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If the world was ending and you learned God was real, would you repent?

If you experienced the “End of the Whole Universe” as mentioned in several religious books and knew that “This is it!” and felt that “God exists but I failed to believe in” and If you had only a few minutes till you died, What would you do ?

Would you beg for forgiveness and say how sorry you were? If so, why? Or if not, why?

Thanks!

Posted: October 15th 2011

logicel

I would certainly to the best of my acting ability grovel to appease this terrifying tyrant, but there is no way I could sincerely repent as I know clearly that I have done nothing wrong. However, it has done a lot. The injustice that it has done while the earth existed, it is still doing. So no change or surprise there. It is at least consistently malignant.

I would request a favor—as I am sure that this cunning creature will be able to see through my groveling—in the tradition of people being allowed a last request before their execution or in my case unending torture. That request would be to speak to its maker to see if I can appeal for a redressment for the enormous harm its own creation has done and will continue to do with its unethical implementation of eternal and horrific punishment just because some of its creation were dignified and discriminating enough not to worship it/believe in it without a shred of credible evidence.

But as the Christian god is 100% an illogical entity (I am guessing that is your religious brand), I have no real concerns. However, Christians do. They have obviously picked the wrong god, and if such an scenario happens, will find themselves in front of a god that they did not worship while myself, who did not worship any gods, may fare better than the devout Christian and her fervent but false belief. Ooops!

Seriously, the only lesson (as I suspect in a bizarre way you are trying to save my soul before it is too late) I am taking from your presentation of the completely debunked Pascal Wager is that your religious beliefs are based on fear steeped in stale superstition which saddens me considerably.

Posted: October 25th 2011

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George Locke

Assuming I knew which God was responsible, I’d do whatever I could to appease it. There is literally no limit to how much I would debase myself to avoid an eternity of suffering. I’m pretty sure that personal integrity would be cold comfort after a few thousand years of agony.

Posted: October 25th 2011

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flagellant www

The problem with your question, even granting the vanishingly small likelihood of the situation you describe, is that I cannot envisage the end of the Universe without the simultaneous demise of 'God’.

But, that objection aside, I certainly wouldn’t apologise or beg forgiveness – I’d have far too many questions for him/her/it. There’s the obvious one like why he/she/it had hidden for so long. Then there’s the critical ‘Why did you allow all this myth stuff to be promulgated in your holy books, yet give us mountains of scientific evidence that biblical and koranic myths are untrue?’

I’d ask all about bits of the Bible and to what extent he/she/it approved of the text. And I’d ask ‘Did you really command the Israelites to massacre any innocent tribes that just happened to be in their way?’

Then there’s the New Testament: ‘Are you God or (your son) Jesus? Did all those synods about your nature establish anything true? Does the Nicean creed get anything right?’

And finally, I’d ask him why he has let people like Osama bin Laden, Pat Robertson, and Pope Ratzinger exist and survive as her/his/its representatives on Earth. I’d ask ‘Couldn’t you have done a bit better than that?’ And I’d have much, much more in the same vein.

And I’d certainly have no reason to repent.

Posted: October 25th 2011

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Eric_PK

Honestly, if I experienced that situation my first thought would be that I was hallucinating.

If I was convinced that it was real, I wouldn’t be sorry. According to christian theology, god knows what is in my heart therefore knows what it would take to convince me. It’s not my fault that he didn’t give me enough evidence.

Posted: October 24th 2011

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Blaise www

Beg for forgiveness for what? I do not believe because I reason, and there is no evidence. I do good based on my understanding of morality.

If a god existed, and it really made me and everyone else, it already knows this, and I have to assume would be smart enough to see through a last minute 'conversion’. In any event, if a god looked at my life and decided it was worthless, why would I want to spend eternity with it?

Posted: October 24th 2011

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Dave Hitt www

It would depend on which god it was.

If it was a cool god, like, say, Thor, sure. But if it was the nasty god of the bible, no way. As the philosopher Billy Joel says, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.”

Posted: October 24th 2011

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Galen Rose www

I would ask this god why the hell he couldn’t have provided some reasonable evidence, if he expected me to believe. With the evidence provided, I can’t see that it’s any more reasonable to believe in Bible-god than to believe in Zeus or Ganesh or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If this “real” god had a lick of sense, then I’m sure he would find my question eminently appropriate to the occasion.

Now, if this god gave the appearance of being a totally sadistic and senseless god, then, like SmartLX, I would begin groveling immediately. I’m really not into pain.

In the end, though, I think the likelihood of the scenario you describe actually happening is roughly equal to the likelihood of my being hit by lightning 3 times in the next 5 minutes. Thus, I am not going to alter my life a bit from my present course as a confirmed and confident atheist.

[Upon re-reading your question, I notice that you wrote, “If you experienced . . . and felt that “God exists . . . “ The key word here is “felt.” If I suddenly “felt” that a god exists, I would remind myself that feelings don’t prove anything and that I should seek further evidence before doing anything. I might someday “feel” like I am Napoleon, but that doesn’t prove that I am Napoleon. I will leave my initial answer on this page, too, as it might still be useful for someone.]

Posted: October 24th 2011

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SmartLX www

Of course I would, for I would have realised that the world was being run (and now allowed to collapse) by a tyrant, who cared only for the utter submission of his creations and yet gave them no real evidence that he even existed until it was almost too late. A malicious ruler like this would probably enjoy seeing me grovel, which I would do to try to save myself.

Until I actually know that there’s a god like this, it doesn’t make sense to worship ahead of time. Firstly, I can’t make myself believe, and insincere worship would count for very little. Secondly, if I were to worship one god and the real god was a different one, the real god would come down on me even harder than if I’d worshipped no gods at all.

It makes perfect sense to prostrate yourself before a being which has absolute, unshakeable power over you, but only if you know who it is and what it wants.

Posted: October 24th 2011

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