You could be dead tonight

On Tuesday night a car crashed outside our house. I was the first on the scene.

The driver had crashed a virtually brand new BMW convertible, doing at least 100kmh, into a concrete powerpole, snapping the powerpole and putting the lines into the hedge (cutting power to a very wide area). The car was a completely crumpled mess, even the wheels were shattered.

But when I arrived the driver was standing by the roadside flagging me down. She had only suffered a nasty cut to the head. The fact that she walked away is a miracle, the last two crashes on this stretch have been fatalities.

The car went sideways into the pole, hitting it just behind the drivers door. One foot further and the driver would have been dead instantly. Incidentally, despite it being such a snazzy car the airbags didn’t even go off – you can’t rely on safety mechanisms.

Remember, this earthly life is fleeting. One little slip (not necessarily by you), and you’re dead. The fact that you can even read this today is a blessing – don’t take it lightly.

If you were to die tonight, where would you go? Are you prepared to find out?

All you ever wanted to know about Christianity
Seven reasons you should not become a Christian (and one reason you should)

8 Responses to “You could be dead tonight”

  1. Paul from Canterbury Atheists Blog Says:

    Good one you Sam, suggesting we should all live our one life to the fullest.

    Billions have died and not one has come back & they never will, eh mate?

    When we die ‘we live’ only in our family and friends memories – to suggest further is merely wishful thinking from a member of ‘the third chimps’ who know their mortality.

    Not believing in the after-life actually makes you more conscious to use the time you have more productively, rather than frittering one life away with useless primitive practices like church.

    Atheists can make decisions for themselves.

    Atheists don’t live life to a set plan, they don’t believe horrible events like car accidents are part of the supernatural – just a horrible event and try and learn from them e.g. don’t speed.

    Atheists accept people for who they are, not discriminate based on some text or what you’ve told.

    Atheists don’t live in fear of a vengeful god.

    Atheists raise free-thinking children, don’t indoctrinate them e.g. my daughter went on a church run camp recently.

    Atheists do good deeds, not because of any mandate, for the buzz it gives.

    Atheists can do all the normal things our genes dictate, without believing they are sinful.

    Atheists don’t believe there’s a god watching you sit down on the toilet.

    Atheist think for themselves.

    More when I think of them.

    See ya.

    Paul.

    Note: On my blog I’m offering $1,000 (to medical research) to anyone who can tell me where heaven is? A knowledgeable guy like you should be able to tell me. So far ‘the believers’ attempts have been imaginative but unsubstantial in guiding me to where the abode of the righteous living is – so why not have a go?

    Here: http://canterburyatheists.blogspot.com/2008/12/where-hell-is-heaven-tell-me-and-ill.html

  2. Mr Dennis Says:

    Good to hear from you again Paul, always good to have another perspective! I won’t bother running through all of your points of course, but:

    “Atheists raise free-thinking children, don’t indoctrinate them e.g. my daughter went on a church run camp recently.”
    Good on you! But just because you try not to doesn’t mean all atheists don’t indoctrinate their kids with atheism, just as you can’t say all Christians don’t indoctrinate their kids with Christianity. Our state schooling system does however teach with atheism as the basic assumption behind the curriculum, so atheism is pushed through state funding and any alternative views (which are needed to prevent indoctrination in any direction) must be taught through private initiatives such as Bible In Schools.

    Atheism works logically only if you assume initially that there is no God. The vast complexity of nature is impossible to explain through science (there is no workable naturalistic explanation for the origin of life for example), which under normal circumstances would cause a person to conclude that life cannot have originated through natural processes and must have originated through non-natural (or supernatural) means. But as the atheist has already committed to the idea that God (and the supernatural) don’t exist, they don’t allow themselves to follow the logic. So instead they believe by faith that science will somehow explain how life began.

    It takes more faith than I have to believe that nonsense and be an atheist.

    Most people know there is some supernatural aspect to life – because it makes logical sense. I wrote this post to those people, to encourage them to investigate it further. I am not expecting to convince through one blog post someone who has already abandoned logic on this issue and has become firmly entrenched in their beliefs, so I am not surprised you remain unconvinced.

    But for everyone else, who is still willing to consider the bigger issues of life logically, have a look at the links I posted. You may learn something. And Paul, if you’re willing to open your mind for a moment, feel free to look too.

  3. Paul from Canterbury Atheists Blog Says:

    If you check my blog, you’ll see I cover a myriad of subjects and religions and beliefs. I’m an equal opportunity lambaster and I certainly don’t pick on one religion (the most popular articles I’ve done are the ones on Dalai Lama and Zenith Applied Philosophy)

    It’s only when I start on peoples own choice of superstition that I get told to open my mind or attacked.

    Well why don’t you open your mind and look at the teachings of the Church of Scientology?

    You are only one belief system (out of thousands) from being an atheist yourself.

    You don’t believe in the Raelians as much as I do – so does that make us both closed minded?

    If my kids took-up a religious belief or started to vote for Family First – that’s their decision. They can think for themselves.

    It’s personal choice and the right to live your life (as long as its not harming others) as you choose- without being told what to do by others.

    By the way my wife helped get Bibles in to our local school via the fundraising group she was in (her mate is right into it and she went along for the ride)I just laughed when I heard what she was into.

    My question to you is: would you be happy to send your own kids on a Hindu Church camp?

    Gotta shoot there Sam.

    Cheers.

    Paul

    PS: Science does explain the origins of life.

  4. Mr Dennis Says:

    “PS: Science does explain the origins of life.”
    Scientific journal references please, rather than just a statement of faith. I do know what I’m talking about here mate.

