So What If You’re Wrong?

The title of this post was a question asked by a believer on an atheist’s blog. The full comment was:

The biggest side-step ever was made by Richard Dawkins when he was asked “What if you’re wrong?” by a student in a Q&A session. So, what if you are wrong? Are you frightened of anything? If not, you should be.

Christians love to ask this question. I suppose it’s because they think it’s going to create all sorts of emotional stirrings and fear-related thoughts in the psyche of the individual being asked.

And perhaps to a person who’s never been exposed to Christianity and its myriad end-time threats, such a question could be a bit disconcerting. But to ask this of an atheist who has spent years examining and discrediting and rejecting the many and varied “proofs” of the Christian faith? It seems to me the response would be obvious.

Nonetheless, at some point (generally after all else has failed) the fear factor becomes an important point in many discussions between believer and non-believer. And before long that dreaded where will you spend eternity “threat” comes to the forefront.

I’m pretty sure most of my readers have answered this question more than once … and I’ll bet some of you have come up with some pretty creative answers. Care to share them with the rest of us?


70 thoughts on “So What If You’re Wrong?

  1. “So what if I’m wrong?” I’ll be dead. I don’t think we get a second chance to have second thoughts, and I suspect if there were a god he would not be impressed by death bed conversions, anyway. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I’ll have to die to find out, and by then it’s too late.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I haven’t been chosen. God has not made himself known to me. I value my integrity and would never admit to believing in something that contradicts reality with every verse, and every doctrine. There are much better explanations in this day and age than god.

    Liked by 13 people

  3. The Baby Jesus is going to soul-torture the likes of me for eternity? Then BJ ain’t the kind of person I want to hang out with for a minute anyway, much less eternity.
    You choose the opposite?
    Enjoy endless contemplation of your own simpering weakness.
    I usually don’t bother to answer, given the implications of the question.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. If I were wrong, I think the only appropriate response is still the “Luciferian” one. Because Christian morality, the Christian cosmology, Christian history is just so…appalling. Revolt is the only moral position.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What if I’m wrong?

    Well, if it turns out that the universe is, in fact, ruled by some kind of all-powerful petty tyrant who will consign me to torture for all eternity because I couldn’t believe a bunch of ludicrously-implausible stories which all available evidence shows to be just one more random mythology like hundreds of others, regardless of all the good I’ve done during my life, then I guess I’m just shit out of luck. I don’t see any point in worrying about it because there’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t have it in my power to make myself believe things that are just utterly unbelievable, any more than a Christian could psych himself into believing in Vishnu or Odin when he simply sees no reason to believe in those entities. And there’s no point in trying to fake it. Pretending to believe might fool people, but it wouldn’t fool an omniscient deity.

    And that’s another problem. What if you’re wrong to disbelieve in the Christian cosmology, and you die and find yourself being judged by Jehovah for it? Well, what if it turns out Odin was the true god all along and you’ll suffer in the afterlife for not worshiping him? What if it turns out the Muslims are right and you spent your life not being a Muslim? What if the ancient Egyptian religion was the true one and we’re all doomed in the afterlife because we don’t engage in their mummification rituals? What if the religion of some tribe in Papua that you’ve never heard of is the one true faith, God having singled out that tribe as his chosen people for some reason beyond our understanding?

    All those possibilities are equally plausible. There’s no visible reason to judge any one religion more likely to be true than any other. If you choose one and it turns out some other one is the true one, you’re still wrong.

    So I choose to believe what the evidence supports — that there are no gods at all, and all religions are just stories concocted by ignorant humans. I might still be wrong, but it’s the option most likely to be right.

    Liked by 11 people

  6. I have used many comebacks over the years. I’ll see if I can remember a few:

    Heaven is under dictatorship. I’ll choose freedom every time.

    If heaven and hell do exist, I’ll take the left road.

    It just so happens I believe in reincarnation. Many lives ago I chose Christianity. I’ll never make THAT mistake again!


