Saturday, January 21, 2012

What If You're Wrong?

A common question people ask atheists is, "What if you're wrong?" What if there really is a god and you get to spend eternity in his lava bath because you didn't believe in him?

Let me first ask you a question... is that the only reason you believe? Out of the fear of damnation?

But really, stop for a moment and think about why you believe.

You believe because your parents told you to. Your friends told you to. And your society told you to. If you had been born in China, you would probably be Buddhist. Why? Because your society tells you to. If you had been born in Iraq, you would probably believe in Allah.

But you were born in a country where the god of choice is the Christian god and his sidekick Jesus. So therefore you believe in Jesus. Your religion is true. Everyone else's religion is false; everyone else's god is imaginary; everyone else's holy book is blasphemous.


If you were Muslim, Allah would be the one true god and you would be 2000% convinced that he is the true god. If you hadn't been born Mormon, you would look at the Book of Mormon and immediately reject it because it's so obviously false. But if you were born Mormon, then the BoM is so obviously true.

Take a step back and analyze what you believe...

If you're Mormon you believe that Joseph Smith was commanded by god to have multiple affairs on his wife and call it polygamy. You believe that if you wear underwear with holy marks, then you will be protected from all danger. You believe that if you walk into a special building and do all sorts of weird chants and handshakes that you will be able to live with god in his special kingdom. You believe that if you pay god 10% of your income for life, that you will be given special blessings and avoid being burned in a big fire. You believe that your worthy men all have the sacred and awesome power of god. You believe that, for some weird reason, you get to be saved because Jesus was tortured to death. You believe that if you symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood that it will somehow make him love you more.

What if you're wrong?

You see documentaries of civilizations who believed in human sacrifice to appease their gods and you are automatically disgusted by it. How could anyone possibly believe in such crazy stuff?

But if you take a moment to look at your beliefs from the view of an outsider, you will realize that your beliefs are just as crazy!

And if you think about it, you DO believe in human sacrifice. You believe that the only way you could be saved is by appeasing god through Jesus' death.

Stop and think and you will realize that you believe in some pretty whacked up shit! And not only do you believe, you make life decisions based upon it. You hand over your hard earned dollars to support it. You teach it to your children so they can be just as gullible for it as you are.

How could rational thinking and common sense be wrong? Islam is so obviously false to you, but to an extreme Muslim, he would gladly blow out your brains for it. He would gladly blow out his own brains for it! If it is so obviously false, how come he is so radical and passionate about it? Because he has been taught it ever since he was born. He has been indoctrinated with the idea that Allah is the ultimate god and Allah teaches that everyone on earth who believes in a different god is worthy of death.

So if the Muslim person in this example is so deluded in his thinking, is it possible that you are too? Is it possible that the only reason you believe in Jesus is because you have been indoctrinated with it ever since you were born? You have been told that you were lucky enough to be born into a country which praises the true god. But wait... Isn't everyone in every country taught that?

The more important question is... what if you, as the believer, are wrong?

To be honest, from an atheistic point of view, nothing. There is nothing in the afterlife so it didn't matter what you did or believed. But what does matter is that you wasted your ONE life chasing a god who doesn't exist and doesn't care! How about instead of chasing an invisible god, why don't you focus on reality and living your life to the fullest? Make the most of your time because every second you waste, you will never get back.

Be a good neighbor because it's the right thing to do, not because you're trying to set a good example and convert him.

Okay, okay, even if there IS a god, how do you know which one to worship? There are over 10,000 different Christian religions alone (I recently read a statistic that claimed there were closer to 40,000 different Christian sects). What if you're in the wrong one? You're screwed.

What if Allah turns out to be the true god? You're screwed! But you never thought about that did you? You are just living your life, thinking you're saved because your society says Jesus is the right one and that's all you need to worry about.

What if god is an atheist? What if you get damned to hell IF you believe? Afterall, belief in the supernatural is pretty far fetched and unrealistic. What if you go to hell because you were so gullible and happy not thinking? What if god gave us all these different religions and holy books in order to test to see who would use enough common sense to figure out it really wasn't true? Afterall, you believe life is a test. It could be possible.

