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The Best of Atheist Tuesday: Bridge Out!

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I notice a bunch of drunken kids bunch driving their convertible down a dirt road, exceeding the speed limit. I know for a fact that the bridge is out a half mile down. Out of love and compassion I stand on the shoulder with a sound system and jump up and down, warning  them that they will soon plummet over a thousand foot cliff.  If they don’t stop and turn around, or at least slow down and examine the situation, they will fall to their deaths.

The kids laugh and point their fingers. One throws a Diet Coke can at me.

I shout into my megaphone: STOP! BRIDGE OUT! BRIDGE OUT!

Speeding up, they turn on their stereo and sing loudly to the Eagles’ “Life in the Fast Lane” passing me by. One kid pulls out a pistol, leans out over the back of the trunk, and points it at me.

I stop shouting.

I hear their mocking laughter resonate as they drive over the cliff to their deaths.

I warned them.

Another car barrels down the road. Jumping up and down hysterically,  I rush into the road and scream into my sound system: STOP! BRIDGE OUT! BRIDGE OUT!

The driver rolls her eyes yet slows the car down a little and stops right before going over the edge.

I warned her. She investigated the evidence and was saved.

A third car, a large station wagon with wood on the sides, and luggage on top, sees my frantic display, stops suddenly and turns around, no questions asked.

I warned them. They believed me.

This is why I preach Christ; so that some may not perish. No matter how ridiculous I look to the unbelieving world.

Charles Spurgeon wrote: “To be laughed at is no great hardship to me. I can delight in scoffs and jeers. Caricatures, lampoons, and slanders are my glory. But that you should turn from your own mercy, this is my sorrow. Spit on me, but, oh, repent! Laugh at me, but, oh, believe in my Master! Make my body as the dirt of the streets, but damn not your own souls!”

Read my other analogy, “The Drowning Woman,” by clicking here.

megaphone image courtesy of
FreeStockPhotography.com

69 Comments

  1. Speeding up, they turn on their stereo and sing loudly to the Eagles’ “Life in the Fast Lane”

    The Eagles? Just as well they went over.

    The driver rolls her eyes yet slows the car down a little and stops right before going over the edge.

    I warned her. She investigated the evidence.

    This isn’t clear. Are you saying she stopped and therefore didn’t go over the edge (though it was close) or that she stopped to investigate, but was too close to the edge and went over anyway?

  2. Sure they weren’t playing “highway to hell” on the radio?

    • Dennis: Good point, but they heard that after the cliff.

      perdita, To nearly all Christians, the evidence is, well, evident. Look up and around. Just as clear as seeing that there is no bridge.

  3. The driver rolls her eyes yet slows the car down a little and stops right before going over the edge.

    I warned her. She investigated the evidence and was saved.

    This is the crux, right here. Evidence. If the woman investigated and said that, while there is no bridge, there is also no cliff and the road goes on uninterrupted, would you say, “Without faith it is impossible to see that the bridge is out”?

    If the woman stopped and asked you for evidence that the bridge was out, would you answer, “I would be doing you a great disservice—it would almost be a sin—if I were to prove the bridge was out”?

  4. perdita, To nearly all Christians, the evidence is, well, evident. Look up and around. Just as clear as seeing that there is no bridge.

    So, your answer is yes, that’s what you’d say? Why warn anyone if they have to already believe in order to believe?


    We’ll try this: I say there is no cliff and no need for a bridge – the road goes on uninterrupted. How do we determine who’s right?

  5. No Steve, you have to tell us what the evidence is, and there has to be enough to draw a reasonable conclusion.

  6. Atheist Tuesdays Steve has promised and not delivered on:

    -“Child’s Play:” a response to a question Nohm had
    -“Untitled:” an article on Jack Chick requested by Vin, I think.
    -“Response to Vagon:” a rebuttal/response to Vagon’s piece on atheistic morality (posted alongside Steve’s reply)

    Instead we get a rehash of “The Drowning Woman.” Why write this when you’ve got other material that is fresher for discussion?

  7. Steve wrote: “To nearly all Christians, the evidence is, well, evident.

    Just as, to nearly all Muslims, the evidence for the Quran being the Word of God is, well, evident.

    Yet you don’t agree.

    You don’t take them, even the most honest and sincere Muslim, at their word, so why should we?

    Look up and around.