    If God is perfect, he has no need of worshippers. Since his book says he demands to be worshipped, he is not perfect. Therefore he is not a god, just some deluded asshole who thinks he is better than anyone else. Sound familiar?

    BTW, I prefer to think god was invented by lazy cowards who did not want to leave the safety of the cave. They invented gods as busywork, thus ensuring survival of the fittest never applied to humanity.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. What if I’m wrong?

    Hahahaha… Well, if so, then I promise to come tell you or if you’re dead too then I’ll tell your living spouse or children. 😈 😉 But let’s be fair here. Since you cannot prove to me you are right, then can’t I equitably ask you What if YOU are wrong?

    But Nan, depending on the faith-follower asking that question and their particular theology, much of the time, or rarely, do they want to discuss/debate us on fair terms or on equal ground. They have been indoctrinated by the false notion they are impervious to us, the world’s evil trickery, logic, and certainly the overwhelming scientific and historical evidence of 95% or more of their Christian religion. As we secularists and the deconverted no longer neurologically addicted to that false sense of salvation from fear… we quickly see it is flawed, historically inaccurate or blatantly bogus, and worse… horribly pathological from a clinical psychological standpoint.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. If I’m wrong, whose fault is that? God is supposedly so obvious (according to true believers) that only a fool would reject him. I spent nearly 40 years trying to find this obvious god and yet he was nowhere to be found outside of a book. If I’m wrong then God has got to rethink his strategy and apologize to all of us who tried so hard to keep the faith and follow him despite no evidence of his existence. Me being wrong doesn’t concern me. I did my part. If God is real and I made the wrong decision, he’s the one who should be concerned that he failed to convince us. We have to work with the five senses we have. If none of those senses can detect him, it’s a design error and the designer should have put more thought into the product before rushing it to market.

    Liked by 14 people

      • I don’t concern myself with what devout believers think about my position. I’ve heard all the excuses already. As a former devout believer myself, I’ve made the same excuses and they don’t hold water. I tried to dance with God and I freely and willingly opened my heart to him. Again, I did my part and did so for decades. One-sided relationships never last. Evidence is needed to prove the existence of things. Without any, it’s all wishful thinking. Anyone who says that God is detectable outside of the only senses we have is full of BS. How can they detect the undetectable? How are they granted an extra “God-detecting” sense while ready and willing followers like myself and countless others are denied it? Why would God reject people like me who wanted to believe it all?

        The argument is not worth having unless both sides are openminded. I’m ready to believe again if evidence comes to light that is both compelling and verifiable. Is the other side willing? When I believed, I wanted no part in such a debate. My mind was made up and no one could convince me otherwise. When having a debate, one side needs to be willing to concede a point if they are wrong. Just because one is unwilling to make a concession, that doesn’t make them right. Stubbornness is not a virtue, nor is it evidence of the divine.

        Liked by 6 people

    • I’ve had similar thoughts to this. Why doesn’t God at least some responsibility for not communicating this all important lesson to the beings that he made? Moreover why isn’t God held to at the very least a standard of morality equal to humans themselves? The Christian justice system is so severely flawed, and Dawkins response below is on point. If it’s right and you’re complicit with such a system I think it’s fair for others to actually question your morality. Even the worst human who has done grievous harm to their child, does not continue that torture ad infinitum. And if we looks carefully at such a person we would still understand the why through some combination of their genetics and environmental influence. But even most Christians would say such a person was a monster, and yet believe that God is just for carrying our far worse punishment. And even if it wasn’t mindless torture, just sitting those people in the room with the only game to play was Yahtzee for eternity it would still be unspeakable cruelty, not because of the having to play Yahtzee but to have to play it for eternity. That’s a long fucking time such that almost any activity becomes torture. It makes no sense.

      I was moved at a young age by Ivan in Dostoevsky’ Brother’s Karamazov in a Chapter called Rebellion where he recognizes the insanity of the Christian justice system. He focuses particularly on children and says if some future Christian perfection is to be built on the cruelty that happens to innocent children today then he “respectfully returns his ticket”. Meaning that not existing would be better than existing in the Christian justice system. I have to agree. And since I do exist, and actually like life, it is duty of any moral person to reject such a system of God. Even if the Christian was right, I’d rather take the moral stand, than the immoral one simply out of fear. If existence is founded on coercion through fear, it is simply a failed one.

