Tag Archive | Death

A letter to my son about death

Sad BoyTo my dear son,

I’m sorry that you’re feeling scared about dying. I’m glad that I was able to make you feel a bit happier, but I’m afraid I haven’t been completely honest with you.

It’s not as if you have anything to worry about – you’re a perfectly healthy four-year-old, so your expected remaining lifetime is an absolute eternity from that point of view. But you’ve realised that everyone dies, which means you’ll die eventually, and you’re having a hard time coming to terms with it. I sympathise – I remember how scary I used to find the prospect of death at that age. But your fears put me in a difficult position.
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Ten Hundred Word Resurrection

ResurrectionEvery year, on the day when people give each other sweet things that look like baby flying animal cases, we remember that a long time ago, God’s son came back to life after being dead. This is called ‘resurrection’.

After this happened, he was a bit like when he was living before, but also a bit different. He still had deep cuts in him from when he was killed, and people could put their hands right in them and touch him, so it’s a bit like he was a dead body that could walk around, like in movies. But he could eat normal food, not just brains, and he could also walk through walls and other way cool stuff. Read More…

The man who didn’t die

Rocking ChairThe old man sat in the rocking chair on his porch, gazed off into the distance, and sighed. It wasn’t meant to be this way. Where had it all gone wrong?

He’d had a good innings, there was no doubt about that, but there’s more to life than longevity. He’d had ideals and dreams, he’d led a great movement, but in the end, nothing had changed. No one followed him these days. He still commanded a certain amount of respect, but no more than that. What good was it for a man to live forever yet achieve nothing? Read More…

Ten Hundred Word Atonement

SacrificeThe Big Book of God says that people are bad, because the first people ate something from a tree when they shouldn’t have done. Because of that, we need to try to make it up to God when we get things wrong. A long time ago, important people killed animals or burnt them to make it better and say sorry to God. That worked for a while, and God was happy, but it wasn’t good enough as a way of always being friends with God again.

It says in the Big Book of God that people can’t make things better on their own, and we always get it wrong when we try, so God sent His son to be a person so that he could do it for us. He didn’t make it better by killing animals, like the important people in the old days, but by having himself killed. This meant that we were friends with God again, even though we still weren’t allowed to live in the nice place where the first people lived before. Read More…

A man dies, and I don’t know how to react

Earlier this week, Duane T. Gish died at the age of 92. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, he was a vocal Young Earth Creationist whose distinctive rapidfire debating style inspired the coining of the term “Gish Gallop“.

Duane GishHe was an old man, and he’s dead. That saddens me, just as any death would, but apart from that, I don’t know how to feel. I’m not someone who takes pleasure in people dying – I was the sort of wet liberal hanky-squeezer who felt uncomfortable at the celebrations when Osama bin Laden was killed. But for all that, I feel a bit odd about this.

There’s a strong temptation to simply say nice things about people when they die, but while that’s polite and respectful, it can also tend towards humbug and flannel. A classic example is the way politicians can go from angrily attacking each other’s intelligence and honesty to speaking movingly about what good people they were. It may be polite, but it’s also a little insulting to everyone’s intelligence. Read More…

Posthumous Honesty – Poll Results

It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve had a lot going on in real life, which will probably make for interesting blog material before long, but for the time being, I really ought to deal with the poll I set up some time ago.

The scenario that I set up specified that you knew you would die tomorrow, and had the opportunity to leave messages for others, if you wanted, to tell them exactly what you dislike about them. My reason for setting the poll up was that when I considered the possibility of being able to do such a thing, I couldn’t work out how I felt about it. I didn’t think I’d do it, but I couldn’t say why, as there didn’t seem to be any good reason not to. I wondered if it might be that I thought it would reflect badly on me in some way, which was why I specified that you would suffer no negative consequences. Read More…

A chance to be honest

I’m currently away on holiday for a while, so if you can bear with me, I’d like to try out a little experiment.

A while back, I read a very interesting book called “Do You Think What You Think You Think?” which takes the reader through a number of questions and scenarios to discover whether your moral and philosophical beliefs are consistent and coherent. As it happens, mine pretty much are, barring a couple of minor points.

One exercise which rather caught my imagination revolved around what makes us who we are, and attempted to give some insight by asking the reader to choose between some rather Sci-Fi options. I like this idea, and I’d like to see if I can use a similar concept in the hope of discovering something interesting. Read More…

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