an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

Christians, One Day You Are Going to Die

Over at the hilariously inept Debunking Atheists blog, Dodger Dan, the Don of Avoiding Giving a Straight Answer posted the following in the (well worth reading) comments here…..

“We all will be in Heaven to discuss these matters of where, and what, we got wrong and such. That will be the most epic “podcast” in mankind’s history. Care to join us in that discussion?”

The following is my response, slightly edited to make it applicable to all believers –

It won’t happen, because there is no heaven (also the Bible pretty clearly preaches a Kingdom on Earth, so even if WERE true you still wouldn’t be in heaven).

Here’s what is going to happen. Assuming you don’t die in your sleep, you will have a moment, when you’re very old, when you realise that you’ve wasted your only life, and you’ll look back on these events and wish you’d listened to those of us who cared enough to engage with you. You’ll remember the people who tried to free you from your religious slavery for no reason other than it being the right thing to do (no promise of an eternal reward for us!).

You will look back at a life wasted, and you will realise that those times will never return. And you will die, and be gone forever. Remembered as the man who spent his whole life thinking he was stopping people walking blindly over a cliff when, in reality, there was no cliff at all and people were looking at him in pity as they went about their daily lives.

That is how this is going to play out, and I can say that with 100% certainty.

The thing is, Christians, Muslims, Jews, all people of faith, you KNOW this deep down. At the core of your being you know this is all there is – why else would you ask people to pray for sick friends and relatives? Why else would you make sure your children are immunised and made aware of the dangers of this world? A finite life on Earth, compared to an infinite life in the Kingdom of God, is nothing, merely the blink of an eye – so why care about those who die? Why cry at a funeral of a loved one if you’re going to be seeing them soon? Why do anything to prolong life at all?

In fact, as the Bible seems to show that unbaptised children get a free pass automatically to the Kingdom, why teach your offspring how to be safe? Surely you’d be doing them a far greater favour by allowing them to be killed on the road, or choking on a piece of Lego? No, the very reason you DON’T do that is because you KNOW, deep in your core, that THIS is IT.

To borrow from one of Circular Sye’s favourite phrases, you know the truth that this life is the only one you’ll ever live, but you deny it in misplaced self-righteousness.

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9 thoughts on “Christians, One Day You Are Going to Die

  1. "That is how this is going to play out, and I can say that with 100% certainty."Which destroys your entire position. How do you get from "existence exists," to: "I. Alex Botten know X?" You never did clear that up (because you can't)."In fact, as the Bible seems to show that unbaptised children get a free pass automatically to the Kingdom"Hardly. God can and does save in utero (Luke 1:41), but to consider that the norm would make opposition to all aspects of abortion odd.

  2. "Which destroys your entire position. How do you get from "existence exists," to: "I. Alex Botten know X?" You never did clear that up (because you can't)."I refer you to our last podcast debate, where I explained this to you over and over and over again.

  3. Alex: you can't tell somebody like Sye that he is not allowed to claim that he knows what atheists think, only to turn around and tell theists what they think:The thing is, Christians, Muslims, Jews, all people of faith, you KNOW this deep down. At the core of your being you know this is all there isThis is simply an untrue statement, and is easily disproven in the context you describe by the many thousands of believers who have taken comfort from their faith as they lay dying.

  4. Meanwhile, Sye:God can and does save in utero (Luke 1:41)That passage does not demonstrate that God saves in utero, it merely describes a foetus kicking in the stomach. If that's the level of your biblical exegesis, it explains a lot.

  5. The very fact that everyone tries to grasp onto life screams that they don't want to die – if they were genuinely believed they would be in some afterlife right away they wouldn't care if their children, siblings, parents, friends, spouses died. They do care, because not a single one of them has 100% certainty in their beliefs when the shit hits the fan.

  6. The very fact that everyone tries to grasp onto life screams that they don't want to die – if they were genuinely believed they would be in some afterlife right away they wouldn't care if their children, siblings, parents, friends, spouses died.But this is simply not true, Alex. If grief is a universal human response to loss, then the presence of grief doesn't necessarily show the absence of faith. Religious faith may be powerful, but almmost all religions accept that basic human emotions don't magically disappear once you believe.I can still be sad that I lost my brother, even if I believe that I'll see him in heaven. The latter fact doesn't diminish the former in the least, not while I'm still alive here and now. And just because I'm not scared of what might come after death doesn't mean that I'm not scared of dying…They do care, because not a single one of them has 100% certainty in their beliefs when the shit hits the fan.Well, that may be true, but I assume you would say that you don't have 100% certainty in your beliefs either? Again, not having 100% certainty doesn't mean that your beliefs are unjustified, whether you're an atheist or a theist.

  7. You make a good point, and I confess that there is hyperbole in the post and replies.

  8. I realise that the presuppositionalists have wound you up, but of course that's exactly what they want… Despite the claims of the one-liner presuppositionalists, vaguely intelligent discussion on these issues is possible.

  9. "vaguely intelligent discussion on these issues is possible."As was shown by David on episode 19 of the podcast. Unfortunately such a discusion is not likely to be forthcoming from the likes of Circular Sye or Dodger Dan, or any of the other presup crowd.

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