This blog intends to provide some balance in the religious debate by providing a counterpoint to Billy Graham's religious advice. On his website http://www.billygraham.org/ he responds to readers' questions by quoting from the bible. I am attempting to respond to those same queries by resorting to reason and rationality.

I must acknowledge a debt here to Jeff Hope who started in this vein but who has unfortunately taken a hiatus. His blog is http://atheistsanswer.wordpress.com/. Jeff has inspired me to continue.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Time For Reflection

QUESTION: Today's comes from JR...
"I'm old and sick and don't have much time left, and as I look back over my life I know it's been wasted. I thought I was having a good time, but now I realize it's too late and I'm not ready to meet God. Maybe someone will learn from my bad example."

We all know that we are mortal and that our time will come sooner or later. The later years are often times of reflection, and it seems that you are not content with your life so far. You write that you had a good time - don't be upset about this. There is no point in leading a miserable life and you may well have made others happy in the process. Life is about enjoying yourself, helping others, and leaving the world a better place than when you arrived. If you feel you have underachieved in any of these areas, then set yourself some goals while you still can.
I can assure you everyone can look back and find fault with themselves, but don't let this induce feelings of guilt. Religions constantly try to make us dissatisfied with ourselves, and followers can end up wracked with guilt. Resist this guilt trip. When you look back, focus on the positives and your achievements. Be content that you are human. If you think that others can learn from your experiences, then write them down or even start a blog!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Scant Comfort

QUESTION: Today's comes from MWR...
"I'm having a hard time these days, both physically (several surgeries in recent years) and spiritually. I know I asked Christ to come into my life when I was a teenager, but now I wonder if I'd go to heaven if something happened to me. How can I know?".

You are obviously having a hard time of life at the moment despite asking Jesus to come into it. His presence and protection hasn't made any difference, as his followers lives are besieged by the same trials and tribulations as non-believers.
Belief systems make extraordinary claims. Their promise of a specific outcome if you die can never be satisfactory because no one really knows what will happen. It is normal to have doubts about anything that you are not sure of. The reassuring thoughts provided by religion are supposed to make your life more comforting but they do not deliver - believers' lives are wracked with doubts.
As things stand at the moment you will find more solace in getting suport from the things that can demonstrate some solidarity: friends; family; your own thoughts and feelings; medical science; and the world around us. Draw comfort from those things that demonstrate strength, not those that promise it.