What if You Are Wrong?

Pascals Wager

Christian to Atheist:

“If I’m wrong, it’s no big deal, but if you’re wrong? Uh oh…”

At first, this argument seems strong. Christians seem to have all the bases covered: If a Christian dies and god indeed exists, the Christian is home free and will spend eternity in Heaven.

  • If a Christian dies and it turns out that god does not exist, so what? That means there is no hell, and death is simply the end. No harm, no foul. Nothing lost.

This is one of the most common arguments made by Christians. Why not just believe? It gives you immediate fire insurance against Hell’s never ending flames, and there’s no down side if you happen to be wrong.

However, this argument is actually one of the weakest arguments a Christian can make.

When presented with this argument, I ask the counter question:

“Well, what if you are wrong about Islam, Hinduism, Baha’i, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Zoroastrinianism or any of the hundreds of other religions and cults and their dire warnings about the various hells and other negative consequences they say await you as a “non-believer”?

Out of the many times I’ve countered with this question, no Christian has ever been the slightest bit concerned about the consequences of their non-belief in other religions or cults.

Just like none of those other religions or cults are the slightest bit concerned about the Christian version of Hell.

And what if Christians are wrong? Is it really no big deal? If there is no god, what has a Christian really lost?

If you spend decades wrapping your life around a fable, and basing your life on that fable, choosing your mate and your friends and your job and your possessions and where you live and where you go to church and who you socialize with, or not, and who you do business with, or not, and what you do with your time and your money and what you teach your children, all based on that fable… well, the fallout from that is a life wasted on an entire reality that doesn’t exist, and the possibility that you may have influenced others to also waste their lives.

That’s a wager I’m no longer willing to make.