    Okay. I see no evidence for a God. What was I supposed to see? If you say “DESIGN!”, please be prepared to explain why it must be designed by intelligence, and not emergent properties.

    Just as clear as seeing that there is no bridge.

    Yet, much like the lifeguard analogy, we see the bridge just fine. In fact, we’ve driven over the bridge, and therefore don’t fully understand why you keep saying the bridge is out.

    If we agreed that the bridge is out, then there wouldn’t be any discussion about it.

    And I’m not one of the kids driving on by; I’ve stopped my car, got out, and spoken with you. I’ve then driven over the bridge, came back over the bridge, and told you that the bridge is fine.

  8. This is just repeat of the previous sitting in a field one. You’ll scream and wave and then when challenged, rationalize away why you can’t produce evidence that the real world example would be able to produce. Which is where the analogy fails.

    Again.

  9. Steve to nearly all Buddhists, the evidence is, well, evident. Look up and around. Just as clear as seeing that there is no bridge.

    Are you going to convert to Buddhism? No I did not think so.

    Don’t dodge your responsibility Steve, give a proper answer. Perdita, myself and every other atheist are “slowing down” just by reading this blog. This is your chance to show us the “cliff”.

  10. He can’t. He had a post all about the fact that telling us about the cliff will automatically make us fall off said cliff.

    So…he has evidence but can’t tell us about it. I guess we’re doomed!

  11. Yeah… when do we get an article on Jack Chick? I showed my co-workers Chick tracts straight from his website, and they laughed and face palmed at just how bad they were… except for one. He’s Southern Baptist and from the more fundie churches he attended they handed them out as if they weren’t the lolsy material that they are. One co-worker even though the website chick.com was a big hoax and that Jack Chick was just ‘trolling’ Christians for money and cheap laughs. But yeah Steve this was sort of a re-hash of previous arguments that Perdita already refuted pretty successfully. The bridge is out, because it can be observed to be out.

    You say Creation is evidence of God? Which God exactly? Odin? Zeus? Allah? You see when there isn’t an obvious stamp on reality that says ‘Jesus made this’ you’re free to interpret creation however you will. There might come a day when we learn just what ‘force’ if any created the Earth and the universe, (That vast sea of trillions of stars and planets out there that might contain other forms of life that may or may not be having the same theological debates we’re having now) or we may very well not. Either way, the answer of creation is proof of the Christian God is a total non-answer and if we accepted it and just moved on we’d ultimately learn nothing about the wonders that lie out there.

  12. Good analogy Steve…*puts in earplugs to drown out loud music in here*

    Keep on truckin’ for the Lord brother! :O)

  13. Are you trying to be ironic, Katie?

  14. Yep, ignore the difficult questions, that’s the key! Well done Katie.

  15. A strong belief that something is true says nothing about the truth of that belief. This is why evidence is needed. Unless, of course, you don’t care if what you believe is true or not.

    From reading different sites (partial list: Hovind, Comfort, Barton) I realize there are many that don’t care if what they believe or what they say is true or not. Like O’Reilly’s false footage of the protests in Wisconsin, if reality doesn’t back up their ideas they’ll lie, fake evidence or simply choose to misremember events rather than correct their ideas.

    I find this chilling.

    I find this dangerous.

    And, unfortunately, there are sub-sets of Christianity that actually promote this sort of irrationality. (This isn’t exclusive to Christianity, it’s just that you guys are the biggest players in the U.S.)

    Once you decide that not only are you listening to God, but that you have gotten the message absolutely 100% correct (Because God is awesome, not because you’re omniscient, of course), once you have decided to put in earplugs to drown out the music of reason and evidence, you have just closed yourself off to any sort of reality check. You have just chosen irrationality.

    If God says one thing, and the evidence shows another, maybe, just maybe, you’re actually wrong about what you think God says.

  16. In the analogy the cliff is the end of your life. None of us has been there and come back. The evidence is clear that there is design. I’ve seen better examples, but check this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF-be6bPhek
    The only question is, who is the designer? Mohammed never claimed to be God, neither did any of the great prophets of any other mainstream religion. Sure there have been a few nut cases that claimed to be God, but no one took them seriously. Jesus did. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the Lord, liar lunatic trilemma, if not see: http://www.greatcom.org/resources/areadydefense/ch21/default.htm

    I know you can refute this, I’ve read some of the athiest blogs. Of course you can come up with intelligent arguments. But as you’ve pointed out, arguments are not proof. Is the argument persuasive? Is ther any historical evidence that shows conclusively that Jesus did not say what He is purported to have said, or that the apostles did not die martyrs deaths because they had seen the Risen Savior?

