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Unofficial_Member's avatar

Atheists: have you ever considered religion as insurance?

Asked by Unofficial_Member (5107points) July 9th, 2018

Since we all don’t know about the existence of afterlife and religion provide the unverified answer, doesn’t that mean religion act as a sort of insurance? It’s a 50–50 chance. If there’s afterlife then good, if there’s no afterlife then it won’t make any difference from how we perceived the matter as atheists from the beginning. You basically have nothing to lose. What do you think? Will you adopt a religion just for the possibility of getting a life after death?

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45 Answers

chyna's avatar

God knows what is in your heart, so if you don’t really believe and are only paying lip service as an “insurance policy “ it’s not going to work.

snowberry's avatar

That’s disingenuous, and doesn’t work well in any transaction.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Sort of a silly question.

If you are even considering religion as ‘insurance’, then you are not a true atheist. You’re a somewhat lapsed religionist – maybe a nonbeliever or a former believer, but definitely a believer of some sort.

I get what you’re saying, @Unofficial_Member , but it’s based on a faulty premise.

As far as the substance of the question: I am convinced by rational thought that death is death and that there is no afterlife. If I’m wrong, then I’ll live with the consequences (although I’ll be dead)

zenvelo's avatar

The problem with this approach is, how do you know which religion is the good insurance policy?

There are many who think there are certain sects that will have a rude awakening when they get to the pearly gates, and are told, “You didn’t follow the directions to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help those who are sick, show compassion. You don’t get in!”

ragingloli's avatar

Whatever deity I would fake my allegiance to would not be fooled by my deception.
And what if I pick the wrong religion? There are thousands to choose from.
And what if it is impossible to pick the right religion, because the one true religion is one concocted by an alien race billions of light years away?

ScienceChick's avatar

This is a long used argument and it’s called Pascals Wager. You can read about it for yourself and learn why it’s a false argument and a poor suggestion.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@ScienceChick – bad link, doesn’t go anywhere

ScienceChick's avatar

It’s a wiki entry on Pascal’s Wager. If you can’t google that yourself, I don’t think I can bother with this site. I copy and pasted, but I’m in a different country, so perhaps it shows up differently. I’m sure, now that you know what it is called, you can search a link to read or even a video.

chyna's avatar

@sciencechick Chill. He was politely letting you know your link didn’t work.

gondwanalon's avatar

Appearently just mouthing the words that you accept Jesus as your savior and living a good life is not enough. You actually have to believe it.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@ScienceChick The link worked for me. Thanks

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

And @ScienceChick beat me to it.
For me there is no betting on something without knowing the nature of the bet. I will give an educated guess that belief does not matter at all in the end so “fire insurance” is a silly idea.

Jaxk's avatar

I consider myself Agnostic. That means I don’t really believe but I retain the right to change my mind on my death bed. Sounds similar.

janbb's avatar

I don’t really know if I want an afterlife so that’s a factor too. In any case, I feel that being true to myself is more important than a wager.

rebbel's avatar

@gondwanalon Apparently?

I have dabbled with this question, when I was in my early teens, but quickly came to the conclusion that an all knowing entity would probably see right through it.
So I’m afraid (and to be honest, I sometimes really are) there’s no insurance for me.
I don’t need evangelists at my door though, just saying.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I consider myself agnostic as well but that is not in the same boat of changing your mind when it’s convenient for you. I’ll make up my mind when I actually know something.

kritiper's avatar

No. To do so would be like following Pascal’s Wager.

rebbel's avatar

@tinyfaery You farted? ~

tinyfaery's avatar

Baha. No. That would be much less demure.

Jaxk's avatar

I was taught as a child that once you accepted Jesus as your savior, all was forgiven. Murder Rape, Arson, doesn’t matter, accept Jesus and your in. If that’s true, my system works fine. If it depends on which religious sect you belong to, all bets are off. Pascal’s wager doesn’t work either if it depends on a religious sect because it’s no longer a binary decision.

Disclaimer: I’m not a religious scholar, if that’s important.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

If God rewards you for being sneaky he’s not a righteous god.

Jaxk's avatar

Do you have any evidence that he/she/it is

stanleybmanly's avatar

And then there’s the question of an afterlife having nothing to do with the tenets of any organized religion.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay – one could argue that god isn’t all that righteous in the first place -

- Sodom and Gomorrah
– Noah the only survivor the flood
– Genesis -great famine in Egypt

plus all the staff in the past 6000 years

LostInParadise's avatar

Sounds like Pasca’s wager

Which religion should we choose? There are Christians who believe that you need to be a Christian to be saved and there are Muslims who feel the same way about Islam.

Religious belief is not something you choose. You either have it or you don’t. It makes no sense to me that a person who leads a good life would be punished by God for not choosing the right religion.

gondwanalon's avatar

@rebbel Darn. Oops! Apple-ently?

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, not really. I figure if all the common sense in this world turns out to be wrong, I’ll be OK. The God that I knew wasn’t a petty God.

rebbel's avatar

@gondwanalon Oops me, too; I never even saw the typo….
I was wondering how you thought it was apparent that ”just mouthing the words that you accept Jesus as your savior and living a good life is not enough. You actually have to believe it.”?
That sounds so definite.
Just curious, no attack meant.

gondwanalon's avatar

@rebbel I’m an agnostic. When I was in 4th grade a friend of our family (a high school kid) told me about Jesus. He told me to repeat his words about Jesus being my personal savior. I said the words just to please him and to get away.