      I’m willing to entertain the possibility of a deity. But not Yahweh.

      Liked by 5 people

  9. “What if I’m wrong?”

    I am sure there are lots of things I am wrong about, which one does the Christian have in mind?

    Me being wrong isn’t as important as what the right answer actually is, chances are the Christian is wrong too!

    Liked by 5 people

  10. In the many decades that I have expressed my conviction that there are no deities, I’ve been asked on numerous occasions to describe what I believe (and some of the subsequent discussions have been really interesting), but not once in all those times, have I been asked what if I was wrong. Perhaps I’ve just met the wrong kind of believer 🙂

    But more seriously, I sometimes ask what if they believe in the wrong God. I’ve usually had to explain what I mean by the wrong God, but once they understand the question, their answer typically indicates a belief in universalism, although few have heard of the term.

    If someone did ask me that question, I think I would respond by asking them what do they believe will happen if I’m wrong, then take it from there depending on their answer.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. BTW..this was Dawkins response to the young woman.

     “What if I’m wrong, well anybody could be wrong, but what I think you are really asking is what if I am wrong and you are right, eliminating the possibility that we are both wrong.  So let’s go with that.  Christianity is correct and spells out the authentic doctrine of the living god.

     OK, now let’s suppose you get married and have two children, a son and a daughter. Both become extremely accomplished in their fields of medicine and science, win many awards, have exemplary families, and are loved and respected in their communities and in their churches.  All seems so well.  You and your husband eventually die and go to Heaven.  After a time, you realize that your son and daughter have probably died as well, but you have yet to meet up with them.
     Finally, you ask an angel about them and he says that he will look them up to see what happened.  To your chagrin, he informs you that they are both in Hell.  You are in disbelief and ask how that could have happened.  The angel explains that although they went to church, neither one actually believed in Jesus or accepted him as their personal savior, so they died with their sins unforgiven. Since God cannot allow any sin enter into Heaven, they were sent to Hell.
    You ask how long they will be there, and the angel tells you it will be for all eternity. He offers to let you view them through a direct link to Hell.  You see your daughter crying out in pain as she is being lashed by three demons, and your son is wallowing in a tub of hot acid.  You cannot believe what you have seen and protest that this is not fair and that you emphatically demand that your children be rescued and sent to Heaven.  The angel upbraids you by saying you must never criticize God, for everything he says is true, and everything he does is just.
     Further, he instructs you to go to the next 12-hour praise session that will begin shortly, where you must praise God, raise your hands in worship, and declare that God is great, and fair, and just, and deserves unbridled admiration.
     What this vignette shows is the total putrid bankruptcy of the Christian doctrine that you hold dear, and so I respond to your question with a question of my own-


    Liked by 13 people

  12. Even back when I was Christian, I began to wonder whether heaven might be an awfully boring place. There’s that piped in harp muzak. At least give me a full orchestra. And then sacred music gets boring very quickly. And then there’s that worship business — that could get tiring very quickly.

    Maybe heaven is just a different kind of hell.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It occurred to me once that one could even propose that there’s only one afterlife, and it’s either Heaven or Hell to you depending on what kind of person you are. To the mindless worshiper drone, the Christian Heaven would indeed be Heaven. To us non-worshipers and people with intellectual interests, it would indeed be Hell. It would work if God exists and is as nasty as, but more imaginative than, the way he’s depicted in the Bible.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. I am almost certainly wrong — about a lot of things. But not about the God question. Because my answer is never “there’s no god”; my answer is “I don’t believe in God” — which is 100% true. I don’t, in fact, believe in any gods. If there turns out to be one, and if that is verifiable, then I still wouldn’t be *believing* in this god; I would at that point be *convinced* of God.

