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Atheist Richard Dawkins, who recently published his autobiography titled An Appetite for Wonder, recently appeared on TV’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote his book. Of course, Dawkins criticized Christianity and promoted his usual message of evolutionary historical science.
But in the extra interview footage, available on The Daily Show’s website, Dawkins made an interesting admission to Stewart—he doesn’t know for sure what happens to us when we die:
JON STEWART: So where do we go when we die?Wow, so Richard Dawkins, a man who is so certain there is no God, is not certain what’s going to happen to him when he dies? And yet he speaks with such certainty as he tries to indoctrinate people to believe in his religion of atheism!
DAWKINS: Bertrand Russell—well—
STEWART: So you don’t know?
DAWKINS: Well, we either get buried or cremated. Or we give our bodies to science. Bertrand Russell said—
STEWART: But you actually don’t know what happens to us?
DAWKINS: I don’t know what happens to us, but I know that our consciousness is wrapped up in our brains. I know that our brains rot.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Dawkins has made statements about his view of the afterlife. In an interview on the Australian talk show Q and A, Dawkins told host Tony Jones something similar:
The brain is what we do our thinking with. The brain is going to rot. That is all there is to it.And in response to a question about the afterlife in another interview, Dawkins responded:
I would say, “Don’t imagine for one second you’re going to paradise . . . . You’re going to rot in the ground.”What a wonderful, uplifting message for his listeners—you’re just going to rot in the ground and cease to exist! But it looks like maybe Dawkins himself isn’t completely certain about that. Actually, I believe his statements point to the willful suppression of the truth Scripture describes.
In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul tells us that unbelievers know the truth—they know there’s a God—but they choose not to acknowledge it:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18–20)Dawkins couldn’t say that when we die, we (our consciousness) will cease to exist. He even tried to turn to another human’s opinion (Russell) on the matter. But God’s Word is clear that when we die, believers spend eternity with Christ while unbelievers spend eternity separated from God in a real place called hell. There are no second chances in hell—the punishment is real and endures forever. Here’s how we phrase it in the Answers in Genesis Statement of Faith:
Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers enjoy eternal life with God.I would say to Richard Dawkins (and any other unbeliever) that God has provided sinful man with the one way of salvation through Jesus Christ, the God-man. Christ lived a perfect life, He died in our place on the Cross, and He rose again the third day. And He’s promised eternal life to those who believe:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)We at AiG sincerely pray that Richard Dawkins would repent of his sinful rebellion against God and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ before it’s too late.
Sadly, generations of young people in America have been educated to believe that life arose by natural processes and that man is just animal. Thus life ultimately has no meaning or purpose because when you die, you cease to exist. Even children’s TV host Bill Nye, appearing on the TV show Larry King Now, recently stated, “It’s very hard to accept, for many of us, that when you die, it’s over.”
The Bible has such a different message—but one that is being censored from the secular education system in America! It’s God Word that gives us the true account of our origins and what will happen in the future. Most of all God’s Word proclaims the message of salvation in Jesus Christ! Let’s do all we can to get this message of truth out to the culture.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying, Ken
This blog post was written with the assistance of Steve Golden.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.