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.
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.
The supernatural does not exist. Therefore there are no Gods.
Of course there are no Gods.
I would tell them the story of Mithra. Mithraism was the primary religion of the Roman army at the time when Jesus was walking through Israel.
Mithra is the only begotten son of God, when the sun was God. He was born on 12/25 in a virgin birth. He traveled about teaching, performing miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead, and walking on water. A great feast was held in his honor. He was martyred on the day Christians call Black Friday. Three days later, at sunrise, (on EASTer SUNday) he arose from the dead and ascended into heaven where he intercedes on behalf of his followers to this day. Those who believe in him are guided to heaven and those who do not are grabbed by demons and dragged into hell at death.
So I would ask the person if s/he is ABSOLUTELY certain that the correct God is being worshiped. If Mithra, who predated Jesus, is the only begotten son of God, then what if YOU are wrong?
Fear is an awful tyrant and the church knows how to use it.
Joan, I like that statement. I've saved it and will try to remember to use it at the appropriate time.
Yes, we face some formidable challenges. Fear immobilizes, stops critical thinking, while it fails to provide any usable solutions. Face fear straight on; use it as normal and healthy gift telling one to stop, think, act.