Convert and win a free pilgrimage!

The brilliant minds behind reality TV turn their attention to religion:

A Turkish television show is offering contestants what it claims is the “biggest prize ever” — the chance for atheists to convert to one of the world’s major religions.

The show, called “Tovbekarlar Yarisiyor,” or “Penitents Compete,” features a Muslim imam, a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi and a Buddhist monk attempting to persuade 10 atheists of the merits of their religion…

Ahmet Ozdemir, deputy director of Turkish channel Kanal T, which will air the show from September, said the program aimed to “turn disbelievers on to God.”

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Dan Fincke

    I’M a disbeliever!!

    This sounds awesome, is the prize 72 virgins or the beatific vision or what? Or does that depend on which religion you convert to?

  • Dave Smith

    Well the prize (in the here and now) is the pilgrimage to the holy land of your new religion… but I think the contestants should really press for benefits in the afterlife! “If you can beat 72 virgins, we have a deal! Can anyone do 75!” Islam really does seem to have the better prize package.

  • Dan Fincke

    ohhhh, right, I should’ve gotten that pilgrimage part from the title there!

    Well, that sucks, all three of the four religions all have the same holy land! Really your choice is between Buddhism (where’s theirs anyway?) and one of the religions of the book. So, if at some point you just decide you prefer Jerusalem to the Buddhist, you’d might as well eeny-meeny-miney-mo it on which of the remaining three religions you want since it makes no difference where you’re going.

    Unless you know that some day you’re going to be willing to martyr yourself and then Islam is the choice hands down—no matter where the Buddhist holy land turns out to be!

  • Dave Smith

    Right – I forgot you have to martyr yourself to qualify for the virgins!

    Looks like they’ll send a Buddhist to Tibet. Think I’d go with that. Plus I’ve always loved this statement from the Buddha:

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”