What an exciting period of human history do we live in. We are right now in what the Christians call "end times". Any day now Jesus will return to save his people and take them all to heaven. Exactly what is heaven, though? Everybody seems to have their own version of what heaven is like. Some say it is an eternal state of bliss, while others describe it as eternal praising and worshipping of Yahweh with eternal singing in the background (I don't like this version, it's like sitting in church for all eternity). Then you get the "personal heaven" type. Apparently, this one is a heaven fine-tuned to match your own personal preferences fully equipped with everything you desire. On the flipside, there is hell. Eternal punishment for what Yahweh believes to be wicked. A stay in hell includes the worst kind of pain, sorrow and suffering. It doesn't matter how much of a good person you are, if you reject Yahweh for any reason, even if you came to the conclusion that Yahweh doesn't even exist, you will go to hell.
According to most people, very few will see heaven. In some cases, only one person of an entire family will see heaven while the rest burns in hell, regardless if they were good people or not. This makes me wonder. What if you're the one person in your entire family who makes it to heaven? How will you be able to enjoy your stay in heaven, knowing that those closest to you are being tortured in the worst possible way without rest even though they were good people? I strayed a little off topic here...
To come back to the topic at hand, the end times is supposed to be every Christian's wet dream, because of rapture, ascending to heaven and all that baloney. This is ironic. The reason why I say it's ironic, is because end times is real and rapture is not.
End times is not for humanity, end times is for religion. Mankind is doing better than ever, we're going nowhere. It's religion that is dying. It is the end times for silly superstitious beliefs, which has only lasted as long as it has because of its violent nature.
Mankind is growing up. We're at the stage where we're putting childish toys away, and god(s) are among those toys. Violent acts against one another is no longer tolerated anywhere near the way it was tolerated before. When the catholic church still had the power it did during the dark ages, it was very easy for the religious to keep the faith going, simply because of the violence that they used to enforce their agenda. It was very simple back then to deal with a rational mind. If someone disagreed, they were simply executed or jailed for life. People only had the option of being a Christian, or they would face certain death. People were in fact jailed for life, simply because they were Jewish and not Christian. Today they don't have that power anymore and you can clearly see the steady decline in Christian numbers.
There is more to it than this, though. Humanity has a flaw. There are some of us who cannot handle the fact that there is only the here and now. Their minds cannot comprehend the concept of no longer existing when dead. They cannot deal with the fact that there is no punishment for those that do evil deeds. Religion brings a certain sense of solace. A feeling of comfort that comes from a belief that there is a higher power that balances and guides people's lives with its divine influence.
Unlike common animals, humans have a much more capable brain. We have the ability to deliberate, which sets us apart from other animals. Because of this, most people assume that we are somehow special. The reality of how the universe works is not enough for them. Humans crave the feeling of having a purpose and the idea of being born "for a reason", because their minds cannot cope with how it really is. Unlike animals, we as humans truly understand the concept of mortality. We know that even if we take care of ourselves, we will eventually age and die. In some this causes despair, because being born, living for an average of 80 years and then dying isn't enough and want to keep living. Religion fills this void with the promise of an afterlife, and because of the desperation when it comes to mortality, they fool themselves into believing in the stories they're told of an afterlife.
When you really think it over, religion is nothing more than a crutch for those who cannot deal with the reality of life and death, purpose, fate and destiny. I thought to myself today... what right do I have to take that away from someone?
There are people out there who really need their religion to make it through life. I think I am starting to have a moral problem with militant atheism. The way I have come to see it, taking religion away from a weak mind is like taking away a cripple person's wheelchair.
I think we as atheists should still keep our children safe from religion, don't get me wrong, but we should leave the theists alone. Only bash when being bashed, and only debate when a theist starts a debate. Let them remain in their fantasy world, because most of them need it. I don't think militant atheism is the right way to go. End times is here and religion will die a natural death on its own.