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.
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.
I only believed what I thought was true. If a god can't sympathize with that then I'll burn in hell knowing that the god that stuck me there is a piece of trash. I'll be happy that I spent my last days not giving worship and credit to a god that values foolish belief over life. If it is the state of the universe that those who wish to understand the universe and disregard all threats of torture and pain to have it will be damned -- well then we are in a terrible state to be the slaves of the worst tyrant in the universe. A god who disregards honesty, freewill, life, all that matters... every reason we have ever had to go to war with a country or people pales in comparison to the reasons to go to war with a god like that. I'd consider it a duty to do whatever is possible to oppose a god like that. If that god exists then so be it, but I would sooner disregard my own life than bow to a monster.
Personally, if a god or gods exist I think they would be far above the god of the bible. I think it was Sam Harris who said something like; the god of the bible is undeserving to be credited as creator of the universe. I'm really not pretentious or arrogant, but that god is undeserving of even a brief utter of praise from my mouth. Any thanks I ever gave as a youth growing up with beliefs that were instilled in me as a child -- all of it was undeserving, and in hindsight -- shameful on my part.
But instead of saying all that (and I could say much more) I would rather just say, evidence or gtfo. Lol It's a lot easier and to the point. :p I mean taking fairy tales and myths so seriously as to write a few paragraphs about "what if they exist" -- it feels immature. Lol What if I were to write a couple paragraphs talking about how Santa Claus's method of determining who has been naughty and nice is unjust? That's how writing that felt.
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?"
Joan, the OP was referring to the believers' most famous question "What if after you die you discover God exist?"
My answer would be, prove that I'm wrong that there is no God. They may answer, you cannot prove that God does not exist because you cannot prove a negative according to the laws of logic. But according to an issue of Psychology Today you can, indeed, prove a negative. Here's a link to it.
If the believer persisted, saying, prove that God does not exist, I would answer; Hmmm, well, show me how it's done by proving that Zeus does not exist, and I'll use your method.
They'll probably walk off in a flabbergasted fit then, but at least it might shut them up.
Anthony Jordan, well, now I can get on to a new dispute. Thanks.
"Let's sum up. If "you can't prove a negative" means you can't prove beyond reasonable doubt that certain things don't exist, then the claim is just false. We prove the nonexistence of things on a regular basis. If, on the other hand, "you can't prove a negative" means you cannot prove beyond all possible doubt that something does not exist, well, that may, arguably, be true. But so what? That point is irrelevant so far as defending beliefs in supernatural entities against the charge that science and/or reason have established beyond reasonable doubt that they don't exist."
I think it's pretty safe to say that the atheist position cannot be proven wrong. The burden is not the atheist's to prove the non-existence of God. The atheist is making a negative claim. Saying there is no God is a claim of negation. The burden of proof lies with the theist who makes the positive claim that God exists. And as the article in Psychology Today shows, you can prove a negative. Saying a negative claim cannot logically be proven is a fallacy of logic, a myth. So, I would feel comfortable telling a theist that I have no worries that I might be wrong that there is no God.
And I agree with your statement: If, on the other hand, "you can't prove a negative" means you cannot prove beyond all possible doubt that something does not exist, well, that may, arguably, be true. But so what? That point is irrelevant so far as defending beliefs in supernatural entities against the charge that science and/or reason have established beyond reasonable doubt that they don't exist." I especially agree with your, so what ?
I'm in absolute agreement with your thoughts on the matter. And very well said, I might add.