    If the evidence you have does not persuade you, there is no better proof. Cross the bridge. But you are here because you hope to find proof.

    John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    John 8:58 “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” This verse makes the claim that Jesus existed before Abraham. Furthermore, when cross referenced with Exodus 3:14 “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'””, we see that Jesus used a title that God used himself, “I AM”.

    Revelation 1:17 states “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last” while Isaiah 44:6 states “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.”. Jesus once again has used a title that God used, claiming he is “The First and the Last”.

    In Matthew 9:6, Jesus claims he has the authority to forgive sin: ““But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He *said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.”” In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says he can forgive sin: “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

    In John 8:12, Jesus says that he is the light: “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.””. In Psalm 27:1, we are told God is the light: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?”.

    In Matthew 16:27, Jesus says he will reward men: “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds”. In Isaiah 40:10, we are told that God will give reward to men: “Behold, the Lord God will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him.”

    Isaiah makes the claim that God is the coming glory in Isaiah 40:5 “Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”. Jesus makes the same claim of himself in Matthew 24:30 ““And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”

    In Genesis 2:3, God blesses the seventh day, the Sabbath: “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”. In Matthew 12:8, Jesus claims to be the Lord of the Sabbath: “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”.

  17. Good post Steve I especially like the quote from Spurgeon! When does Spurgeon not have a good quote in connection to evangelism?! May God continue to bless you brother!

  18. @StevieD

    Let me simplify the way I perceive the Jesus story:

    I’m never, ever, going to be convinced that somebody was born from a virgin, performed “miracles” and was resurrected from death just by reading text, or having people tell me that they say it/believe it.

    So until you come up with something more to justify these beliefs, they remain in the realms of incredible stories, and I am forced to dismiss them… just like I dismiss the story of Sita that survived trials by fire.

  19. wow..great job copy and pasting…how is any of that relevant to the argument? I love how people think they can just copy and paste text and assume that it automatically makes them correct or know the wiser.

  20. ‘Don’t dodge your responsibility Steve, give a proper answer. Perdita, myself and every other atheist are “slowing down” just by reading this blog. This is your chance to show us the “cliff”.’

    *Crickets*

  21. “But Lord! I didn’t have enough evidence to believe in you!”

    “Tell it to these billions who had less than you, and yet believed.”

    Hey atheists: Luke 16:31 is your life story:

    He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

  22. Glenn, you sound like a 419 scam.

  23. Hmmmm interesting passage Glenn.

    Seems to contain another passage on how the rich don’t get into heaven and the poor do. I found that kind of interesting. Sort of also addresses the problem with salvation based on faith. The Rich Man roasts in hell and he asks for mercy and none is granted. For the first time in his entire life he’s able to carry on a conversation with a spiritual being, something most if not all humans are likewise incapable of doing. He can’t get any help because… that’s just the way God made it.

    So he does the next selfless thing and asks that his loved ones be visited by a now spiritual being so that they can witness proof of existence after death first hand, and be spared agony in hell since they will have eye witness account to the supernatural. Instead Abraham insists that books and teachings that make claims that go beyond anyone’s ability to test or comprehend are good enough in lue of something ACTUALLY supernatural that those people can see or perceive in some tangible way. What would it hinder them to manifest to these people so that they might not end up roasting forever in hellfire. People that claim to have divine revelation, or experiences that are the result of supernatural phenomenon typically become true believers. They’ve had an encounter that gives them some kind of insight into something divine and become one of the converted, or if they were doubters they would have no reason to doubt their faith any longer. Is it so much to ask an all powerful being who loves us regardless of the most terrible actions we could take and will forgive us of every sin we commit EXCEPT for doubt, to at least talk with us one on one or at least send an angel or spirit to confirm the things others take on blind faith contrary to tangible evidence that contradicts it, which by its very nature could endanger the mortal souls of His children? We live our lives and make choices based on evidence and rationality, weighing the consequences of the actions we take. Its how we survive and thrive in this life. So why would a divine being with absolute knowledge demand the exact opposite of us? Especially when he knows ahead of time whether or not we will pass or fail this requirement? This is the question I’ve been struggling with lately.