Another common argument which is similar is this: Why not believe just in case? Belief might be completely unrational, but cover your ass just to be safe.

Really? Do you think that god is that dumb that he wouldn't know that you believed just to save your selfish self? Do you really think you can fool god, the dude who knows all? Do you really think you can outsmart god?

No, the best policy is honesty. If I don't believe in god and there is a god, then that god will know the reasons I didn't believe and will see that I was still a good person. If there is a god, it will be no god who only exists to be praised by his puny subjects... and throw the defiant ones into hell.

BTW, how can you sit in fire forever and not die? And if you die and go to hell, then that means you're dead. Hello? You can't feel pain when you're dead! Stop and think people. How can a fire burn a ghost? Hell is a made up place, designed to scare gullible suckers like you into submission. If god says, "Pay," you better say, "How much?" If you don't blindly pull out your check books, he threatens you with being tortured forever.

You believe in a god who is cruel, heartless, insecure, and who has to frighten his minions into submission by blackmailing them. Your god is a bully. A jerk. An asshole. A murderer.

And the only reason you don't see it that way and keep on believing, labeling me as an agent of satan is, again, because you have been brainwashed with it your whole life. You refuse to plant the seeds of doubt. God hates doubters!

Out of the hundreds of gods who have been worshipped in different cultures over different periods of time, why do you believe in the one you do? Because society says you should.

What if you're wrong?


Andy said...

"You believe in a god who is cruel, heartless, insecure, and who has to frighten his minions into submission by blackmailing them. Your god is a bully. A jerk. An asshole. A murderer."

Yep, that about sums it up!

cara lou said...

Great post!! I wish I could send this to all of my believing friends and family -- they need to hear it! Although if I did I'd no longer have any friends or family...

Mormon411 said...

Thank you both. Cara Lou, isn't that the darn truth? It's okay for them to preach at you all day but as soon as you dare question their god, you get the boot.

That's the fruits of religion.

Ashleigh said...

How can you ridicule other religious beliefs, and then say that we are the ones who give others the boot? You just stereotyped Muslims as all terrorists who would blow someone’s head off. Just because they don’t see life as you do doesn’t give you the right to criticize them. Muslims are dedicated to their religion. They are generous and very charitable. Terrorism is not part of their beliefs. You see the extreme on the news, but what about the other millions who aren’t? You can’t judge a religion on a few people who don’t truly live what the standards of the religion are. No one is perfect; I believe a religion can be perfect though. And some religions can have pieces of truth as well. Just because someone isn’t of my faith, I don’t think they aren’t going to be so called “saved”. Others have opportunities to learn the truth after death; this is why we have baptism for the dead. By the way, Allah isn’t only for Muslims; it’s for all three Abrahamic faiths. Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Just because someone is born into a religion, doesn’t mean that’s how they know that religion is true. They have trials, and come to their own realization within time. Faith is action; you have to work to find the answer themselves. You can’t be passive.

God isn’t cruel, heartless, insecure, a bully, jerk or murderer. Trials happen, laws are set in place for a reason. He has given us agency and he can’t take that away from someone who makes decisions that might harm others. He follows his laws, he is constant.

Ain't No Mo No Mo said...

Love this.

Mormon411 said...


Did you read the comment by Cara Lou? That's how. I don't shun people because they refuse to be atheist, and I don't know any that do. But religious people of all sects do it. Not that it's church sanctioned, but it still happens far too often.

Yes I realize that not all religious people are that extreme, but even Mormons have killed people because of religious intolerance in the past. Just read a little un-edited church history.

I don't judge any one religion based on a few extremists... I judge all of them. I'm not sure who said this, but it is so true:

"There are good people and there are bad people. Good people do good things. Bad people do bad things. But for a good person to do bad things, that takes religion."

