<<<Unless my eye's have somehow missed it, why has noone addressed Brummie's excellent points?>>>
I'll take a crack at it. I don't have an argument with what Brummie says. In essence we are all the victims of circumstance in life. That's simply life. Whether you choose to react in a victim mentality to life's circumstances or not seems to be influenced a lot to ones belief system. I think what Logansrun was getting at with this thread is how some Christians buy into the fact that you have to accept that you are noting without Christ or Christianity. That you are born broken and the only way to be fixed is to adopt the Christian belief system. The Christian bible explains how we all became broken and why. It then goes on to explain who came down to earth unbroken and fixed us by taking a little vacation from the sprit realm, dying in the flesh, and then turning back into the sprit he was in the first place. Christians see that as the ultimate sacrifice. Non-christins see that as a mythical game used to control the minds of those who buy into the bibles story and become "Believers"..
Belief is a mental exercise not an absolute exercise in kinetic energy. Unless belief can be turned into something kinetic simply by itself it is in reality only a stored electric brain wave.
Belief is not a tangible reality but a mind set that can motivate a person to act on elements of that belief. Whether it be a simple prayer giving thanks before eating dinner or crashing a jumbo jet into a building of innocent people. True Christian, fundamental Christian, back sliders, it's all various levels of belief that simply identify a person with their religion and what level of seriousness they apply it to their life. From there you can dissect out what each Christian believes to be literal and what believe is symbolic in the way of guiding elements for their life. Even at that point most Christians I have known live somewhat of a double life in regard to what they "say" they believe.
Whether you believe in the Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist concept of the so called after life is irrelevant. No one has come back from it and has positively proven what concept is absolute or a reality if any. All that leaves you with is a cloudy hope for something after what we all see as our present reality. If that hope makes someone a better person in the present, than it's a good thing. If that hope drives you to ride horses across Europe and crucify people who do not accept or share that hope like you do than it is a bad thing.
Not believing a religious concept of what is in store after we die does not change what will happen in the slightest. Neither does believing in it. The only reality in it is how we conduct ourselves here and now based on what we choose to believe or not believe. After that we have absolutely no control over what may or may not happen. If you want to take the bet that the christians are right then do that. if you don't than do that. Either way everyone is simply betting. Saying you have a stored brain wave that says you believe is no guarantee of anything. If there is a god then I think he would care more about who you are or were than what you say you believed or didn't believe. There are too many levels of each religion to try and subscribe to for one to say "I'm safer than someone who does not believe." That has never been proven no matter what either side says.
It's a psychological game we all play with ourselves so we can sleep a little better at night. Each group seems to need others who claim the same label we have so that we can feel validated in our thoughts and actions as a result of that belief. This in reality will only help us in that feeling of safety and make us snuggle up to that pillow a little better at night. In all my years of studying the various aspects of god, religion, and human nature I haven't seen anything to prove any difference.
Than again, that's just my opinion or belief. Since this whole topic is speculative and subjective there and not one single Christian can absolutely prove me or anyone else wrong.