  5. Paul Says:

    Mate, as an open-minded bloke (unlike me) I’d love to know, if you would (a) allow your wife work with a group wanting to put Richard Dawkins books into the into your childrens school (b.) let your kids go to a Hindu Holiday programme?

    You seen to be going off on a tangent, here Sam and I don’t want to get into discussions on the the earth being 6,000 years old, creation in six days – it does my head in.

    Please tell us all in this open forum if you’d be happy letting your wife propogate the teachings of a person who argues God does not exist into your school -and- if one of your kids has an Indian mate letting them go with him/her on a Hindu Church camp?

    The readers would love to know, too.

    Cheers.

    Paul.

  6. Mr Dennis Says:

    It is my job to ensure my son has a decent, well rounded education and learns not just knowledge, but wisdom and logic, the skills needed to determine which knowledge is correct. This involves teaching him logic then allowing him to consider alternative views once he is capable of doing so. Until he is capable of this logic, it is the job of any parent to teach their children what they have determined to be correct through their own logic and wisdom.

    Note that we approach religion from completely different perspectives. As an atheist you can send your kids to any camp because you don’t believe the supernatural exists anyway so you don’t care what they pray to. But as a Christian we know the supernatural is as real as the physical, so such issues are actually important.

    So to answer your questions:
    a) If the school currently only had Christian resources and Richard Dawkins’ books would help to ensure a more balanced curriculum and develop critical thinking in the older students, yes. If the school already was biased towards atheism and Dawkins’ books would increase this bias, no.

    b) That depends entirely on the circumstances. If my son was 17, logical and wise, he had a friend who wanted him to come to a camp where there was some Hindu teaching but no worship, and my son was interested in learning the perspectives of others, probably yes. If my son was 5, believed whatever he was told and would be required to bow before an idol 3 times a day on the camp, absolutely not (as I believe the supernatural actually exists my views in this case would be quite different to your own).

    And I will take your refusal to provide references as an acknowledgment that you believe in the naturalistic origin of life by faith, not through science.

  7. Paul from Canterbury Atheists Blog Says:

    Mate, you always have this default position = Christianity.

    I judge all circumstances on what I see and make my own decisions based on facts, personal choice etc.

    Let’s say for purposes of debate, I agree to your proposition that everything we know ( via physics, biology, science, astronomy etc) about the creation of the earth, galaxy and mankind etc is incorrect.

    You still have yet to give me any reason/facts to believe the stories in the Bible (6 day creation, the earth is 6,000 years old, people lived to 900, unicorns, giants, invisible supernatural men, dragons) are credible alternatives or explain anything.

    Let us examine some of the science of the Bible you want me to believe in and see if it checks-out, with what any school kid knows.

    – The Earth has four corners right?
    – The Sun stood still for a day 6,000 years ago?
    – Bats are birds?
    – The earth rests upon pillars and doesn’t move (unless God gets angry or something per Job somewhere)?
    – The earth shakes whenever God really gets mad?
    – The sun moves around the earth?
    – The moon gets turned to blood now and again?

    All these things are written in the Bible – which means they’re true in your books and it’s me who is wrong (refer default position)

    Are you seriously asking me and everyone reading this, to believe in these passages from The Bible are true and a better alternative to modern science?

    Firstly tell us, the age of the earth(in your opinion)?

    Cheers.

    Paul

    PS: My daughter is 11 and she came home from the camp with all the church literature, which is cool by me. So let’s agree you wouldn’t let your own children listen to alternative belief systems at this age.

  8. Mr Dennis Says:

    You do like to quote things out of context!

    “- The Earth has four corners right?”
    The four corners of the earth is a figurative expression used even in modern English (although it is becoming rare now).

    “- The Sun stood still for a day 6,000 years ago?”
    The Bible does teach of a long day. I understand there are Chinese records of an exceptionally long night, that would verify this (can’t recall the reference though sorry). It was a supernatural event.

    “- Bats are birds?”
    The Hebrew word for “flying things” included both bats and birds. This word is generally translated as “Bird” in English, as its closest meaning. The Hebrews just had a different classification system for animals. They did not have a word for “mammal”, their word for “fish” covered fish, dolphins and other swimming things. This is just a translation quirk.

    “- The earth rests upon pillars and doesn’t move (unless God gets angry or something per Job somewhere)?”
    Some passages of the Bible are literal and others figurative, depending on the context. This is figurative.

    “- The earth shakes whenever God really gets mad?”
    As per above.

    “- The sun moves around the earth?”
    I presume you are referring to passages saying the sun “rises”, “sets”, and “goes around again”, that sort of thing? In these passages the behaviour of the sun is described from the perspective of the earth – and we use EXACTLY THE SAME terminology in modern English.

    “- The moon gets turned to blood now and again?”
    Not sure where you get this from, but there may be a passage in Revelation where the moon is described as becoming “blood-red”, just as it would when viewed from the earth through dust particles such as after a major volcanic eruption. This is a most likely describing a natural phenomenon.

    So the only one of those things you have quoted that is actually supernatural is Joshua’s long day – and yes, we believe in supernatural miracles that cannot be explained naturally.

    Based on my understanding of science, and note that I am a soil scientist and have had to deal with this issue in understanding the ages of soils, the 6-10,000 year age described in the Bible is perfectly consistent with the science.

    Finally, I described two separate scenarios with my son being 5 and 17. In between there is a grey area, at the age of 11 it would obviously depend on the circumstances.


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