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.
Glad I could help. :)
Richard, I don't think we have ever seen prayers answered by that etherial god. Just look at the faces of those in New Orleans after their disaster, or the faces of people after storms, murders, rapes or molestations.
The fact that god not only does not answer, but many times I do not see government answer. Hate crimes committed leaving behind wounded souls, or wars that produce broken men and women, or rapes in the military that go unreported. I could go on but you make the point powerfully.
Thomas, beautifully, powerfully stated.
"I could and will never worship any god that would give salvation to a pedophile priest and deny it to someone like Ghandi or the Dali Lama.
~ Thomas Moore
What they really mean when they say "What if you're wrong?" is to actually say "What if we are right?" which is a totally different question. There is an implied false dichotomy of either the Christians are right or the atheists are right. Let's not forget all the other hypotheses that have been proposed. To the answer of "What if we are right?" is then all atheists will burn in hell forever, along with most Christians. Fortunately, that is not the case. If the atheist is wrong, then all it means is that there exists some kind of god. Even if there is some kind of god, there is no evidence that it cares about the human race, or anything for that matter. In fact, there is no evidence of a god manifesting in the natural world. Furthermore, this wouldn't mean that there is any sort of afterlife, or soul, or hell or heaven to worry about. Even if we are wrong, and there is some sort of god, everything that we understand that makes up a conscious, thinking person will cease to exist upon death. So in other words, even if we are wrong, it matters nil.
Alan, you express your disdain powerfully and with reason and emotion. I like your having solid philosophical foundation expressed with passion. That seems so human to me, in a healthy, non-dualistic way.
Thanks so much, Joan. As is obvious, I've though throught these issues for many years. Knowing how to think and behave is not a problem for religious people: they spoon-feed it to you. But an atheist needs the courage and perseverance to figure out how morality, compassion, charity, forgiveness, and all the rest can be achieved (and the big one: how death can be faced) without divine assistance. It can be a lifetime project!
Thanks again for you readership and kind words.
When religious people cry out in prayer, expecting god to answer in their favor, it is a clear statement those people feel helpless, hopeless and powerless.
It is when people cry out, this problems exists, let's work at defining the problem, identifying goals, exploring options to solve them, and develop plans of action to get the problem solved, then there will be no need to cry out in pain and suffering hoping god will do the work that we should be doing in the first place.
Well, I am a person who doesn't care about wasting time...so, when asked "What if you are wrong?" my answer is short and to the point "Dear, I am not the delusional one...you are. Now, go somewhere else to play your version of Teresa de Ávila."
I like your response Silvia.
If it's true that people collected the behaviors of an ideal father and attributed them to a god figure, we learn something about people.
Consider those people who call themselves the Westboro Baptist Church. What might they be saying about an ideal father?
Yes, Tom, and what we learn about them is scary. Your example -Westboro Church- is perfect.
There is one thing of which I am absolutely certain. People of all religions, whether in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia or Europe, that rely on some god, spirit or superhuman entity, do not explain the existence of the universe. The statement that "there cannot be something from nothing" is an odd one for believers to make; they believe their god made something from nothing. The problem with god-believers is they stop at god-did-it; inquiry ends, seeking clearer answers ends, and humans continue locked in the realm of the beasts.
Natural processes of nature have the space, time and elements to explain all that is. Those who do not believe god exists, have the ability to explain all but the beginning, and with quantum physics and further questioning, the problem of how existence began is becoming clearer. By seeking, searching, looking for more information, the human mind has the capacity to lift humankind to a higher plane than brute force.
The question is invalid. It should be, "What if religion is wrong?"