Re: virus: Faith, Logic and Purpose

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Wed, 19 Nov 1997 10:36:20 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 19 Nov 1997, David McFadzean wrote:

> OK, let's start with a less strong claim: I don't think it is necessary
> for everybody to find consolation in a falsehood. As evidence I offer
> my own experience surviving the death of two grandparents in the last
> 3 years without having to believe that they went to a "better place"
> or that I will meet them again some day. Agree or disagree?

I know that when my mom's best friend/housemate/partner died suddenly, and
I was crying over it, I was infuriated when a friend of mine (not a close
friend, or he would have known me better) told me "It's all right, don't
cry." I told him with a fair amount of fire that it certainly was not all
right, Eddie was dead and I'd cry if I felt like it. The person who said
this to me believes in the soul's survival after death, which may be a
comfort to him but is none to me. My mother was similarly infuriated by a
couple of people telling her "He's gone to a better place"--she responded,
"Are you putting down my house?" Perhaps neither of us had polite
responses, in our distress, but in any case it demonstrates the
uselessness of offering faith to a non-believer. To a believer--that's a
different question. I don't know. I couldn't.