One of the biggest questions asked of us who have publicly announced that we are non-believers is "What if your wrong?" Here's my theory: The story goes that god forgives those that ask for it right? Or if we are truly sorry then we will be forgiven and won't go to hell. If that's the case and we're wrong, will we be forgiven by christian and catholic logic? It makes no sense to me because I can ask a "believer" the exact same question and they will dance around it or just plainly say "I'm not wrong, GOD is real and your going to hell" (Kinda rude but ok lol)... Just trying to pick a few brains here.
P.S. I was asked this question 2 days ago and thought i'd get a few opinions.
If the heavens opened and god spake unto me and saith: "Jer, you're gonna die in five minutes. If you return to the faith you were taught as a child, you can spend eternity with me in heaven. If not, you take your chances. What'll it be?" I'd have to saith right back "Thanks for the offer, but I couldn't claim to accept all that and not throw up. I'll take my chances. Most likely, it'll be over. Next best, I can spend eternity (you do realize that's far too long?) with the people like me. That would have its points."
It's a good question. No-one can absolutely prove or disprove religious claims, so for me it's a case of what is most likely to be true given the information and evidence available. And I might still be wrong after I've looked at all that.
If I'm wrong about Odin, but happen to die fighting a mugger, I'll end up in valhalla. Or I'll end up in hel if I die of old age.
If I'm wrong about Zeus but have lived a good life, I'll still go to the elysium fields.
If I'm wrong about christian baptism not being required to get into heaven, I'll join all the christians who were also wrong on that subject in hell.
Whether any gods exist or what religion is correct should be based on the evidence and reasoning, not merely picking a currently popular religion which has the worst consequences for unbelief.
I would reply that it is unlikely that I am wrong, but in the event that I am when I get to meet god I will have a list of some really tough questions for him/her/whatever.
I don't think we're wrong.
But here's my take on it. I don't believe in god. I just don't. If there's a punishment for that then I'm going to be punished. If that really is the case then I don't see a way around it.
I could go to church, spend hours reciting scripture, clasp my hands every night shut my eyes and say prayers, and I could do this all in the off chance that I just might be wrong and maybe, just maybe there is some higher being watching me do it all. The fact is, even if I did all that, it would be a complete lie.
I don't believe in god. If god is as omnipotent and all knowing as everyone claims, then he / she / it, would know it's a lie and I'll be punished being a non-believer.
There's simply no point in pretending to believe in something I don't. That's the answer I give to Christians when asked this question.
Clearly I'm not worried about it. It's the same reason I don't take precautions on the off chance that Peter Pan is going to fly in through my kid's window and take him to Never Never Land.
One of the great things about being an engineer is that you're immersed in theories which are practicable, which can be tested and which work. What's even better is that when it DOESN'T work, you can dig into what's going on and figure out WHY it doesn't work. Virtually without exception, the explanation for why it doesn't work is clear and rational. The transistor blew, the relay welded closed, the circuit board wasn't properly seated, there was an incorrectly written line of code.
As a field service engineer, I've been able to participate in a microcosm of such practices: knowing how a given collection of things work and being tasked with repairing those things when they go wrong. It is important to note that this is a growing and learning process as well. The better you understand the mechanism, the more equipped you are to deal with new and unknown failure modes. The more you do it, the more you learn and the better you get at it. This action verifies and validates what you have learned in engineering school, whether it's Ohm's Law, Thevenin and Norton equivalents, or Kirckhoff's current and voltage laws. Ultimately, what you learn is that these principles are utterly RELIABLE, that they work and work repeatedly, and that no amount of outside interference will cause them NOT to work without clear reason.
Religion has none of this, obviously, nor has god in any of his/her/its proposed forms. There is no demonstration, no laboratory experiment, no mechanism to directly illustrate what god is or how god works. There is a bunch of hand-waving to this effect, with the suggestion that if you mimic said hand-waving that you will arrive at the same conclusion of those who taught the hand-waving in the first place. The problem is that, as the saying goes, "Your mileage may vary" - drastically, and indeed, that any result is not only not guaranteed but likely to be highly dependent on your acceptance of the veracity of the snake oil you were being sold.
Humankind is actually very early on the curve of learning how the world works, understanding its mechanisms and employing those mechanisms for its own benefit (and too often, its own detriment). Rather than accepting faith or dicta from supposed "authorities," we investigate, analyze and discover just HOW things work, why they do what they do and on a fundamental level. In so doing, we can move away from belief without basis and toward a growing and fuller understanding, with a strengthening foundation of previous discoveries.
This is what we've done with each of our own personal declarations of atheism. We've recognized that the stories and the lessons and the instructions from our religions were not workable, were not applicable, and had no relevance or resonance with us. Since they did NOT work, we set them aside in favor of something which either DID work or demonstrated a better chance of working. We opted to test what works and what doesn't for ourselves, rather than blindly follow what someone told us would work ... and we each began to become field engineers, building our tool kit and bag of tested and reliable tricks to conduct our day-to-day.
Fact is, peeps: we're not wrong. Because, as I said, we're early on this curve, we may sometimes need reassurance. Also, the matter of shaking old indoctrination isn't easy. It hangs on our shoulder sometimes, trying to lure us back with its simplistic bromides and warm-and-fuzzy stories. At some level or other, though, we do know that the emperor hasn't got a stitch on him, that he looks ridiculous that way, and we have zero desire to emulate him ... and so we don't.
We're Not Wrong.