Humans see others die and fear dying themselves. From all appearances it is a permanent condition. No individual has returned from death to report that death is not death, the end, but something else. Hearsay is inadequate on this exceedingly important topic.
Some humans, clever and underhanded, realize that they can profit from this human, oh so human, fear of death. They invent a product called everlasting life.
Using folklore previously written by earlier cultures they build a tome containing vague and mysterious stories. They use this tome to advertise their new product. A product not produced by labor from materials but instead from the imagination. All you have to do to earn this prize is follow and believe it true.
The requirements vary, of course, from culture to culture but what is always true about each and every product of this nature and does not vary is its intent….
… to control.
Do as we say and the reward will be great. You will live forever among your friends, parents, and relatives. You will in fact, it is promised, be in paradise. The reward varies from folk to folk, but the stick and carrot concept remains. Now who does not want to live in paradise forever?
Some people nevertheless remain to be swayed. They remark that living forever is not so great a thing. This existence is not so bad. Paradise for giving in seems inadequate. They resist the message and fail to follow.
To hell with them, the scam artist exclaims… literally. Hell is invented to strike fear into those that resist the lure of immortality and paradise.
New stories are added to an already misshapen collection of poorly written pages. If you do not submit and believe the whole sales pitch you will burn everlasting. The skin will burn from your body with agonizing pain… grow back… and burn again, and again, and again… forever. However, on the other hand if you do accept the god within advertised and submit to his every whim… glorious and immortal life will be yours. One more thing…
Our god does not speak directly to each and every adherent. Therefore this fellow over here will interpret the will of this wonderful god, this great being. Do as the interpreter of your god commands and you will earn your place among the saved. Resist and burn… your choice, of course… which do you prefer?
They wrap and present the package every day. Every church and mosque and holy place is an outlet. A product never created sells so well. Come here one and all, and live forever.
► This is essentially the story proffered by many human religions. The main purpose is control. Through fear the populace is manipulated to do the bidding of the interpreter… a priest, Imam, reverend, pastor, there are many names… but all they are in the real world are salesmen. By some estimates the churches cost the U.S. government over $71 billion dollars (2012 amount) a year in taxes, made up by individual tax payers. They produce nothing and influence everything. They control a majority of the population of the United States. Like many other groups, both religious and secular, these religions create division, hate, and unrest. Of course they claim they do not, but the facts are the facts.
► People who believe that this life is not the end are not motivated to make it better. This, the only reality they will ever know becomes merely a transience. This life, the only life we have becomes cheap and unimportant. After all, how can the moment we live compare with eternal paradise.
►People who are in the business world are usually highly conservative and religious. Since this life is of no concern, and as long as there is no punishment for being rich in this world, they use people and things to make more and more long after the need has been met. People are used like a commodity. The personnel office becomes the human resources office. The environment is of no consequence. If it is necessary to pull up every last tree or pollute every drop of water and air, then it will be done to squeeze the most profit and satisfy the shareholders. After all, this world is only temporary and eventually all will ship out to paradise.