Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nothing after death

Here we have an example of Billy Graham responding irrationally to a rational opinion about death...
Q: I don't believe anything happens after we die. When we die, that's the end, and hopefully we've had a good time along the way. People who think we're going to go on living in some perfect world are just kidding themselves, in my opinion. -- C.F.P.
Sounds like CFP has it right to me. As far as all the evidence goes, there's no sign that there is anything other than this life.
A: Your letter saddened me because it means you're living only for this present world -- with all of its problems and uncertainties -- and you have nothing to look forward to. You're like those of whom the Bible speaks, "without hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).
Nothing to look forward to? Quite the contrary! There is almost always something to look forward to. Exactly what that is will differ from person to person. One thing I look forward to is growing old with my wonderful wife. I don't need a god to look forward to that, nor does CFP need a god in order to look forward to getting married, buying a house, becoming an actor, or whatever it is that lights his inner spark.
I can't help but wonder if you've really thought through what it means to believe that death is the end, and there is no Heaven or final judgment.
Yup, yup, and yup. There is nothing after death, no Heaven or final judgement. Death is it. You will simply cease to be. I didn't exist before my birth, and after my death I will no longer exist again and the atoms that make up my body will once more be recycled by the universe. 
If this is true, it means you will never again see those you once loved.
Sad but true... such is life. But it also gives us all the more reason to appreciate them and this finite time we'll have together all the more. Don't take your loved ones for granted under the assumption that you will have eternity to catch up. If you are wrong you risk not taking those relationships seriously and will never get a second chance to make it right.
If this is true, it means there is no final justice; the tyrants and abusers and murderers of this world will never have to pay for their sins.
Sins? No. Crimes? Yes, we do make them pay. That's what the legal system is for. And that's better than final judgement in two ways. Christianity proposes infinite punishment for a finite crime. That is unfair and immoral. Christian justice also isn't even justice. The tyrants, abusers, and murderers Billy mentions will not be judged at all if they are Christians. All their heinous crimes would simply be washed away and forgotten. What more, they will be granted eternal reward. That is not justice of any sort!
And if this is true, your life has no ultimate meaning or purpose, nor does it have any hope.
Not ultimate, no. But here's a shocker... I don't need to be told what my purpose is in order to have meaning in my life. Like every other atheist I know, my life has plenty of meaning. Be it loving my wife, learning new things, being brightened by our cats acting cute or silly, caring for my garden, touching the lives of those I know and care for...

There is purpose as well, there is the purpose of bringing my wife love, happiness, and security. There is the purpose of this blog... countering religious superstition with a healthy dose of logic. In short, I strive to try and help make this world a better place than it was when I entered it.

I have hope as well. Hope that religion will continue to fall in influence throughout my lifetime. Hope that science will solve the medical and other pressing problems of our age. Heck, I even hope that my Manchester United will return to being the best team in England, and even Europe.
But listen: This isn't true!
That's right, what Billy just said about nonbelievers isn't true...
This life isn't all there is; you and I were made for eternity.
That's a big claim. Does Billy have any proof that this is true, or anything more than just wishful thinking?
We know this because slightly over 2,000 years ago God came down from heaven in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. He did this to make our salvation possible by opening heaven's door for every person who turns to Him in faith and trust.
This is something else that also hasn't been proven. So the proof that that this life isn't all there is, is a rumor?  Not very impressive...
I can't help but wonder, however, why you've come to this conclusion. Is it because you don't want God in your life?
Actually, it's probably because there is no proof that there is anything other than this life. Since this life is the only one we know we will have, it only makes logical sense to enjoy this life to it's fullest rather than shortchanging the only life we know we will get in the hopes of a second life that is far from guaranteed. To foolishly sacrifice something as precious as the only life you have on no more than a wish is something very sad indeed.


-Brain Hulk

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