Nowadays when people talk about God and Jesus I pretend that I’m with them spiritually. What’s the harm in going along to get along. I even paddle for a canoe club that is sponsored by a Baptist Church. Guess I’m just a hell bound religious hypocrite.

I’ll try to fast talk to the Lord when I die. Sorry about that Jesus but there are so many religions. They all can’t be right. Most of then will tell you that theirs is right. Some will tell you that every single word in the Holy Bible is absolute accurate. Mormons believe that The Book of Mormon is true history even though modern science has proven it to have never happened. Now that is so bizarre. It makes me not trust anything that anyone tells. So how in the hell am I suppose to have faith in anything.

Also why does God require faith that he/she exists? I know that God is very busy answering all the prayers and doing His work and all but why not delegate it all to his angels. Then He would have time to materialize and make a special appearance on Earth. I mean it has been over 2000 years since he showed up.

Lord have mercy!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do the same thing @gondwanalon. I don’t think it’s hypocritical. I see it as being gracious and having good manners. The only thing I back off of, though, are open casket funerals at Rick’s family funerals. Lord they have so many every year and we are expected to file past the open casket and NO!! I can not do it. I graciously make myself unavailable. I think it may be insulting to some but I don’t care. I mean, I do, but I don’t.

JLeslie's avatar

I immediately thought of Pascal’s wager also. I do know a few people who believe basically for a just in case scenario. Just in case there really is a God.

I’ve never had that feeling, because I don’t believe God would punish those who didn’t believe, I think if there is a God He cares about how we act in our lives towards other people and other living things.

I do sometimes think it would be nice to believe that praying can help, and that when I die I’ll see loved ones.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I would think any omniscient deity would see right through that shit and be all the more insulted.

As far as “go along to get along” goes – people can ether take me as I am or they can fuck right off.

kritiper's avatar

I have a friend who thinks that just because he has accepted Jesus Christ into his life, he’ll get a free pass into heaven.
Before Christ ever showed up, God sent down to Moses the Ten Commandments, and if you didn’t heed them, then, HOO boy, were you in trouble!
Then Jesus comes along and says all you have to do is accept his as your savior and you’re in, easy as pie!
So how in the heck does Jesus, the supposed “Son of God” get to overrule God, his father?? If I was God, that would piss me off because you are supposed to “Honor thy Father and Mother.”

elbanditoroso's avatar

@kritiper – that’s the problem with movies – the remake is never as good as the original. You get writers who think they have to improve on what came before, so they expand the plot, make up new drama, and eventually change the whole meaning of the plot.

Same with the Bible. The Old Testament was a classic. The writers of the NT wanted to do one better, so they invented a new character (Jesus), created all sorts of drama, and had the main character killed at the end.

Sort of like Smokey and the Bandit (original) and Smokey and the Bandit II (ripoff of the first one).

LadyMarissa's avatar

At the 2 minute mark it is explained how Jesus & God are one

Dutchess_III's avatar

They just kept making it easier and easier @kritiper because everybody was goin’ to hell under the original rules. And not to mention all the billions of souls going to hell before Abraham even showed up. And not to mention all the billions of souls in other countries and continents outside of the middle east who are goin’ to hell because they never heard of any of this.
Now they just have to say a few words and they’re good.

LostInParadise's avatar

@LadyMarissa , No matter how many explanations I have seen, the Trinity makes no sense. For example, what is the Holy Spirit? It is always referred to as “it”, not he or she. What gives?

gondwanalon's avatar

@LostInParadise I have some Mormon friends. When I pointed out some of the many problems in the Book of Mormon that are inconsistent with reality and science, they have no valid explaination. I was told to pray and “the Holy Ghost in me will tell me that it is true”. I said something like: “I don’t know about a Holy Ghost but God gave us a powerful brain. We should use it”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@LostInParadise and @gondwanalon…I only found peace when I finally quit asking questions that never have an answer.

gondwanalon's avatar

On this ship Earth which bears us into immensity toward an end which God (if there) alone knows, we are just passengers. We are emigrants who know only our own misfortune. The least ignorant amoung us, the most daring, the most restless, ask many many questions. We demand answers. Who made all of this and why? How and when did the voyage of humanity begin. We are never satisfied with any explaination and we suffer from never knowing the secrets. But we keep surching because there is nothing more pure and sweet as truth.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III I don’t think “God” wanted all of us yay-hoos up there. Get too crowded, it would. And with sonny boy lettin’ ‘em all in, now “God” will need a whoppin’ big police force to control them all! What a riot!

kritiper's avatar

@LostInParadise The Holy Spirit is the shuttle craft!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

“I only found peace when I finally quit asking questions that never have an answer”
That’s precisely why you were religious once to begin with.
I love those questions, I love thinking about them and I like mystery of the unknown because it tickles the imagination. I’m not at all uncomfortable with that kind of uncertainty.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was religious once to begin with because I was raised to be religious. But the church people were aghast at the kinds of questions I’d ask, so I just quit asking

I guess you and I asked two different kinds of questions. What is there to praise Jesus about when one child survives a flood and 50 others drown in that same flood? That doesn’t tickle my imagination. It pisses me off. And now I’m at peace because I don’t need to be pissed off any more. It just is what it is. It’s sad, but no one, or thing, can be blamed.

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