Thursday, 6 March 2014

What Are You More Afraid Of - Cancer Or Hell?

I'm pretty well read when it comes to the works of George Orwell. Here, though, is a quote from Orwell that I hadn't come across before:

"Belief in the next world does not influence conduct as it would if it were genuine. Most Christians profess to believe in Hell. Yet have you ever met a Christian who seemed as afraid of Hell as he was of cancer?"

George Orwell finds it irrational that people aren't more afraid of something as eternally terrible as Hell, in comparison to something as temporally terrible as cancer. Orwell is missing something obvious here. Most Christians aren't afraid of Hell because they feel confident that they won't be going there. And presumably most atheists aren't afraid of Hell because they don't think it exists. Therefore, it would make sense for fear of cancer to be more ubiquitous in this world than fear of Hell.

* Photo courtesy of zazzle.com 

2 comments:

  1. I think you missed the point of his first line "Belief in the next world does not influence conduct as it would if it were genuine."
    Surely this is a comment on how some Christians do not act in a 'Christian' manner, and if they were truly scared of hell, maybe they would?

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  2. It is indeed a comment on how some Christians do not act in a 'Christian' manner - but that doesn't imply I missed the point of Orwell's first line. Whether belief influences conduct or not, Orwell seems unapprised of the rationale behind fearing cancer more than hell, as my post explains.

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