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Your religious beliefs are false, now what?

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  • Your religious beliefs are false, now what?

    I hope I am placing this in the right sub-forum. Please move it if I haven't.

    I had thought about this question yesterday and figured it would be a good topic to discuss. What would you do, if you found out concretely that your faith was wrong? Personally, as a Christian, if I found out that my belief was in vain (they proved Christ did not rise from the dead), I would still believe in a God. I would probably lean towards Judaism. That would be a natural fit for me. I don't think I could ever stop believing in a God.

    What say the rest of you? If your faith was proven false beyond a shadow of a doubt, how would you go from there? I would like to ask this of atheists/agnostics as well. If there was proven to be a God (or any general higher power that rules reality), how would you respond as well?
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

  • #2
    Most of the atheists I know have addressed this dilemma with their faith by abandoning it.

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    • #3
      I have no idea what I would do. I would probably go from an inclusivist to a universalist
      A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
      George Bernard Shaw

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      • #4
        It's kind of hard for me to answer that, because I'm pretty much a "soft" agnostic. Basically, something would be proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt. The existence of God? The non-existence of God? Reincarnation? Benevolent and/or malicious spirits lurking about?

        It would certainly be a relief to know for sure, but it could be uplifting or depressing, depending on the situation. I hope it would be good news.
        Middle-of-the-road swing voter. Feel free to sway my opinion.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Yttrium View Post
          I hope it would be good news.
          It is.
          ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jesse View Post
            I hope I am placing this in the right sub-forum. Please move it if I haven't.

            I had thought about this question yesterday and figured it would be a good topic to discuss. What would you do, if you found out concretely that your faith was wrong? Personally, as a Christian, if I found out that my belief was in vain (they proved Christ did not rise from the dead), I would still believe in a God. I would probably lean towards Judaism. That would be a natural fit for me. I don't think I could ever stop believing in a God.

            What say the rest of you? If your faith was proven false beyond a shadow of a doubt, how would you go from there? I would like to ask this of atheists/agnostics as well. If there was proven to be a God (or any general higher power that rules reality), how would you respond as well?
            Proved he didn't rise? And yet there are now 3 monotheistic religions in the world. Unitarianism, Judaism, and Islam. Baha'i doesn't count cause is monopantheism.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lao tzu
              Most of the atheists I know have addressed this dilemma with their faith by abandoning it.
              Originally posted by Omniskeptical
              Proved he didn't rise? And yet there are now 3 monotheistic religions in the world. Unitarianism, Judaism, and Islam. Baha'i doesn't count cause is monopantheism.
              You both should take a crack at answering the question.
              "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

              Comment


              • #8
                As a vague wishy washy believer in various nebulous things, I find this question a difficult one to answer. As a limited human being I'd be really pleasantly surprised if anything I suspect or believe is even remotely true.

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                • #9
                  I echo Paul, who answered this same question for the Corinthians. Chapter 15:12-18:

                  12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

                  13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;

                  14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.

                  15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.

                  16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;

                  17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

                  18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

                  19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.


                  Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jesse View Post
                    What say the rest of you? If your faith was proven false beyond a shadow of a doubt, how would you go from there? I would like to ask this of atheists/agnostics as well. If there was proven to be a God (or any general higher power that rules reality), how would you respond as well?
                    Well, considering I've already been on one side of this issue, I can answer from personal experience as well as the hypothetical.

                    I was a Christian. A fundamentalist, Young Earth Creationist, evangelical Christian with a very strong, literalist view of Biblical inerrancy. When I came to realize that my view on inerrancy was wrong, it caused me to question all of the religious positions which I had simply taken for granted, my whole life-- including the existence of deity. This, in turn, caused me to realize that I had no good justification for my previous belief in God's existence, and I subsequently became an atheist.

                    Now that I am an atheist, if the existence of some sort of deity could be proven, I would investigate that deity with interest. However, the fact that a deity exists does not imply that such a deity either wants or deserves worship. There's quite a leap between "deity exists" and "the God proposed by orthodox Christianity exists."
                    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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                    • #11
                      I'd probably pretty much continue to live as I am, without going to Church.

                      I enjoy helping people, having a (fairly) healthy lifestyle, and many of the things that I have practiced as a Christian.
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                        I'd probably pretty much continue to live as I am, without going to Church.

                        I enjoy helping people, having a (fairly) healthy lifestyle, and many of the things that I have practiced as a Christian.
                        That's pretty much been my experience. I honestly haven't changed anywhere near as much as I thought I would, after losing my faith.
                        "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                        --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
                          Most of the atheists I know have addressed this dilemma with their faith by abandoning it.
                          Actually, they have not even approached this. What they have done is convince themselves of something. There has never been any concrete evidence that there is no God, and there can not be.

                          Originally posted by Jesse View Post
                          What would you do, if you found out concretely that your faith was wrong?
                          Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                            When I came to BELIEVE that my view on inerrancy was wrong, it caused me to question all of the religious positions which I had simply taken for granted, my whole life-- including the existence of deity.
                            FIFY

                            You are not responding to the question. All you have done is claim your belief is based on concrete proof. Not so.
                            Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If Christianity wasn't true? Then just plain theism with a God who has all the omnimax qualities, no particular religion
                              "Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ." - That Guy Everyone Quotes

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