Then my only other question would be: What if you are wrong? Surely that thought lives somewhere in the depths of your heart? And if you are, do you really want the blood of those whose ‘exits’ you have encouraged on your hands? Again, no condemnation. Just an honest question.
I told Lisa I was working on doing a blog about that subject, and here I am, doing just that (I’m such an honest guy, I know).
Now this is a question I often asked whilst debating Atheists while I was a devoted apologist, I spent countless hours in conversation with people from different faiths and Non-theists were those that I remember asking this question the most, I guess it is a question that could apply to any religious circle, but no religious circle understands that it is something also applicable to their own constituency. IE: The Muslim could just as easily ask this question of a Christian as a Christian could a Muslim…that’s one of the things about reward vs. punishment religion; of the thousands of them, according to themselves, only one could possibly be right. Still, despite this nearly universal paradox, this question is asked to any infidel of any belief system thousands of times a day (i would guess).
So, what if I am wrong?
I think i have a better question or set of questions:
Here are the standard assumptions first…I don’t want you guys commenting and saying I didn’t think about universalism here or consider all the options…I know that…but do you really want to read a 3000 page dissertation on being wrong according to each religion in existence? I didn’t think so. First assumption; God is going to be defined as the God of “orthodox” Christianity-Triune, omni-present-potent-scient, all loving, creator of all things. Secondly; There are only two choices for the afterlife, Heaven-a result of believing and accepting in Christ, and Hell-a result of not believing in the Christian mythology.
Now that we settled that, my first question is this; Is it my job to search for an attempt to understand a god amongst the various gods and versions of god? Should I really be the one doing all the work here? That certainly ruins the whole salvation by grace through faith system, because believing itself, if done without being entirely blind, is a job in itself. Why can’t god just make his existence evident to me and the rest of the unbelieving horde? Surely the creator and master of all things can find a way to show himself to us in just the smallest EMPIRICAL way, that we would not be able to deny him and still give us a way to have faith as well.
IF my only two options are eternal bliss vs eternal damnation, and the choice is a matter of faith that I have no way to be certain is true and correct–is god truly Love? Do you see the paradox here? God is love, he wants to save you, but you have to believe something that is simply unbelievable if you dare look at it with a skeptics eye, but if you don’t believe it you go to hell for all eternity…but he loves you, I think George Carlin put it best in his famous sketch. My point is that a god that requires all that he requires, yet gives no evidence to show that I should even care about those requirements doesn’t deserve my love, attention, devotion, fear…or anything for that matter. That’s right, I am currently willing to say that if I do end up being wrong, I will have been glad to have rejected such a tyrant of a god. If hell is my punishment, then so be it…I am better than that god
Now I guess the second issue at hand, is why do I bother doing this blog or try to convince people that their god doesn’t exist? I guess this is where I have to essentially come up with a mission statement. My mission, is to make you think…think critically about everything you think you know about god. Question God, question the Bible…question everything- if god is love, he will forgive you for it-if he decides not to forgive you, then he doesn’t deserve you either. I am not out to destroy the church, nor do I believe that is a reasonable expectation. I simply want to be there when you are ready to question all of this and be there to help you through it if you need it. So I am also here as an exit counselor more or less–If you need help leaving the church—I am here to help walk you through it (something I didn’t get whilst going through this).
Another part of the question at hand is whether or not I am willing to have the blood of any that leave the faith as a result of this on my hands. My answer to that is that not only am I operating in a different paradigm than the paradigm of fear and control (religion), but I am operating on the basis that logic is far more important in life than fear should be in death. Secondarily, I do not believe that this blog will be the end all be all of any faith, if you come here and decide that god is not real, you were already questioning, this is something you have to do yourself, no amount of debate or quips or evidence (or lack thereof) will ever convince you that god does not exist. I am but one small stepping stone in that path.
In the end, when my body is rotting in the ground, I want my only regret to be that I spent such a chunk of my life wasting it for a god that was not there. Freedom is answering to yourself and humanity rather than something you can’t see.