    And if it turns out that this god is YHWH of the Bible, I will immediately rebel and fight against his purpose. Basic morality would tell anyone to resist such an evil God.

    Liked by 7 people

  14. Another tidbit I picked up somewhere

    Religion is about power and control.

    Think about it: if you become a devout Christian, your church will tell you that you will most likely go to Christian heaven. But, you’ve got a one-way ticket to Muslim hell according to their faith teaching.
    And what about all of the negative consequences from all the other religions?

    If, however, you don’t believe in God, you have a 100% chance of going to all hells, provided hells actually exist. My spell-checker tells me that “hells” isn’t even a word, so take this for what it’s worth.

    In the end, each religion assumes that it is the one true faith. But, there are at least 5 major religions with more than 100 million adherents. This would suggest that something approaching 75% of the world’s population is effectively guaranteed to go to hell.

    It seems to me that an all-knowing, all-powerful God could probably come up with a better system than that.
    And there’s your answer: God didn’t come up with religion. We did. People used faith and religion as a tool of control.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I sort of answer back along with the same line of reasoning:

    What if you’re wrong and Christianity isn’t the right religion? What if it’s Islam? What if it’s Hinduism and you come back as an ant?

    What if you’ve been following your religion wrong? What if the interpretation you trusted is incorrect? What if the people you trusted to interpret it for you are incorrect? What if instead of arguing about it, you should be out there helping the poor? What if you are too greedy in the eyes of the Lord given the massive suffering that exists out there? What if you were supposed to give up your life to help people suffering from famine in Africa?

    What if you are just wasting your time following a human constructed belief system? Maybe you think the odds are at least better than playing the game than not playing at all but if it is all just a game, I’d say you’ve probably wasted your life by searching for truth in the wrong direction, by playing a game, when you could have been learning how the actual universe works and been really blown away by it all.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Ben expressed my thoughts on the matter to a tee. With that said, it’s quite telling that whether they realize it or not, the only reason they believe in the first place is that they fear hell. All this “I love the Lord” nonsense is a facade.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Ben most definitely has a knack for putting into words what many of us have experienced. He’s recently written a book (after much encouragement) of his journey AWAY from religion. Definitely worth a read. Available on Amazon Kindle: “Returning the Gift of Salvation: How I Went From Being a Soldier of God to a Conscientious Objector of Religion.”

      Soooo good to see you, Victoria. Hope you’ll become more of a “regular” to our many and varied blogs. ❤

      Liked by 5 people

      • How sadistic is that? The sad thing is, they don’t even see it in themselves — they’ve lost their humanity. I think some believers do have a sincere concern due to the indoctrination of fear, but when believers ask such a question like the one in the OP, it speaks volumes about their character, IMO.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Similar to the rapturites. They’ll be lifted up, pointing their fingers, see, see!! Told you so! My friends up the way in Panama are from Mobile. They hope to be alive to see it happen (Then they can watch their atheist son burn). Ah the loving southern baptists!

          Liked by 2 people

  17. If you don’t mind me saying, Nan, this OP and list of comments is a very sad statement about we humans. We are all the same species, yet somehow we have lost the ability to get along. It really doesn’t matter what we believe in our lifetimes: If there is an afterlife we are all going to the same one; if there is no afterlife none of us are going anywhere. As long as we are still alive on this Earth, or in this universe as the case might be, we could be working together to better our lives by stopping all the hatred and dissent. That appears to be what most other species do. Yet we humans with our “superior minds and superior understanding” cannot do anything together as one huge group. There is something inherently insane about us. If you don’t mind me saying…

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I don’t mind you saying … 🙂

      For the most part, I agree with you. But if you don’t mind me saying … it ain’t gonna’ happen. Yes, humans should be working together … but have they ever? (As a species … not just individual groups.) It seems to be part of our nature to try and direct the course of humankind according to our particular perspective. However, since we’re all different, it’s a given our goals are not going to always match up with the person sitting next to us.

