Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Foster's spokesman Ben Wicks said the change would not affect the taste of the beer.
"It certainly doesn't affect the taste, which is very important to our VB drinkers. The taste will stay exactly the same. Our master brewers have done a lot of work to make sure of that," he told News Limited.
Industry analyst Mark Bowles said the "significant saving" the brewer would make would be re-invested into the brand, particularly its mid-strength VB variety and its annual summer promotion involving collectible figurines.
"Our estimate would be that they could save potentially between $A10 million and $A20 million," he said.
The lower-alcohol Victoria Bitter would arrive in shops next month.
But the price of Foster's beers was set to rise next month, based on CPI and increased production costs.
A baby-faced 18-year-old has offered her virginity for the price of £10,000 ($NZ25,800) to help her pay for university tuitions.
News website Maltastar is today reporting Brit Carys Copestake used a false name to advertise herself on a website popular with prostitutes, with her parents having no idea of the bizarre way of getting cash for university.
The ad reads: "Virginity For Sale £10,000".
She adds: "Hey, I think the title says it all. I'm an 18-year-old virgin with student funds to pay and I'm looking to sell my first time right here. I'm brunette, 34C, green eyes, all in proportion and good looking."
The teenager apparently still lives with her parents, but was struggling to afford the tuition costs for her four-year physics course at Salford University, which was to start in September.
Maltastar reported that she told a journalist: "For as long as I can remember I've wanted to keep my first time special and wait for the right guy. I'm not like other girls who want rid of it from the word go," she said.
"I'm getting curious about myself and the opposite sex. I want to explore and I want someone to teach me.
"I've also found myself in a financial situation where I need to fund my studies. I figured this could be killing two birds with one stone.
"I get lots of guys wanting to help me out with my 'problem' - some replies are really creepy. But I got so frustrated with the empty offers that I turned them down.
"I have to be careful, you could have been someone I know, even one of my teachers."
After conversations with a Maltastar reporter - dubious about whether she was in fact a virgin or merely a prostitute trying to deceive buyers - Copestake said she had found a "buyer".
"I've been offered the money in cash and I'm going to do it this Thursday. Sorry I'm at work so I can't speak any more," she told The People.
Taking the illustration, one step further, we can ask statistically, what are the odds that there is life after death (LAD)?
Probability (as a decimal fraction) there is LAD = 1 - (Probability there is no LAD)
= 1 - (a x b x c x d x e,...etc.)
Where a,b,c,d,e,etc. are independent of each other and represent as fractions the likelihood that each of the various types of evidence for LAD are NOT TRUE. And (a x b x c x d x e,...etc.) are the fractional probabilities multiplied by each other. Let us do a calculation using the LAD Top 11 from above:
"1." = a = 1-0.95 = 0.025
"2." = b = 1-0.95 = 0.05
"3." = c = 1-0.95 = 0.05
"11." = k = 1-0.10 = 0.90
Probability of No LAD = 0.025 x 0.05 x 0.05 x 0.10 x 0.15 x 0.50 x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.80 x 0.90 x 0.90
= 1.9 x 10-7
= 2 in 10 million
= 1 in 5 million
Probability of LAD = 1 - 1.9 x 10-7
Note: I have used values that I personally believe to be representative; though liberal, in my opinion, in favour of no LAD (ie. erring on the side of no LAD). Most of the people who would be considered the worlds leading researchers and scholars in any of these areas would, in private and 'off the record' at least, give a higher probability for their (chosen) area being evidence for survival of consciousness than I have. Therefore, if we were to take a representative sample for each of the 11 evidence types from 11 separate groups of these experts and then do the preceding calculation with the values each group would assign, I would expect the probability of life after death would come out higher than 99.99998%. You, the reader may substitute any number from 0 to 1 in the calculation based upon your personal evaluations (to try to ensure independence, input parameter values as if have no knowledge of other types of evidence) and any number of evidence types you believe to be relevant. If I had used more than the eleven types of evidence I did in the calculation, then the odds in favour of LAD would be a bit higher (though not so much that they would be increased by an order of magnitude).
For curiosity (although it does not tell us the probability of life after death), let us estimate the probability that all of the 11 different evidence types mentioned above are all true:
Probability they are all true = 0.975 x 0.95 x 0.95 x 0.90 x 0.85 x 0.50 x 0.20 x 0.20 x 0.20 x 0.10 x 0.10
= 2.7 x 10-5
= 1 in about 40,000
= Which works out to a very low probability even though with the very same inputs the probability of life after death is extremely high.
Many view the end of their lives with uneasiness. They ponder, “What’s next?”—“Will I live again?”—“Is this it?”—“Will I ever see my loved ones again?”—“Where am I going after this life?”
In contrast, others view death with fear of the unknown. Some fear the process and the suffering that may accompany death. Others, racked with guilt, have a different type of fear—fear that they will burn forever in “hell fire.”
Whatever the viewpoint, feelings or circumstances of one’s life—ultimately, life ends। Because of this unavoidable reality, every person at some point in his or her life thinks about the subject of death.
And then there are natural disasters that end hundreds, even thousands, of lives in an instant. In just the last 18 months, we have seen a devastating tsunami, crushing earthquakes, several destructive hurricanes and cyclones, wildfires and floods. In a matter of hours, families were uprooted, children made orphans, parents made childless.
