real. At least not with the current scientific knowledge. I’m sure the day will come that people live forever. That sounds awful, to me. The idea of being stuck having to work a job and do this same shit that I do now, over and over for all time, that sounds like my personal definition of Hell. Screw the lake of fire. At least there I’d talk to some unique people. Being stuck in the cubicle I’m in now sounds like real Hell.
So all of this culminates with him saying that without an afterlife, we don’t live on. Period. He decided that his “brilliant” refutation of this is so profound that he destroyed the counter-arguments one could make. Gee, seems like I broke down his positions pretty handily. So no, it isn’t “period”, Prager. Maybe to you, but not me. We then go back to the emotional appeal – you won’t see your family again! Your murderer won’t get punished! He describes it as a roll of the dice. Not entirely, moron. Half of the things in life will be things you have no control over. Half will be things you do. It’s up to you to know the difference. That’s part of the human experience. One that you get to wall yourself off from, waiting for that day you die and then get to go to your sky-daddy and be told how awesome you are. Though, I believe there was some religious figure you confirmed that there is no sex in Heaven. Fuck that. I’m not getting any in this life. Why would I want to go to an afterlife where I still get none?
It ends with him recapping his emotional appeal, and saying that his belief in God and the afterlife keeps him sane. Well, buddy, you do you. If it weren’t for the fact that you are part of a conservative think that that shits on science and reality, I wouldn’t care. You’re an idiot with stupid ideas. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Until next time, a quote,
“The worst thing about war is the effect on children. If they’re lucky, they’re raised believing the galaxy is a good place. Some rough spots here and there, but overall, life makes sense. Now they find out that everything they were told is a lie. That there are monsters in the shadows that want to destroy them and everyone they care about. If we succeed, there are going to be a lot of angry orphans, looking for answers.” – Garrus Vakarian, Mass Effect 3