A question from a reader: "What if you're wrong?"

This just in from a reader:
"Dear Ex-Christadelphians. What if you're wrong? That question was put to Richard Dawkins at a lecture which had that particular question videoed and placed on YouTube.  He never answered the question, he just posed another question of "what if any of us are wrong ?"

The true answer is this: If your assertions about the God, the bible and Christ are wrong, then you have thrown away the opportunity to receive life eternal for yourself. But it gets worse .... If you are wrong and you persuade others from following the way that gives them eternal life, then what have you done ? You have been instrumental in removing their opportunity for life.  In most judicial systems in the world, for one person to be instrumental in removing another person's opportunity for life,  it is classed as either manslaughter or.... if done with pre-meditation ... it may well even be classed as murder." Charlie Meadows.

2 comments:

  1. //If your assertions about the God, the bible and Christ are wrong, then you have thrown away the opportunity to receive life eternal for yourself.//

    Um, no. That's if your assertions about all those things are RIGHT. We could both be wrong. This is not a dichotomy. If another religion is right, then you'd have thrown away the opportunity as well.

    How much time have you spend looking to see whether any other religions are right?

    //In most judicial systems in the world, for one person to be instrumental in removing another person's opportunity for life, it is classed as either manslaughter or.... if done with pre-meditation ... it may well even be classed as murder//

    And if you can prove beyond reasonable doubt that any one of us has done this, we would plead guilty. Well, I speak for myself anyway. I mean that you'd have to first demonstrate within my lifetime that an afterlife exists, which we both know is not going to happen. Until you demonstrate this, I'm not guilty.

    The fact is, our intent is not to deprive people of life. In fact, most of us want people to embrace this life - the one we know we have! I personally just want to see people thinking critically about what they believe is true, and devising/following methodologies that could actually arrive at the truth, instead of just believing in magical fairy tales that could never be proven one way or the other. We can all do better to eradicate false or misleading beliefs, and we should.

    Does your deity oppose the use of reason?

    Back to the original question. It is simply a form of "Pascal's Wager" and you can find many rebuttals of it online if you cared to search for it. I will summarise its main flaw below:

    What if you're wrong?

    If you're worshipping the wrong god, you may face a much harsher punishment than you think.

    If you're a Christadelphian, then your argument should entice you to believe in the mainstream Christian god instead, lest you end up burning in hell for eternity.

    Whatever your beliefs, Pascal's Wager favours a belief in the god with the worst possible punishment for unbelievers. Given a tie between punishments, you should then favour the god who offers the best reward.

    None of this has anything to do with what is true.

    But what if there is no god?

    Then it is you who is robbing people of the only life they were guaranteed to have. Encouraging people to give up huge amounts of their precious time on this earth, and probably also their money. Who is guilty now?

    You may think life as a Christadelphian is the best life anyone could have, but don't be so small-minded to think that everyone agrees with you. I think you'll find that many people remain Christadelphians mainly for fear of missing out on the reward. Judging by your message - you are probably one of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good response, Steve.
      My first thought reading Charlie's comment was "Reverse Pascal's Wager".

      Question for Charlie: How would you respond if a Roman Catholic said that by teaching others to ignore the Pope you were risking murdering them? Would you listen? I wouldn't.

      Delete

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