  24. Glenn, is that what you plan to say to Allah when he asks you why you didn’t follow the pillars of Islam as He set out?

    Glenn, if I started reciting the Quran to you, would that mean anything to you? If not, then why would verses from your holy book mean more to me than verses from the Quran?

    See, that’s why evidence matters, Glenn. Because without it, how am I to decide whether to worship your God, or Allah?

    You realize that Muslims think that “Moses and the Prophets” say the same thing about Christians, right? Why should I discount what their holy book says?

    Glenn, when you understand that your convictions are just the same as a Muslim’s convictions, then you might understand why I can’t accept the claims of one of you and not the other.

  25. Yes, Steve, “time after time” you reference evidence in an analogy (the lifeguard, the bus, the cliff, etc) and yet avoid showing any evidence for what the analogy is based on.

    In your analogy of “the cliff”, the woman turns away because, and I quote, “[s]he investigated the evidence“.

    Yet you’ve told us that if we investigate the evidence of your God, we’re damning ourselves.

    So, which is it?

    As has been mentioned, we’re slowing down, we’re listening to you, and so we ask… where’s this cliff?

    (StevieD claims that the cliff is death, which doesn’t make sense in the context of the analogy, since none of us is suggesting that we won’t die.)

  26. Nohm, you ramble a lot about Islam but I suspect that is your escape mechanism of the moment that lets you be at peace with your noncommittal. Did you know that no Muslim is sure of his own salvation? Just go ask a few. Then come back and tell me again how *my* convictions are the same.

  27. Glenn wrote: “Nohm, you ramble a lot about Islam but I suspect that is your escape mechanism of the moment that lets you be at peace with your noncommittal.

    1. I don’t need anything to be at peace with my noncommittal; I simply am already at peace with that, and I have been for almost 20 years. Until you guys actually bring forth a persuasive argument or some actual evidence, I see absolutely nothing wrong with me being noncommittal.

    2. I bring up Islam because you use the same arguments that they do. When I ask for evidence from either you or a Muslim (or a Mormon, or…), and it’s shown to be woefully insufficient, you both go to the “you have to have faith” place. The point I’m trying to make is that, if my belief has to be based on faith, then how do I choose between Christianity and Islam? And if I chose Christianity, which denomination?

    I try to bring up Islam because many American Christians are only aware of their own religious arguments, and it appears that they have little to no idea that they use the exact same ones as Muslims do.

    Yet you don’t agree with them on the details of the religion.

    Glenn wrote: “Did you know that no Muslim is sure of his own salvation?

    Are you suggesting that they don’t know if they’re going to Jannah or not? Because that doesn’t match my experiences talking with Muslims, and I’d wager I’ve talked with more Muslims and for a longer time than you have.

    Glenn wrote: “Then come back and tell me again how *my* convictions are the same.

    By “convictions” I meant that you are just as sure that you are correct about God’s nature and rules as they are. You are both sincerely convinced. Yet your religions (and holy books) contradict each other.

    So, since both of your convictions are the same, yet neither group provides any sort of persuasive arguments/evidence, how would I be able to choose?

    I repeat: A Muslim is just as certain that they are correct as you are that you’re correct, but you can’t both be correct.

    • For the record, I’ve spoken to many, many Muslims and not one is certain that they are going to Heaven or whatever the place they call it. Not one.

      Because of that, I am able to take them through the “Good Person Test,” and let them know that if they are wrong, there is quite a consequence.

      Because, after all, there is a big difference between the two faiths.

  28. And Glenn, for the record (and I apologize if I’m telling you something you already knew), but “The Fall” does not exist within Islamic theology.

    In Islamic theology, Adam asked for forgiveness from Allah, who granted it to Adam. Therefore, the concept of “The Fall”, and the need of a savior/messiah, does not exist in Islam. In Islam, the concept of “Allah has no partners” is incredibly important.

    Therefore, “salvation” is probably not the most accurate word that could be used in this context.

  29. For the record, I’ve spoken to many, many Muslims and not one is certain that they are going to Heaven or whatever the place they call it. Not one.

    Wait, you know that not one is certain about this, but you don’t know what their word for what you’d call “Heaven” is?

    Regardless, this is irrelevant. That was not my point. My point was that they are just as convinced that they know what God wants (the pillars of Islam) as you are convinced that you know what God wants (10 commandments).

    Because of that, I am able to take them through the “Good Person Test,” and let them know that if they are wrong, there is quite a consequence.

