August 07, 2008

Insincere faith

A brief profile of Nassim Taleb in Bloomberg magazine, photographed with part of his collection of Christian icons. Taleb often expresses disdain for atheists, and at least an aesthetic interest in religions.

I can't get with the faith, for so many reasons, but let's pull out one for today. Why do Christians get sad when a loved one dies? It makes no sense. The loved one is now with God, in paradise, forever. The sweetest deal that ever could be. Sure, it sucks that they're gone and you'll miss them, but a) they're in a good place, and b) you'll get to spend eternity with them in the relative blink of an eye. It's like me getting pissed off because my wife gets to go on vacation a week before I do.

I'm sure there's a neat argument around the above, but I'm not smart enough to see it for myself.

Still, I have my collection of psychedelic literature that's no less - but certainly no more - absurd in places than the Christian faith is throughout, although I just to go it for ideas to play with, not for rules to live by. Consequently I can be legitimately sad when someone dies, although to date I never have been and can't imagine that I will be. Death's the main thing to prepare for, the only thing that definitely happens.

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