Then there are criminals who torture, rape, brutalize and murder. For example, in June 2006, a Florida man cut down his son with a machete in front of neighbors, and then killed his wife. For those two individuals, death came suddenly, unexpectedly. Every reasonable human being expresses great sorrow for the victims of such heinous crimes. But what is next for the little boy? Is there any future for him?
There is much controversy surrounding death. For instance, the legality and ethics involving capital punishment is a highly emotional and politicized debate. Also, there have been high-profile cases in the media in which medical patients remain in a persistent vegetative state as family members disagree on whether the person should continue to live. Then there is euthanasia, the question of whether a person should have the right to choose when and how he dies.
On an almost daily basis, we are confronted with the subject of death in various forms।
Consider the destructive aftermaths of the earthquake in Pakistan in October 2005 and the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. The struggle for survival; thousands left homeless; stories of those who would never see their families again—all tugged at the heartstrings of the entire world and stirred a sea of emotions.
And then there is the personal grief one feels when a close family member or friend dies, which can almost seem unbearable. There are few things in life starker than facing the harsh reality that you will never again see that person in this life. All that remains are photographs and memories.
Is this all there is to life? Is there anything after death?
Just as religions vary, so do beliefs surrounding the burial of the dead. Some are buried in watertight caskets so the body is not exposed to the elements underground. Others are not buried in caskets, but rather cloth so that the body does not touch the dirt. Some corpses are buried in warm clothes so they do not get cold underground. Some mourners will cook a chicken for the last meal and put it in the casket of the dead. Many hold viewings with open caskets before funerals, yet others feel that seeing the corpse is disrespectful. The list of superstitions and taboos surrounding dead bodies is endless.
But again, what happens to human beings after they die?
Consider the traditional beliefs of professing Christianity, which teaches that the saved go to heaven when they die. Presumably, this view is founded on the Bible—or is it?
Jesus Christ emphatically and clearly stated, “And no man has ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man [Christ]” (John 3:13). Billions of professing Christians believe that when one dies, he or she goes to heaven—but this contradicts what Jesus said! And keep in mind that when Christ said, “no man has ascended up to heaven,” scores of God’s servants from the Old Testament had already died. Take King David, for example, described as a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). The Bible explains that he will rule in God’s kingdom. Certainly, he would be in heaven, right?
But notice: “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day…For David is not ascended into the heavens” (Acts 2:29, 34). If we believe Christ’s words, then these faithful servants of God did not ascend to heaven.
Surprisingly, the very groups that profess to follow the Bible do not actually read or understand what is found in it! God’s Word is very clear—heaven is not the reward of the saved. (To learn more, read our booklet Do the Saved Go to HEAVEN?)
Again, we must ask: What is the truth about life after death? What happens when you die?
Now consider this. Suppose you came to a fork in the road—how would you decide which way to turn? If you had been told that one road leads to a dead end in a desert, and another to a beautiful oasis, would you not want to know which one to choose? Wouldn’t it be best to do some research to determine for sure which is which, and which path you should be on?
No matter our age or background, we are all on a path that leads to the same sobering destination: death।
First, the Bible is emphatic and clear that everyone dies: “For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yes, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again” (Ecc. 3:19-20). This reveals that a human being simply dies and returns to dust like any other living creature on earth.
The Bible provides even more detail of what happens after death. Notice Psalm 146: “His [man’s] breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish” (vs. 4). A human being no longer thinks once he is dead; he simply is not conscious.
Now read Ecclesiastes 9: “For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten” (vs. 4-5). Again, the Bible is clear about the state of the dead.
But this leads to the age-old question asked in the Book of Job: “If a man die, shall he live again?” (14:14). The second half of the verse begins to answer the question: “…all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.”
God’s Word speaks of this “change” in scores of places, but what is it?
Some religionists try to reason around Romans 6:23, saying that “death” merely means separation from God. But these scriptures are plain. God declares, “Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sins it shall die…The soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:4, 20).
When a person dies, he is dead. Death is the ultimate “separation.”
However, there is hope after death! Everyone who has ever lived will be resurrected: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Cor. 15:52-53)। This is the “change” of which Job spoke—a change from this temporary, physical existence to eternal life. This is God’s ultimate goal for humanity.
For the following 1,000 years, God’s government will be administered across the world, bringing peace and prosperity for all (Isa. 9:7). Then will come the second resurrection, in which every man, woman and child who has ever lived—but who had not yet received an opportunity for salvation—will be brought back to physical existence (Ezek. 37:5; Rev. 20:12-13). All will be given a chance to learn God’s way of life and to overcome the way of sin. Those who do will be given the precious opportunity to change to immortality.
No one is currently eternally burning in an everlasting hell—and no one ever will. What kind of God would send someone to an ever-burning hell to be tortured forever, without end? What kind of God would inflict such eternal punishing on those who never had the chance to learn His way of life?
Certainly not the God of the Bible! He will give all human beings the opportunity for salvation।
But there is coming a time when death will lose its sting—a time when death will no longer exist: “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” (I Cor. 15:54-55).
Death has no place in mankind’s incredible future!
There are many questions that cannot be answered fully in a few short pages. Take time to study our booklets Is there LIFE AFTER DEATH? and How Religion Deceives You About YOUR INCREDIBLE FUTURE.
In the study of your future, as well as everything else you do for the rest of your life, apply Ecclesiastes 9:10: “Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.”