Monday, January 26, 2009

Life Insurance for Atheists

Hey parents, listen up: turns out that life insurance is a pretty secular enterprise.

Today I was pricing term policies and at one point talked with an agent, who said that I can get big discounts if I get a Preferred or Super-preferred rate. Essentially, those categories mean "healthy" and "really healthy", and if you're in those categories, you get good rates. If you go online to look up Preferred and Super-preferred at insurance quote sites, you'll find things in the definitions like body mass index and blood cholesterol, things that modern medicine has shown are linked to heart disease and life span in general. It struck me as odd that nowhere in any company's definitions did I find a place to record my religion or lack thereof, or - get ready - how much people pray for me.

This bears emphasis. Bluntly: when money is involved, American businesses behave as if prayer has no effect whatever on the preservation of human life.

One can draw two conclusions.


1) Insurance companies don't include prayer because it doesn't make a difference on health and lifespan.

OR

2) Insurance companies deliberately exclude prayer because they're all secular enemies of God trying to stamp out Christianity. Boy that conspiracy is getting big!

Insurance is yet another aspect of life where, when it's time to make decisions that affect your health or your bank account - that is, when you have to put your money where your mouth is - most religious people behave exactly like an atheist would behave in the same circumstance. That is to say, they behave as if religion is just superstition.

So, to the religious of all stripes, listen up: if you really believe in the power of prayer, you'll be sure to demand a prayer discount when you buy an insurance policy. And of course, if you're a creationist, you'll refuse to go to doctors who accept the tenets of evolution. And you won't let your retirement funds be invested in oil companies who drill for oil on the assumption that the world is at least hundreds of millions of years old. In all seriousness, good for you - even if people think you're wrong, you have the courage of your convictions, and you're consistent.

As for the rest of you who believe in prayer and special creation but still buy insurance and medicine and oil stocks: what are you doing?

2 comments:

Dan said...

But, weren't dinosaur bones buried by Jesus to test our faith and point the faithful towards the oil?
NOOOOOO! My worldview is crumbling!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Caton.

Michael Caton said...

You are the first non-Facebook, non-spouse, non-card birthday wish.

But the whole "birthday" thing is just to throw us off. It's now clear to me that the universe began on Good Friday, 1976, from which date I have my first memory. Clearly all things condensed from Chaos just prior to that moment.