Will we ever know?

If it is true that God probably does not exist, and that there is no heaven or hell, will anyone ever know? Let’s just say that an atheist and a Christian argue about it, and then they both die and the athiest turned out to be correct, both of them are dead. No point will ever be proven. But if the Christian was right, then I think both the Christian and the athiest will know right off the bat when they are standing at the gates of heaven, knowing that they’ll be headed in different directions.

Posted: September 3rd 2012


Actually, we could know (with absolute, 100% certainty) about specific religions.

If the church dies, then Christianity is wrong. Not unlikely—wrong.

But I guess by then there wouldn’t be any points to prove about it.

Posted: January 3rd 2013

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Blaise www

The answer to your actual question is: Only if there is one.

Of course, you aren’t really asking a question are you? Your question is actually just an excuse to threaten unbelievers that we’re 'going to the burny place’.

Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but it almost seems like you are implying that since the only way a person could 'know’ if there’s an afterlife is if there actually is one, that makes the existence of one more likely. That seems more like wishful thinking than an argument.

Posted: September 19th 2012

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George Locke

God probably does not exist

Right. It’s very unlikely that any gods exist. It’s possible, but so are cheese demons and the Mystical Never-Ending Sneeze. There is no reason to take any of these “merely possible” entities seriously.

If the fundamentalist Christian afterlife fable were true, yes, I’d have an eternity of suffering to look forward to. On the other hand, if fundamentalist Muslims had the right idea, then I would fare no better and neither would you. (If the Never-Ending Sneeze rules all, the afterlife will be awesome, I’m pretty sure.)

None of these fates deserve much attention because they’re all pure fantasy. Without good reason to think that the soul lives on, that one list of sins has more merit than another, I’ll remain confident this life is all I get. I don’t spend my time worrying about ancient bedtime stories, and neither should you.

Posted: September 17th 2012

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flagellant www

I once had a similar argument with a theist: he wanted me to accept that there was life after death and I asked him to prove it to me. He couldn’t come up with anything other than refer to the bible – a severely compromised, man-made document – so I suggested that he should kill himself and get straight to heaven. (I realised that this would not resolve the argument but it would reveal the strength of his belief ;-) He produced all sorts of theological arguments why he shouldn’t do this, e.g. “God wouldn’t like it.” I suggested that this was all a complicated strategy on his part to avoid “waking up dead.”

Isn’t it funny how, when the chips are down, theists won’t demonstrate their certainty in a life after death, yet they want others to believe in one? And isn’t it bizarre how they back up – as you do – the carrot of heaven for gullible believers with the stick of hell for rational unbelievers? Both heaven and hell are man-made constructs and they are illogical: would a real, loving god threaten people with hell for any reason? I doubt it.

Everything we understand about matter and life leads to the conclusion that, just as there is no life before conception, so there is no life after death. There is not the slightest evidence for all the supernatural legerdemain to which you are attached. It appears that your fear of death is so strong that you fervently hope against hope that there’s something afterwards. May I suggest that you stop rationalising, and learn to live with the truth? There is no afterlife, anywhere.

Posted: September 11th 2012

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brian thomson www

Your “question” reads like a version of Pascal’s Wager , which we’ve heard many times before. It makes so many assumptions – such as the assumption that, if there is something god-like out there, he/she/it matches your version of religious myth. If you were to believe for the sole reason of avoiding damnation, don’t you think your omniscient god could tell, and judge you accordingly?

As an atheist, I don’t have a religious mythology, and I make no claim about what will happen after I die. I have no reason to believe that anything will happen, but don’t confuse that with a belief that nothing will happen. (Statisticians would call that the “null hypothesis”, a computer programmer would call that the “default”.) But you’re wrong to view this question as a case of competing mythologies, one of which must be right. It isn’t; you’re the one with the belief.

Posted: September 9th 2012

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Mike the Infidel www

Or if both of us were wrong, the Muslims would be laughing all the way to Paradise.

Mankind has invented thousands of gods with thousands of different kinds of afterlives. I worry about them probably about as much as a Christian worries about spending eternity in a prison colony on Pluto.

This is a rather nasty generalization of 'Christian’, by the way. My parents are devout Christians but don’t believe that anyone actually goes to hell.

Posted: September 9th 2012

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