We came across a YouTube clip (shown below) of British well-known personality Stephen Fry belittling belief in life after death. We respect him as an intelligent and funny guy but we were quite surprised by the rather baffling poor logic and mis-representation of the Christian faith that he displays in his reasoning.
Stephen Fry says that those who believe in an “after-life” do not accept death and that they are afraid of it. Christians are not afraid of death and fully accept it – in a sense, they look forward to death as pathway to something so much better. Why does Stephen Fry think that those who believe in an “afterlife” fear death? Not only is this a straw-man argument, it is always very patronising. Was there any hint of a fear of death among NT Christians who often embraced death in defence of the gospel of Jesus Christ?!
He continues by implying we can only find meaning and purpose in life by focusing on the here and now, implying that Christians do not live life to the full and maybe even subtly suggesting they are less productive. This is a bewildering and blatantly untrue statement. Christian’s DO have meaning and purpose on the here and now – why would this not be the case? The implication that Christian’s would not have meaning and purpose if they believe in an afterlife is dishonest and illogical. If anything, Christian’s will have MORE of a drive to live purposeful, fruitful lives in a self-less manner with the prospect of being accountable to God than a selfish lifestyle where the focus is only on the “here and now”.
Stephen Fry says we should choose good over evil WITHOUT the expectation of a reward in “some other place”. Why is it a bad thing to do good while being motivated for a reward by Our Creator? What harm is there in that?
The most important question for Stephen Fry is how does he determine the difference BETWEEN good and evil? He admits the existence of both – who should differentiate between the two? Another question: why SHOULD we choose good over evil – where does this moral duty come from? What IS good and evil in any case? We can’t see how the humanist can provide satisfactory answers to these questions.
He ends by stating that when we die, our good works do live on in the form of memories and our atoms breaking up and becoming part of the cycle of nature. This view is no use at all to the person who dies with no hope for anything beyond the grave!
Naturally, Stephen Fry offers no answers to any of the above – just a heap of straw-man arguments against theism. It would be great for Stephen Fry to spend some time with some genuine followers of Christ – we are certain he would find that they live with a terrific sense of purpose, a genuine concern for doing good and a fearless approach to a death that will not have any permanent hold on them. We should lovingly pray that the Lord will open his eyes to the salvation found in Jesus Christ.