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.
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".
Thank you, Richard. You've given me more support for my conclusion: "God fucked up."
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.