I like The Punch. Lots of interesting articles. I wish they would get their techie to fix their RSS feeds, it really shouldn’t be that difficult.
Anyway, I came across this post there today by a guy called Steve Kryger. Not the sharpest tool in the shed I’m afraid, but his article made me laugh, so here’s a few choice quotes from it, and my thoughts on them. He asks his readers “What do you think happens when we die?” . Well, the answer to that is pretty simple. The universe claims back your 13 billion year old atoms, and eventually new stuff will be made out of them. That’s it. And the thought clearly makes Steve uncomfortable. But first, he treats us to some evidence from anecdote :
Of course, there’s the occasional atheist who is convinced that they have no eternal soul that will endure beyond their last breath, but from my random sampling, these are few and far between.
Church attendance in Australia is at 8%, I doubt that all the rest are declared atheists, and yet the whole eternal life thing seems to be not really the number one hot topic for more than just “the occasional atheist”.
Generally speaking, Australians are pretty confident that ‘this’ isn’t all there is, and when life’s umpire raises his finger to the sky and sends them back to the dressing room, they will find themselves in a ‘better place’.
As they say in the sciences and on Wikipedia, . What is the point in asserting that most Australians believe in an afterlife, if no evidence is provided ? Sorry, but that’s rubbish.
Of course, if our final destination is completely independent of any choices we make pre-death, there’s no point giving even a moments consideration to this question.
But what if the decisions we make now, in this life, impact where we find ourselves in the ever-after? Surely you’d want to be sure – one way or the other? Surely if bad news awaited, and there was an escape plan, you’d want to find out while you still could?
That’s a classic. I better be good in this life because if I’m not I will go to hell. The sole motivation for a Christian to not rape and pillage is not that it’s an assmove, but because you’ll go to hell if you do. Awesome morality. So Steve Kryger is good in this life because the celestial dictator he believes in will send him to a place of eternal hellfire if he’s a bad boy. I never understand this kind of reasoning. Why can’t a Christian be good because it’s the right thing to do, not because you’re threatened with hell if you are not ?
So the next question is – is it possible to know what is around that corner before we get there?
As a Christian, I believe it is possible. The Bible is both the authority and road-sign that I place my hope and confidence in. In the Bible we read that all people who have ever lived will experience a day of judgement. For some people, the result of this judgement will be to continue to experience relationship with God in heaven, for eternity.
What utter nonsense. The Bible is not an authority on anything, it is a badly edited, frequently translated mishmash of stone age goatherder stories, outdated and irrelevant for anything other than as a historical document. This “day of judgement”, together with the “born sinner” thing, are 2 of the most effective ways Christianity has instilled compliance and fear in the populace for 2000 years. But this is 2010, and it ain’t working anymore, Steve. People laugh at your beliefs, and your Bible. We know it well, because we have read it from front to back, read the scholary analyses about it, and generally know it much better than most Christians.
Steve warns us though, we can have Jesus, or else :
However, the Bible is also very clear in explaining that there is an alternative – a place called hell – where all who desire to continue to live separate to God and his rule will be permitted to do just that. Their destiny will be a place where God, the source of all goodness, will be absent. There are two alternatives, the Bible explains, and everyone makes the choice.
I can’t really believe that anyone is allowed to write such ridiculous nonsense in 2010. You believe in my god, or you will burn in hell forever !!! LOL.
Steve, here’s a newsflash for you, your god does not exist, and she is not the source for anything, let alone goodness. Goodness, morality, and being a decent human being, is entirely up to us. It’s our decision to be good. No god is going to intervene, no eternal hellfire awaits. It is time that we humans take responsibility for our own actions, and it is also time that silly apologists like Steve had a little reality check.
Don’t go round that last corner blind-folded. The consequences are simply too great to just cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Steve, there are no dragons under your bed, and there is no eternal hellfire. Now go and enjoy your life, and try being the best person you can. Those “occasional atheists” are doing that already.