    Do they then explain to you that if you’re wrong (and they’re right), that there is quite a consequence for you?

    What’s their reaction when you start talking about the ten commandments? What’s their reaction when you start talking about The Fall?

    Because, after all, there is a big difference between the two faiths.

    Not with the way you guys talk to (and about) atheists. On that, and that’s the only part I care about, you’re exactly the same.

    I thought that would have been clear by the context. Of course there are differences in your details, rules, and beliefs. But the way you guys interact with atheists and the questions of atheists is exactly the same.

    Hence why I keep asking, if it’s all based on faith, how do I choose between Christianity and Islam?

    • As for the Muslims I’ve spoken with, not one mentioned your word for Heaven. I even spoke at a Muslim club and no one mentioned it. In fact, that’s the first I’ve ever heard it.

      Nohm, are you a Muslim?

  30. And, incidentally, that goes back to that oooooold question of mine that Garrett keeps bringing up.

    Why is “a guy died (and rose (after a short weekend) ) for me” more special than any other religion’s beliefs?

  31. So, if I had less learning, then it would make a difference? I don’t understand what you mean.

    I can’t ever imagine answering a question with that kind of an answer.

    Let’s assume that it won’t make a bit of difference… the question still stands. What is your answer?

  32. Steve wrote: “As for the Muslims I’ve spoken with, not one mentioned your word for Heaven. I even spoke at a Muslim club and no one mentioned it. In fact, that’s the first I’ve ever heard it.

    O.o

    …huh.

    The word is “Jannah” (although sometimes also written in English as “Jennah”). Click the link to learn more about it.

    I note that the article mentions “salvation”, so I should retract the statement I made to Glenn about that not being the best word. Consider that statement retracted.

    Nohm, are you a Muslim?

    I don’t know if you’re serious or not, but I’ll respond as if you are serious: no, I’m not, nor have I ever been, a Muslim in the way that you use the word. In the way that they (Muslims) define the word (i.e., “submitter to God”), I was one for a while when I was a Christian.

    But no, I’m not a Muslim, as Muslims are theists, and I’m not a theist. My knowledge of Islam is based on hanging out in Islamic chatrooms and blogs from 2004 or so until last year.

    For the record, no one in my family are Muslims either.

  33. He doesn’t have an answer, Nohm. I think we’ve given Steve the benefit of the doubt long enough. It’s clear you’ve stumped him, and he’s resorting to little cop-outs to save face.

  34. Steve wrote “For the record, I’ve spoken to many, many Muslims and not one is certain that they are going to Heaven or whatever the place they call it. Not one.”

    But then Steve neither are you! You see to be certain of heaven you’d have to be certain you’re not a false convert. But anyone could be a false convert. And since false converts [according to comfort] have no surety of heaven then no one has surety of heaven. QED.

    Now you might reply that the Holy Spirit tells you that you’re not a false convert. Yep. I’ve known several people who would have said the same. Right up until they lost their faith [and according to comfort that makes them a false convert].

    Maybe you’d reply “that will never happen to me!” Yep those people would have said exactly the same thing.

    In fact any reply you can make about how you couldn’t be a false convert they made it too. So ya see Steve if false converts had no surety of heaven and anyone can be a false convert then no one has surety of heaven. At least according to Comfort.

    Now perhaps you’d like to answer Nohm’s question?

  35. great analogy Steve. and a great encouragement to Christians who would feel foolish or are told that they are foolish for this type of evangelism. Our job is to warn. God is the one who turns the hearts. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. keep on warning!!

  36. What a fantastic analogy!!
    There are many that come to this site, hear the truth but never change their ways. They still have time but one day that time will run out and off the cliff they’ll go! Until that time, let us press on with the truth of God’s word if to bring only a few to the Savior!
    Will that be you?

  37. A closing thought-

    “No condition can be so bad but God can change it. No sin can be so great but God can forgive it. No garment of our life can be so stained but Christ can make it white. How I love to tell you these things! How much more happy would I be if every sinner here believed them and came to Jesus just as he is, and trusted Christ to be everything to
    him!”

    – Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

    • I have a closing thought as well:

      “If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.”
      — Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

      • Yep. Ole Bertrand believes now. There is ample evidence for our reality in his life at the present. Sad.

      • Do you have evidence that Ole Bertand believes now, or are you accepting this without evidence because it confirms your instincts?