Let me guess, the religion that can be perfect is Mormonism and the religions that can have pieces of truth is everyone else, right?

"Just because someone isn’t of my faith, I don’t think they aren’t going to be so called “saved”."

Yes, you do. If you are Mormon this is exactly what you believe. Only Mormonism has the proper authority and all other religions are an "abomination". Joseph Smith said this in the PoGP, so if you start claiming that Mormons don't believe this, then you are calling Smith a liar.

"Just because someone is born into a religion, doesn’t mean that’s how they know that religion is true."

Ok, you got me. There's that rare 1% of them who are smart enough to not fall for all the lies. But the other 99% are complete suckers for it. If that wasn't true, why does the place you live have a huge factor in what religion you will be?

Your god, as you believe him to be, has given free agency, BUT these are your choices: Obey ME, worship me, and pay me OR live with Satan forever. Sounds like blackmail to me.

I always felt like I really had no choice. I felt that god was holding damnation over my head as a way to scare me into submission. What kind of a god would do that? What kind of a god would decree that "You have a choice, but if you don't choose ME, I will make you suffer for all eternity!"

likeatotallie said...

As much as I agree with the idea you're putting across here, I would like to request you to rephrase the part of the Muslim person being willing to blow peoples' brains up. Even if you don't think that all Muslims are terrorists, that's a really bad way to phrase it, considering that a lot of people already have this misconception in their heads.

Another thing I would like to point out is that if you're born in China, the chances of you being a Buddhist really isn't that high. Only 18% of them are Buddhist.15% are non-religious. Tibet would be a much better example...China is just too big and heterogeneous.

likeatotallie said...

BTW, I've always thought that the 'god' we hear about sounded so similar to the monsters we hear about in fairy tales. You know...the monsters that'll demand fair maidens, gold, food, etc as tributes so that the poor villagers can get good harvests, luck, and some other benefits. Sometimes it's just so that the monster won't destroy the village. It's funny how they're so similar and yet the monsters are depicted as villains in these stories.

Mormon411 said...

I want my blog to be correct. Since two of you have now expressed concern that the Muslim guy blowing his brains out is being stereotypical, I will change it.

I didn't mean to say that I thought all Muslims are that way. I know very well that many of them are very good people and the ones we always hear about in the news are the rare and extreme ones.

There are extremists in any religious group, but most of the followers are genuinely good people.

I will change it to read " extreme Muslim..."

Is that satisfying?

Mormon411 said...

It's interesting that you should bring that up, likeatotallie, because I just got done writing a post on how god is like an abusive husband who convinces his wife that it's all her fault. It is scheduled to be published in a few days. I think you'll like it.

Ashleigh said...

"Yes, you do. If you are Mormon this is exactly what you believe. Only Mormonism has the proper authority and all other religions are an "abomination". Joseph Smith said this in the PoGP, so if you start claiming that Mormons don't believe this, then you are calling Smith a liar."

I like how you think you can tell people exactly what they think. I'm not calling Joseph Smith a liar, just that you have it wrong. I don't believe that just because someone doesn't believe in the gospel means they will go to hell and be damned. Like I said earlier, others will have a chance to hear the truth after death and can either except or decline it at that time, which is why we do work for the dead, in hopes that they will choose to accept the work we have done for them.

You underestimate many people in many different religions. I can accept a lot of people and what they believe, like muslims, I respect them because they are so dedicated to their religion. I have gay friends, and friends of many different religions. If you respect my religion, I will respect yours.

Educated people aren't close minded to others beliefs. The LDS church schools even teach about other religions, NEVER saying mean things. We learn about their beliefs so we can better understand other cultures and there are many similarities between cultures and religions.

Latter Day Saints aren't the only religion that beleive their religion is the only true religion, once again Muslims are dedicated and believe this about Islam as well. I would assume that anyone who really believes their religion is true, believes this as well. If not what is the point?

Mormon411 said...