      Interestingly, I was thinking similar thoughts earlier today. I wondered why it’s so vitally important to convince others of our personal viewpoints. Why not, as the old saying goes, live and let live? I understand that Christians believe they are commanded to share the “Good News,” but why must this involve throwing out vitriolic and abusive remarks to those who disagree … which often leads to the recipient doing the same.

      As the old saying goes, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

      It seems the only time humans can come together in unity and accord is when each and every individual has been affected, as in widespread disasters, so the lines of division have effectively been erased.

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I think sometimes we all need to pause and take inventory of ourselves and our contribution to the whole.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The love and let live is good but sometimes hard to do, especially when in particular, some of these religious beliefs are down right dangerous, hurtful and bigoted and very destructive to society at large. I feel we must continue to speak up (in a nice way if possible) so we can at least feel we tried. And there’s also something about being who you are and not backing down from these harmful beliefs and indoctrination, especially of the very young.


        • I have reservations about the “speaking out.” If the occasion arises, yes, certainly, I will share my outlook. But I’m not going to argue about it. I also will not say things in a way that indicates an “I’m right, you’re wrong” attitude. (Waaaay to common on the internet!)

          IMO, the best way for a non-believer to communicate with a believer is to either share their own experiences and/or give reasons why they believe as they do. Of course, this may — and probably will — include a discussion on bible contents, which means you’d better know what you’re talking about because most Christians have been WELL indoctrinated. Especially on the “catch phrases.”

          As for indoctrination of the young … there’s really not a whole lot that an “outsider” can do because it’s a family thing. You and I and other non-believers obviously see it as reprehensible, but simply sharing this opinion with a Christian is not going to change anything. Read any blog discussion on this topic and you’ll see what I mean.

          One added note — the posts that Ben has made are probably more effective than any “argument” or intellectual presentation. He very skillfully shares his Christian life experiences … which are also very common among believers … and then explains why he found them lacking.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Because it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it can never happen. Unlikely, yes, but not impossible.Still, thank you for your thoughts. You now have my mind working overtime.


    • Welcome WOG! I’ve seen your comments on other blogs … glad you’re joining us here as well.

      Yup, I agree. Of course the big difference is that Christians have this warped idea of what’s going to happen if you’re not part of “the clan.” And because they’ve “taken the oath,” they must always-always be cognizant of their standing because if THEY are wrong … well, I don’t think I need to say anymore. Except perhaps … what a way to live!

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Are you washed in the blood,
    In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
    Are your garments spotless?
    Are they white as snow?
    Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

    This is a chorus from a song they sing. All very dramatic and mythical, however it is nothing but a gruesome blood thirsty song that would be sung by Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs before he eats Jodie Foster.

    Can you imagine singing such blatant rubbish, never mind believing it as reality as they do?


      • I found it on Wally’s site. This kind of stuff just seems so primitive, so old worldly, ancient, uneducated, superstitious and even…. dare I say it has the worshipping feeling of Satanists dancing around a camp fire in the woods especially with the mental picture of washing in blood and the cruelty of sacrifice, and the truth is washing garments in blood would eventually become black.

        In fact if the unlikely chance of anything in the world of the supernatural or spiritual dimensions existing it is more than likely not going to be good for any of us, regardless of beliefs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My sense of humor is second to none. Would make George Carlin look like a Pygmy, with apologies to 3 footers everywhere.

        But what should concern u is not the laughter of me or Sarai, but if He who sitteth in the heavens.

        Now that’s perfection.


        • I don’t remember writing sense of “humor.” Let me look again. No, I didn’t. I wrote sense of “piousness.” Considerably different meaning than “humor.” 🙂

          Perfection is and always has been in the eye of the beholder.


        • “He who sitteth in the heavens” has no humour at all, how can he when causing death and destruction and loving everyone at the same time?

          As his number one fan, you and God should get on real fine CS.


          • Tkx Steve but I’ll pass on extended commentary on this post, host should be glad, but I will you to consider what exactly happy to God’s creation, after He pronounced His works as VERY GOOD.

            ……then there was that little devil Cain, following in the heels of the smartest man who ever lived: Mr Adam.


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