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.
Pass the french fries please.
And the catsup/ketchup.
If I am wrong, then whatever deity that happens to be the "true" god for sure must appreciate that I was wrong due to the lack of evidence of its existence, and that at least I was honest. This is a similar position to that at some point stated by Bertrand Russell.
I love it when I am asked that question. I'll assume the questioner is a Christian. I have two responses, the first is a bit more diplomatic than the second and the attitude of the questioner is the determining factor as to which one they get.
First: "I appreciate your concern as this matter is very important to you or so it seems. I've been asked this question by Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc., and they all answer exactly the same as you, GOD is real and I am going to whatever torture chamber that particular religion has in store. It appears that I will suffer the same fate as those who believe in a different god than the one you believe in. So, whether or not I believe in god is irrelevant; the important thing is that believe in what YOU say. Those who believe in other gods are no better off than I am according to you so this question has nothing to do with unbelief in god."
Second: "I'm not wrong and I know I'm not because I've watched you and other believers and you don't believe that nonsense either. You go to the doctor and the dentist, you believe the world is round, not flat and you don't give all your money poor for starters. The only difference I see between you and I is that I am honest about what I believe and you aren't. Wearing t-shirts with witty sayings, putting bumper stickers on your car and a weekly visit to St. Hypocrite's Church means nothing. When a loved one complains about chest pains and shortness of breath do you call 911 or the elders of your church? Yeah, I thought so. You don't believe that shit either. You have some fucking nerve going around telling people their unbelief is going to send them to hell when you are as much an unbeliever as they are and dishonest about it to boot!"
Richard...Your first answer is diplomatic: The religious believer denies a thousand other gods...why should he/she mind if I deny 1,001? The other answer is the one I'd give: turn it around and say, "What if you REALLY believed in God?"
My ultimate goal is to get the questioner to think about the bill of goods they are trying to sell (response 1) or to get the bystanders thinking about it (response 2). It has been my experience that when you go after the inconsistency of the believer in terms of his/her words versus their actions they have a very hard time dealing with it. Expect an extreme emotional response and be sure you are ready for whatever. I've had a few turn quite red and take some swings at me. :)
Dumb questions: Why is it that only religious believers are allowed (encouraged, in fact) to get angry? When was the last time a mob of atheists burned a Christian at the stake or rioted at the denigration of their beliefs? Why don't religious teachings tell believers to ignore non-believers -- they're going to hell anyway, right? -- instead of killing them?
I'd reply, "Even if I'm wrong, I'm not going to worship a god that lets 15 million children die of hunger each year while CEOs buy private jets."
Atheists have no philosophical problem with evil and suffering. But I don't know what religious people would say to to your comment. They spend a lot of time whitewashing God and his inscrutable plan. But as Rabbi Sherwin Wine said, "After the Holocaust, the nicest thing you can say about God is that he does not exist."
They also make up reasons why they suffer -- God's will, purification from sin, etc.
"Maybe God is starving those children to motivate you to help" -- another rationalization.
How about "they're being punished for sins in past lives"?
Evil and suffering obsess religious believers (why would God allow it?) -- unless you're a fundamentalist who believes that if they're not of my belief system, they're sinners and who cares if they suffer?
The world's ugliness calls forth the ugliest of religion's rationalizations and self-delusion.
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOU EXTREMELY INSIGHTFUL FEEDBACK.. I ENJOYED READING EVERY SINGLE REPLY :)
Well, this my thought on this and we are not wrong. But 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. That would violate my personal ethics and morals and I would rather be with the latter two anyway.
With all the talk about taking god out of the schools being the cause of all of these tragedies lately I like to point out that he didn't so such a great job of protecting children in his own "house".