So, in a changing world that appears to be shedding its religion, why are these books increasingly popular? Perhaps in poor economic times, people need hope for something better. Carol Fitzgerald, President of the online Book Report Network, agrees:
“In uncertain times, which is what we’re experiencing now, people look for comfort,” Fitzgerald says. “The concept that people have seen ‘what’s next’ and shared what it’s like gives hope and a feeling that life on earth is part of a journey with a greater reward.”
Unfortunately, these near-death memoirs create a false sense of comfort and give others the illusion that all they must do is “wait it out” until they reach paradise and all will be better. Rational, skeptical organizations need to reach out to these people before the churches do.
This would be a great opportunity for the Humanist movement to show others that they don’t need to cling to religion in times of hardship. People can gain hope by improving the world we live in here and now. Instead of relying on the supernatural to fix all of our problems, we should take the initiative. With a little work, we can create a better society for our children, and our children’s children, devoid of the imaginary.
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