      • Usually, one whose heart is hardened remains that way. Just a suspicion. Guess. I’d love to be wrong on this one…

      • I’m asking for the evidence that he has a life at the present and that ‘our reality’ (I’m guessing you really mean your belief that there is an afterlife and your God) is actually reality and not just a belief you have because it conforms to your instincts. But it appears you don’t have any.

      • Steve, I don’t think that was perdita’s question.

        Whether or not Betrand died with a hardened heart is irrelevant in the context of her question; if Betrand is in either Hell or Heaven now, he would believe, correct?

        So, perdita’s question still stands.

      • Faith.

        So Old Bertand’s point stands.

  38. Steve L. wrote:
    “let us press on with the truth of God’s word if to bring only a few to the Savior!
    Will that be you?”

    Well Whateverman, will that be you; well, will it?

    • Hey Steve L.,

      Islam is the only true religion, and only its believers will go to Heaven.

      Well, Steve L., will that be you; well, will it?

      • Did Mohamed forgive sins and rise from the dead? In Islam, is salvation a free gift or do your good deeds have to outweigh the bad? Hmmm… Quite a few differences, ya think?

      • Yeah, Mohamed never pretended to be God’s son and personal behavior and responsibility actually count for something.

      • Basically, Steve, you’re judging the criteria of the Islamic faith to be false solely based on Christian doctrine. I don’t see how Mohamed having to forgive sins, raise from the dead, or salvation being free is relevant to the truth claims of it, should any exist.

    • Well Whateverman, will that be you; well, will it?

      Seeing that you ignore everything *I* say, Steve, I’ve got no reason to take you seriously, either.

  39. No thinking required!

  40. The last to arrive are two men on a motorcycle. They are listening to AC/DC’s “Who Made Who” on the radio. The driver of the motorcycle is a large, clean-shaven man dressed in leather with Oakley Razor Blade sunglasses. The other man is a bearded man wearing goggles, a leather cap, a towel around his shoulders and nz rugby t-shirt squeezed into a sidecar. They stop when they see me. I tell them that the bridge is out. They look at each other and start laughing. They then proceed to ask me a bunch of questions about roads and bridges and gravity and how I came to my conclusions, if I have 20/20 vision and if I have ever read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, etc. This went on for a very long time. I finally said, “The bridge is out, if you keep on driving you will fall off the cliff and die.”

    They looked at each other again and started laughing. The driver flipped me the bird and the bearded man in the sidecar blew a raspberry at me. They then fired up their motorcycle and sped away blowing dust in my face. Being completely sure that I was wrong and they were right, they didn’t even stop to investigate but drove right off the end of that cliff laughing. Death met them face to face on the canyon floor.

    • My gosh, and here I thought the massively useful towel would save them from anything.

    • “The driver flipped me the bird”

      LOL. I laughed so hard at the above I don’t need to do any situps for a week.

      I think I know who the characters in the story are.

      Jim and BathTub?

    • LOL @ Schmader

      Jim driving around BathTub in a sidecar, classic. I instantly thought of a Chick Tract!

      I would like to read more about their adventures but you just killed them off!

  41. Wow!!! Incredible reading material Thank you to all of you who posted comments. I really enjoyed reading all of it. I find it rather interesting that it is hard for everyone to accept that we all have differing views and beliefs. For the record, I will state that I believe in God and I believe in Christ as the son of God and as the salvation of the world. So by definition that makes me a Christian. I do not believe that there is life after “death”, a place of eternal torment or a place of “paradise”. I believe that there is a judgement day, where all those who have died will rise to experience a a life with God, heaven. Or will face an eternal death, not a burning forever.

    Now, for the analogy. If one feels that he/she must warn others of a danger whether it is perceived to be real by one and not the other, what business is that of anyone else. If I tell you that this world is coming to an end, believe me or don’t believe me. You ask for “proof”. I give it to you. You either then accept that proof or you don’t. Plain and simple.

    Many of you who posted asked for “evidence”. The evidence has been shown to you but you will not accept it. Fine, don’t accept it. What is the evidence? Let’s consider the bridge out analogy. I tell you the “bridge is out”. Where’s the evidence you ask. Ok. Drive out further and see for yourself. If to you, the bridge is fine and not out. Fine, then you go with that. If you drive out and see that the bridge is out, then change your course. Plain and simple. It all depends whether you believe me or not. So, the onus is on you to believe or not to believe.

