Atheist’s Wager

Atheist’s Wager provides sums up what I think the real wager would be were there any likelihood that a hell-threatening monotheistic God existed:

I propose as my answer to Pascal’s wager, two choices and two outcomes. The choices come down to theism (of any religion, not just Christianity) vs. atheism. The outcomes include going to heaven or not going to heaven.

Atheist’s Wager
TheismAtheist
HeavenInherit the “correct” beliefs from parents and go to heaven at the expense of every human who inherited the “wrong” beliefsStand up to a corrupt God and demand dignity for the entire human race beyond my tribe
No God/No HeavenWorship a non-existent deity and not be rewarded in the afterlifeConcentrate on this life and focus on the issues that matter

If God only rewards those who follow the “correct” faith and faith is inherited from one’s parents, then the God who refuses to prove his existence is playing favorites over his creation based on tribal lines pitting groups of humans against each other

If, by chance and chance alone, one is born into the right religion and curries favor with God Almighty, then this person is actively collaborating with the enemy of humanity.  The atheist may find himself in hell for his disbelief, but at least he is not a traitor. Until God accepts that religion is His responsibility and can provide some real proof and guidance as to His plan, He is completely unworthy of our worship. To continue to worship a deity that arbitrarily divides us as a species, rewards a chosen few for their faith in which there is no evidence, and has deliberately chosen not to intervene when His name is used inappropriately is no different from collaborating with the alien cage fighters. By dividing humanity amongst different sects with conflicting ideology and allowing war in His name, God is evil. To worship a deity like this is to commit an act of treason. Unless God proves his existence and changes the outcomes, we as a race owe it to ourselves to not worship Him.

And this response from Donna, one of the commentators on this post, is spot on:

I recently told my Christian mother, “I wouldn’t worship God to stay out of hell even if I thought God and hell were both real. That would be the same as following Hitler to stay out of Auschwitz.”

Your Thoughts?

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.

  • Jonathan

    But of course it’s not a simple as that. Both boxes of the Atheist column in your table have been part of the Judeo-Christian religious stream going back to the TNK/OT.

    “All religion is Evil” won’t wash with this soap IYSWIM.

    • Daniel Fincke

      I’m not sure what you’re saying. You lost me somewhere in the acronyms.

  • Jonathan

    TNK = Tanakh = Hebrew Bible
    OT = Old Testament
    IYSWIM = If You See What I Mean

    My point was that the positives you ascribe to Atheism have been part of the the Jewish/Christian religious stream (only a part, mind) since these documents were written, so your analysis seems too simplistic on this point.

  • Jonathan

    As soap metaphor, well I hope that’s fairly transparent. Maybe Pears?

    http://www.lifebuoy.co.uk/transparent.htm


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