What if the Atheist is Wrong?

After reading many Atheist & Agnostic blogs I have noticed several common questions they get from Believers & Christians.

WHAT IF YOUR WRONG?  What after you die, instead of just being dead, you are before God and about to be judged by God.  What will you do?  What if your wrong?

And really I think this is a somewhat underrated and misunderstood question by both Believers, Atheist, Christians, and Agnostics!

One of my fears and probably the fear of many Christians is to die and for God to ‘For I Never Knew You.’  And then for you to go to HELL for all eternity.  That’s pretty heavy.  Even rationally speaking, Is it worth the risk to be wrong?  Is it reasonably worth the risk to go to Hell for all eternity?

(And this is something I do think about;  I think Blaise Pascal put it best in his Wager…)

Pascal’s Wager

The French mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623-62) put forward an argument that would appeal to agnostics. (An agnostic is someone who believes that it is impossible to prove God’s existence.)

His argument goes something like this: God either exists or he does not. If we believe in God and he exists, we will be rewarded with eternal bliss in heaven. If we believe in God and he does not exist then at worst all we have forgone is a few sinful pleasures.

If we do not believe in God and he does exist we may enjoy a few sinful pleasures, but we may face eternal damnation. If we do not believe in God and he does not exist then our sins will not be punished.

Would any rational gambler think that the experience of a few sinful pleasures is worth the risk of eternal damnation?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal’s_Wager

*Out of all the arguments I have heard of for to believe in God, this is the most sound and logical.  No, it doesn’t prove the existence of God, but the logic in Pascal’s Wager is indenialby logical.  Using this logic any rational atheist/agnostic should and would accept God.

However there is just ONE MAJOR FLAW in Pascal’s Wager;

WHICH GOD? And WHICH RELIGION?

And of course the Christian would say- “The Christain God”

And of course the Muslim would say- “Allah, The God of Islam”

And the Hindu would say- “It’s not one God; its our Gods”

And of course the Sikh would say-“It’s the Sikh God”

However there is an Atheist Response were other things are taken into consideration…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheist%27s_Wager

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About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
This entry was posted in atheist vs christian, christian faith, god, logic, Pascal, reason and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to What if the Atheist is Wrong?

  1. Nice article! I have noticed very clearly that the God Haters not only Hate God the are working against God.

  2. Nice article! I have seen clearly that God Haters are also working AGAINST God. They know God exists. Even the Devil knows God exists!

    • This is so self-evidently false (even on the second attempt) that I’m amazed that you have the nerve to claim such a thing, and that no one’s called you on it.

      So you think there are people who “know” that God exists, who presumably also “know” that there’s a heaven and a hell which they’re condemning themselves to, but they deny this knowledge because… what? Explain the thought process that leads someone to lie, condemning themselves to an eternity of suffering.

  3. Brenda says:

    Reading the Atheist Wager was interesting – thanks for posting that.

    It does point out that Pascal’s Wager assumes god would judge us based on our belief in him while the Atheist Wager focuses on our actions. While I think we should question whether humans need to face a judgment at all – even if we do – I think it will likely be based on something other than a mental assent to a hidden god’s existence (and on top of that having to know which god to acknowledge?)

    I reached a point where I was so overwhelmed at trying to figure it all out that I realized it was an unreasonable task. I came to the conclusion that even if there was a god – he had chosen to remain hidden and therefore wouldn’t judge me on whether I had figured all this stuff out.

    I’m looking forward to hearing what other people have to say about the wagers.

    • I actually finished this post several days, ago but I wanted to wait til after the 1st of April because once I put up a post, I go back and check it every 5 minutes and gets to be a distraction, so I actually wanted to post it after some church events this month. But after reading your article earlier, I had to post. I couldn’t wait another week or two.

    • Brenda says:

      I read the post at reflectionsbyken. A few things I’d point out are:

      “People who bet on God have a guarantee of non-dissatisfaction. If they are wrong about God’s existence, they will never know it because they will be dead.”

      This doesn’t take into account the fact that people who bet on god could be betting on the wrong god and could be punished eternally. It’s as risky for them as it is for me.

      “In today’s pluralistic, multi-theistic climate, this aspect of Pascal’s wager may have slightly lessened the wager’s force and breadth of appeal.”

      That’s putting it mildly! The problem of which god to choose is a huge problem for the wager I would think.

      “Their unbelief is rooted in rebellion and immorality.”

      I just love when Christians dismiss the idea that I left christianity because it fell apart intellectually for me. They know I’m rebellious and immoral because their holy book tells them so even though they don’t know me at all and certainly weren’t here to see what an intense struggle it was.

  4. unklee says:

    Both wagers (Pascal’s and the atheists’) are a little simplistic, as has already been pointed out, as both reduce to a simple either-or choice something that is more complex. But the concepts can still be helpful.

