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Faith by Fear


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This is more philosophy than anything yet I knew no one would respect it more than the religious forums.

 

I have read up on a philosophy once which stated that since the eternal pain and suffering in hell is infinitely unbearable, then the maliciousness of hell itself out-weighs the odds of God not existing. Therefore it is only rational to practice religion, simply for the sake of not suffering eternally. While I do understand the reasoning behind this, how far could this philosophy go before becoming completely Irrational? For example: if you found a roll of hundred dollar bills on the floor, yet someone passing by tells you "if you pick up that money, you will suffer eternally", would you not pick up the hundreds just because eternally suffering outweighs the odds of that random person being full of crap?

 

disclaimer: I'm no religious man, I just wanted someone's opinion on this.

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Therefore it is only rational to practice religion, simply for the sake of not suffering eternally.

I think it was Voltaire who said it was reasonable to suppose only the religious went to hell.

I've decided to postpone worrying about it until I'm dead.

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The argument might work if we limit our options to there either being a single god or not, and a few other assumptions are met. But we actually decide between numerous gods, not just one - many of which promise mutually exclusive infinite rewards and punishments - and other competing ideologies.

 

Essentially there is no limit to the stuff you can make up so the probability of any one particular god or ideology becomes infinitesimal (unless there is actually evidence for a particular god), making any such wager unwise.

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This is more philosophy than anything yet I knew no one would respect it more than the religious forums.

 

I have read up on a philosophy once which stated that since the eternal pain and suffering in hell is infinitely unbearable, then the maliciousness of hell itself out-weighs the odds of God not existing. Therefore it is only rational to practice religion, simply for the sake of not suffering eternally. While I do understand the reasoning behind this, how far could this philosophy go before becoming completely Irrational? For example: if you found a roll of hundred dollar bills on the floor, yet someone passing by tells you "if you pick up that money, you will suffer eternally", would you not pick up the hundreds just because eternally suffering outweighs the odds of that random person being full of crap?

 

disclaimer: I'm no religious man, I just wanted someone's opinion on this.

 

 

Since you're an atheist lets approach this question from the POV that there's no afterlife or god, they aren't needed, because I believe the original intention of the bible, which ever version, is to teach people how to be content, and the promise of heaven and hell are merely teaching aids.

 

Therefore heaven and hell only exist whilst you're alive, so heaven is a life free of unnecessary worry, fear and stress (content) and hell is full of all three (discontent).

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