Mark Owen writes

 How the lies of religion kill innocent people

Question: If a suicide bomber knew that his (or her) death means oblivion - knew that he or she ceases to exist forever after death - would the bomber persist with the mission?

Some zealots - driven by intense hatred for Islam's perceived enemies - would, I am sure, still carry out their self-imposed murderous rampage. But many more would, I truly believe, hesitate, and even abandon their crusade.

Thus we see that the promise of life after death, the paradise of the Muslim (the heaven of the Christians) drives the believer to commit the murder of innocent men, women - and children.  The fanatics who gunned down scared running children in Beslan did so without fear of meeting resistance, fear of drying at the hands of their enemies, for they believed death would see them transitioned to paradise - and to their reward.

How then does the Muslim warrior know that paradise exists? How does the Christian believer know heaven is his or her ultimate destination? The truth is they do not, there is no way for anyone to have such knowledge, for by its very definition the life in some 'other' sphere is unknowable. It is that 'undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveller returns,' as Shakespeare so aptly put it. (And that includes Jesus the prophet - see my paper on the alleged Resurrection of Jesus).

Like all other religious doctrines, belief in the afterlife has evolved over millennia, as has all religion dogma. Long before the Old Testament prophets, long before Jesus or Paul, long before Muhammad, men and women began groping - trying to discover some meaning in life - and, in particular, in death. See my paper: .

When religion claims knowledge of the other world, even knowledge of GOD himself, religion must surely inform us: how do you know these things? From whence comes such knowledge? The Bible? The Koran? The sacred texts of other religions? Why should we believe what these documents say? Press the believer for an answer to this vital question and he or she has none. And yet the holy books drive men and women into all manner of evil actions. (And Islamics are not alone; the Christians did likewise through the Inquisition and the Witch Mania - 'Kill them all,' cried the Papal Legate when the city of Beziers was taken in the 12th century.)

Tell us, please, you believers, what proof do you offer that these documents you so prize are reliable? There is plenty of evidence to indicate otherwise! Yet upon these flimsy foundations people build their lives and, drawing on these same documents, find inspiration to kill the supposed enemies of GOD.

Mark Owen, 1991 & 2011 -

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