    I know what I believe and why I believe it. I have studied it and I have accepted it. Also, for the record, my background is Hindu/Sikh/Radhasoami. I do have experience with other religions/faith systems. I suppose by definition that makes me a “convert”. I have driven to the edge and have seen that the “bridge is out”.

    I question you who call yourselves “Atheists”, have you driven to the edge to examine the evidence? No doubt that many of you will say yes and have seen that “bridge is not out”. Fine, then you go with that. But, please do not treat me so harshly if I do not accept your point of view. As I promise to not do the same to you.

    You may give me “proof” for your view and I will give you “proof” for mine. So where does that leave you and me? By faith, I will continue to believe what I believe and by faith you will continue to believe what you believe. So those who call yourselves “Atheists”, you have your own faith systems as I have mine. No evidence will ever be sufficient to convince us of spiritual things. It is only faith that makes us believe what we believe…whether you will believe in my God or you won’t or I believe in your “there is no God” or I won’t.

    Plain and simple.

    • “Many of you who posted asked for “evidence”. The evidence has been shown to you but you will not accept it.”

      Name one instance? In fact your entire post mentions the word evidence but doesn’t present anything. If its anything but a passage in the Bible you get a gold star!

      “I question you who call yourselves “Atheists”, have you driven to the edge to examine the evidence?”

      Well “Theist” I’m not exactly sure what that means… do you mean gotten close to death and had a near death experience? Or do you mean searched for information about how the universe functions, its history, physics, nature, that sort of stuff?

      “By faith, I will continue to believe what I believe and by faith you will continue to believe what you believe. So those who call yourselves “Atheists”, you have your own faith systems as I have mine. ”

      Well “theist” I’d have to agree with you, everyone has faith, because faith is merely confidence in regards to information and knowledge, its a substitute for actually knowing things. The key difference is that you have religious faith, which is unreasonable faith that is defended against knowledge and reason, and “atheists” have reasoned based faith… which means that you can trust and be confident that your friend has certain knowledge like who scored the most home runs for the Texas Rangers last season. Now he may be wrong, if new evidence presents itself or you discover his knowledge isn’t as sound as you first judged it to be, and you may find out the answer is just different in a reference book comprised by statisticians galore… you might lose faith in him. But because we do not possess, the time, the capability, desire, the mental aptitude for recall, etc. etc. to remember, check, and verify absolutely every bit of information we come across we have to rely on reasoned based faith to function… otherwise you just get bogged down.

      “No evidence will ever be sufficient to convince us of spiritual things”

      Not true. If “spiritual things” manifested in some way that can not be explained by natural means… like say… miracles… that happen in the Bible than that is evidence that would convert millions. You should see believers in faith healing ceremonies, they’re more convinced than ever… and the uninformed? They become instant believers! Now think, if that stage show and fakery can win over a few, think of what the real deal miracles could do?

  42. The analogy is a little off. It should read like this:

    Steve: Hey the bridge is out up ahead.
    Patrick: What bridge? I don’t see one.
    Steve: My guide book here says that the bridge is out and you will surely die if you continue on this path.
    Patrick: Let me see this guide book of yours. Hmm it looks like your guide book is out of date and written by people that have never been here or even seen this bridge. Maybe you should get another guide book?
    Steve: No it says so in this book. The BRIDGE IS OUT!
    Patrick: look, just open your eyes and look. The bridge is there and intact. In fact, just yesterday there were engineers checking the bridge for damage.
    Steve: You are going to die!
    Patrick: okay, thank you. Have a good day.

  43. I can see this as an analogy for how you feel about the need for evangelism, but as an analogy for the actual situation it’s woefully inadequate. If you tell me that there’s a bridge out, I can drive slowly over and check for myself. But when it comes to Christianity, there’s no comparable way to check. Where should I go to touch the wounds? Where should I go to see people burning in Hell, or frolicking in Heaven? (They do frolic in Heaven, right?)

    In addition, you’ve told me yourself that I can only perceive the truth of Christianity if I already accept it. Which means that you’re not so much telling me that the bridge is out, as that there’s a catastrophic crack in the bridge that’s utterly imperceptible unless I already know it’s there – at which point it’s perfectly obvious.

    So, yes: I understand that the situation seems obvious to you. Can you understand why it doesn’t seem anywhere near so obvious to so many of the rest of us?

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