    For example, when considering alternative Gods, there aren’t really as many believable options (for me at least) as many people think. I think that only a few religions have credibility to me – Christianity, Islam, Baha’i and perhaps Sikhism and the Parsees – 5 at most. And of them, I find that christianity is unique and uniquely believable. (I have reasons for all this but I won’t go into them here.) So it would still be an option to run a multivariate Pascal’s wager, or accept it based on christianity. At the very least this should give us a priority for investigation.

    The atheists’ wager has merit because it is based on actions, which we can choose to do, whereas we cannot so easily choose to believe something we don’t actually think is likely to be true.

    So I think the best course of action is to live a life of doing good according to the ethic of Jesus, and further investigate christianity. That seems to meet the requirements of both wagers.

  5. Ryan says:

    James 1:5-11
    King James Version (KJV)

    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

    But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

    For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

    Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

    But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

    For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

    ———————————————–

    To my knowledge I did not decide where or when I would be born.

    I don’t keep my own heart beating at will.

    I don’t consciously pump blood through my body.

    I am not always aware when I blink,

    But blinking is necessary so my eyes can remain healthy and clean.

    I don’t “will” myself into being able to taste, or feel, to think, to see.

    We depend on the oxygen that allows us to breath

    We depend on our body staying at a core temperature

    We depend on the weather not wiping us away

    We depend on our muscles and bones holding our own weight

    We depend on God

    Even our time is Given by Him.

    There are processes and actions that constantly go on in my body, if they were to stop only a number of minutes, I would be dead.

    I engage in this world. I consider what truth is; yet the very capacity to do this is given to me by Another. I did not give this to myself.

    I personally like to think I’m in control, but if I’m honest with myself I know that I am dependent on Another. I am dependant on His Grace.

    Although Pascals wager does interest me, I don’t want to “bet” that God exists. Life is not a game. I want to trust Him.

    I am at risk of getting so caught up in myself, my own desires, and my own conveniences.

    I don’t know about you, but all that I can control is what I have been given.

    I take so much for granted, or I get distracted, but the truth is I am kept alive.

    I stand only by Gods Grace.

    1 Peter 1:24-25
    King James Version (KJV)

    For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

    But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

    ————————————————

    Questions regarding translations are a question of just that: translation.

    Translations exist, and some translations are considered false. That doesn’t mean that God is not true. Or that Gods Word does not exist.

    To live and move requires faith, whether we are conscious of it or not.

    If I stop and admit to myself that I’m not in control, and am willing to lift the veil to see that we depend on so much, every breathing moment of our lives in order to exist in this world.

    I see there being more evidence for God, so much so that I have taken this for granted in the past.

    Regarding faith in Christ – reading the Scriptures helps me understand Truth more than speculating and deconstructing what I prefer, and disregarding what I prefer.

    As I have expressed before, we can’t deconstruct God. We can try, but this merely shifts our focus from God to “a god” that our human capacity can take apart.

    We cannot experiment on God. Experiments require control and repeatable observations.

    We cannot control God.

  6. Hey Brenda

    “In today’s pluralistic, multi-theistic climate, this aspect of Pascal’s wager may have slightly lessened the wager’s force and breadth of appeal.”

    Yeah I think when we take a multi-variant approach to Pascal’s Wager it just causes more confusion and questions than answers. A multi-theistic approach to Pascal’s Wager would have been much more profound.

    But even if we take Pascal’s Wager as only to applying to Christianity, it still does raise some eyebrows. Because some denominations of Christianity have it that their interpretation of SALVATION is unique that if one does follow it strictly than you can’t be saved.

    So I think the even greater question, if Yahweh is the One and Only One true God than which sect or denomination does he approve of to ensure salvation?

  7. unklee says:

    “if Yahweh is the One and Only One true God than which sect or denomination does he approve of to ensure salvation?”

    Perhaps he doesn’t particularly approve of any sect or denomination, just Jesus???

    • TRUE, I was just bringing it up as something to consider because I have been fellowship with so many different types of Christians – Catholics, HyperCalvinist, Baptist, Mormons, Jehovah Witness, Protestants, and many of them thing I’m going to hell cause I don’t believe what they believe.

      I’ve heard some go as far as, if you are not baptized in their specific church, then you are not saved -which of course is ludicrous.

      • unklee says:

        It is interesting, but I don’t recall the NT saying anything about all this. Rather Paul says to accept each other and don’t argue about each others’ opinions. and Jesus says that anyone who comes to him he won’t reject. Fortunately, I believe in Jesus and not in Catholics, HyperCalvinist, Baptist, Mormons, Jehovah Witness, Protestants etc.

  8. Ryan says:

    we can’t deconstruct God. We can try, but this merely shifts our focus from God to “a god” that our human capacity can take apart.

    So what do people think?

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