I never claimed to know how you think. I just stated that if you are Mormon, and this is what Mormons believe, then this is what you believe. I know the purpose of work for the dead. And if those people don't accept Mormonism in the next life, then they don't get the CK, which basically reinforces what I was saying: Mormons believe that only they get to go to heaven, and since you're a Mormon, that's what you belive.

"You underestimate many people in many different religions."

Something that really bothers me is when people make ignorant comments like this. I stated, very plainly in the second comment just above yours, that "most of the followers [of religion] are genuinely good people." And I have stated this many times on my blog as well.

I can accept religious people too as long as their beliefs don't endanger my safety or my life. Most religious people are opposed to stem cell research which has the potential to cure many different health problems that were once thought to be incurable. I consider this a potential threat to my well being.

Educated people are also generally non-believers. The more you learn about this world, the more you can see that god has no place in it.

Lisa Eggs said...

Hi :) I can definately say I've been thru some tough times concerning the church. I come from the p.o.v. of a convert, so maybe that I chose this life makes a difference. I see truth everywhere I look in this church, thou that wasn't always the case. Whatever you believe I think what it comes down to is we just need try to be the best people we can be and have charity.

Mormon411 said...

I am sure that being a convert, you have a different perspective because you were allowed to choose to join or not. I was never given that chance. I was born into it and was indoctrinated from infancy of what my life would entail: mission, temple marriage, lots of kids, and faithful service until I die.

Carol said...

I can see you put alot of thought into your post. I can also see that you are angry. I would be, too, if I had been in your situation. You ask if I believe out of fear of damnation, no, I believe because it gives me peace.

Mormon411 said...

Carol, with all due respect, I disagree with you. I maintain that the reason you believe is because society says you should. What if you were brought up on an island where they worshipped BuggaBoo? Most likely you would believe in him and would get your peace from it.

Carol said...

No, I don't believe because society says to believe. I have a choice of which religion to follow and I have chosen the one that I feel is truth. I never push my religion down another's throat. Hey, I could even be a Mormon if I wanted, right?

My point in saying what if you were wrong is that I have lived my life, been happy, enjoyed breathing and trusting God, if you are right, I die and that's it. No big deal, I'm dead and it's finished.

But if I am right and you are wrong, what then.... for you?

Mormon411 said...

You missed my point. You do believe because of society, because if you didn't live in this society then you would not have been brought up to believe in Jesus.

You can believe in whatever you want. Makes no difference to me.

What if I'm wrong? I just answered that question with this post. What if Peter Pan is the true god? I guess we're both screwed.

Carol said...

We both know that Peter Pan is not the real God. As far as living on an island, don't think there has ever been a 'society' that has not believed in a Higher Being.

I'm not going to argue with you because it just causes more anger. A long time quote...A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

Truly hope you find peace in your life.

Mormon411 said...

Wow, it's so obvious that Peter Pan is not real. And yet a god described in an ancient book is completely real... what is wrong with this picture?

Mankind has worshipped gods throughout history and even before recorded history. But just because a billion people believe it, doesn't make it true.

Carol said...

That is a true statement. On the other side, it doesn't make it untrue either.

We live in a small town in the South. Just as an example, we are the only family out of 15 houses on our street that go to church regularly. Society doesn't teach much about God anymore.

We were in a 'religion' where the pastor would yell at the people you're a big zero with the ring rubbed out.....say this (preacher still yelling)....I am rotten, I am, Mormons are not the only ones that have abusive leaders.

It looks like you are past the abuse physically because you have escaped. A book that helped me...Subtle Power of Spiritual a great step in healing mentally and emotionally. Get it and read it, please. It's a good one!

Peace to you.

Mormon411 said...

"Society doesn't teach much about god anymore."

If only that were true. The USA is one of the most religious countries in the world.

I'm sorry that you had to experience that but I am glad that you were able to get away from it. If I have time, I'll check out that book. Thanks for sharing it

Carol said...

Yes, please do. It was/is very 'freeing' (is that a word?). You may be right about this Country but few really practice it, unlike when I was little, everyone went to church somewhere. Times change.