If there was no reward for theists- no heaven or afterlife, would there be a reason to still believe in God?

I feel like there would be no purpose to worship a god if there were no promise of a reward. What do you think?

Tags: atheist, christan, debate, faith, god, heaven, islam, jewish, nogod, prayer

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I believe that the concept of afterlife was promoted in religion as a control mechanism. Its obvious that, with time, people would start to realize that the ones doing bad deeds aren't being punished & good people don't necessarily lead comfortable lives. How to counter this - tell people that they would be judged after they die. Simple, problem solved. No one is gonna come back from the dead to tell the masses otherwise.

This reminds me of of a long conversation I had with a christian friend. He talked about the bible saying - Give your life to me & you will have a life. When I asked him about the many good christians who suffer(a few months before we talked there had been anti-christian riots in a state in India) and he said that its also written that if you suffer you shouldn't despair. Thing will improve, if not in this life, in the after life. I couldn't stop laughing when he said this. Its basically the bible covering its ass with both hands. No matter what the outcome people have no way of disputing the bible on this if they believe.

If there wasn't the promise of heaven then there would be more non-believers than there are today.

There's also the punishment aspect, that if you don't believe you'll go to hell. Without those 2 things, I think it's fair to say that 90-95% of believers would have no reason, pun intended, to believe in religion. Those who simply can't live without worshipping some kind of divine being of their own making would obviously start and promote their flavor of religion; but the political and philosophical hegemony that the christian church has now would not exist.
This is an interesting question, in response to the observation that people only believe as a form of payoff for services (devotion) rendered making it more of a business transaction, christians deny and quickly retort it's not about a payoff, it's about love and respect, jesus died for our sins etc. Generally I make some comment suggesting that they simply must have run out of goats. Does the threat of hell and or the potential reward of heaven factor into their thinking or is it really simple love and respect. I think the concept of heaven and hell, if truly "believed" most certainly does factor in, though christians are quick to deny or at least marginalize it. Those who were once christians and are now atheists (ask around for proof as I was never among the faithful) confirm that it had a profound impact on them. So, if it's true that the possibility of reward or damnation does indeed factor into the equation which can easily be compared to bartering for a better life with the almighty (Oh stop groveling I hate groveling, god) taking the financial reward off the table equals no sale.



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