"The dead do not suffer"

Dennis Prager (Jewish) does a fantastic job of taking apart atheism on the issue of suffering:

“The dead do not suffer” is atheism’s consolation to the parents of murdered children? This sentiment can provide some consolation — though still nothing comparable to the affirmation of an afterlife — to those who lose a loved one who had been suffering from a debilitating disease. But it not only offers the parents of Sandy Hook no consolation, it actually (unintentionally) insults them: Were these children suffering before their lives were taken? Would they have suffered if they had lived on? Moreover, it is the parents who are suffering, so the fact that their child isn’t suffering while decomposing in the grave is of no relevance.

And, most germane to our subject, this atheist message offers no consolation at all when compared to the religious message that we humans are not just matter but possess eternal souls.


The only consolation an atheist can offer is - “well, at least it isn’t you and me!” It carefully ignores the fact that one day it will be…

Prager is certainly correct that the implications of unbelief do not have nearly the same power to console that a heavenly afterlife does. Though he oversteps in suggesting that there’s an unintentional insult in play.

In any event, Prager misses the point. Unbelievers dismiss the idea of an afterlife because there’s no compelling evidence that one exists, and in spite of the fact that believing in it would make us feel better.

Sticky: Temporary Ban on Evolution/Atheism Threads

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.