When an avowed atheist dies, I privately say a prayer for them and those who loved them. I fail to see the harm in this because if they are right, it won't matter and if I am, they're probably going to need some help. I have had a Mass said for their repose occasionally, usually naming them simply as "a friend." After all, Jesus'll know who I mean. Whether it helps them or not, I may find out when I report in, I suppose. And there will indeed be rejoicing if they meet me where I want to go. One thing there won't be if we meet up. There will be no "I told you so" on my part--I don't believe in it. If I'm right, they'll know it, and if I'm wrong...well, that'll take care of itself.
For some reason, some folks are of the opinion that finding extraterrestrial life will prove the nonexistence of God. I'm not sure I follow their reasoning. My reaction to the discovery of extraterrestrial life as far as the existence of the Lord is something along the lines of "Yeah? So?" I see no reason why God couldn't have life other than that on our little blue dot. After all, He's God--He can do any dang thing He pleases (one of the fringe benefits of being The All Mighty).
One problem I think they have is that they are attempting to set up a strawman based on their mental construct of an entity they accept as not existing. At this point, the exercise begins to resemble the "Seinfeld" show--a show basically about nothing. Well, I must admit, they have faith if nothing else.
The second problem I see with the product the evangelical atheist pushes is that they really have no product. On the matter of what happens just before the first shovelful of dirt hits the top of the coffin, they say believers are offered "pie-in-the-sky." And they offer...what? My opinion only, but that pie may just taste better than their mouthful of dust.
So we will go our ways. Me sorry that they risk their immortal souls and them sorry I risk...again, what?
But, then, who am I to look askance at my betters? I'm just a poor, credulous peasant trying to get through life the best I can. So eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow may be--Fantastic!
Review (Note to FTC: Bought it myself, troops.)
The Mountains of Saint Francis: Discovering the Geologic Events that Shaped Our Earth by Walter Alvarez. W.W. Norton & Company, 2008.
Being as it's the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and I like rocks, I figured I'd troll this book by a member of the twosome that gave us the Cretaceous asteroid hit theory (Alvarez the younger) past for your consideration. It is a study of the undersea formation of the Appennine Mountains' limestone and their quarries--where Michelangelo worked as a pup--, the volcanic seven hills of Rome, and the evaporation of the Mediterranean Sea (you can't say things weren't exciting in that part of the world).
The book requires no real knowledge of structural geology and is written on a public high school level (Catholic middle school level). Alvarez is a good writer and makes the geology enjoyable.
4 October 2010: Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Pope Gregory XIII implements Gregorian Calendar 1582, Battle of Germantown 1777, First run of the Orient Express 1883, Sputnik I launched 1957.