Let's start it off with a simple one.

xtain :
"Well what if you're wrong?'


Rebuttals?

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My intelligent rebuttal:
Your face.


Morticia-1
Theists-0
I was going to make a 'Well, this is just Pascal's wager shortened to a single sentence' post, but Nelson has pretty much covered that angle, in depth. :)
Wow, I think that covers everything except the mention that surely an all-knowing God would be able to see right through such a deception anyways.

Great post Nelson!
"What if" is at the heart of everything and we all live our lives abiding by it's pervasive inquiry. As James says above, if there were a god he would see though any attempts at faking something so ethereal as belief anyway.

When I was one of the sheep, my constant struggle was with my belief, I knew in my head that it didn't make sense but I knew in my liver that I better just try harder.

You either believe or you don't, you can't fake believing in something. If only the fearful could see it in all it's simplicity, like gravity or evolution - the facts support the theory and results in logical choices which become knowledge.

The pressure to believe the unbelievable must be unbearable - that's why those Christians are so mean.
God most definitly knows our hearts, we will stand before Him and He will see our true motives. Those Christians attempting for the Get out of hell free card will be sadly dissipointed. Salvation is gained through faith.
Wow!! Well written Nelson!

Thanks for the great ideas, facinating read. :D
it seems well "silly" that any god if their is one floating around somewhere could be comprehended by man and if their is one i would feel he, she, it or other, would rather watch the grass grow than man destroy itself from the inside out or from the outside in, it all depends on how you see it
Nelson didn't answer the question of what if he is wrong. Sure we may have spent time believing a God that doesnt exist, but 1 side has to be wrong. So if that is you Mr Nelson, does the thought of hell bother you at all..if you know what the Bible says about it?
Why "1 side has to be wrong?" This seems to imply that you only thing there are 2 sides.

As Nelson points out, what about the hundreds/thousands of other gods/religions/sects?

To further bolster Nelson's point #1 in his prior refutation, see this video (shorter version in TA video bucket) where Neil degrasse Tyson enumerates the lessons of history where "god stops further investigations".

There are bad consequences for theism, they are measurable. Pascal's logic is invalid.
Awesome post, Nelson. Two thumbs up.
I think you hit upon the most important and troubling point. MOST theists believe that an extremely large number of theists are wrong.

Think about that for a second....or even a minute or two.

Most believers in God believe that other believers in God...are wrong... They either worship the wrong god or the wrong way.

They believe that others believe the wrong book...Why?.... because Their book says that IT is the only, best, last interpretation of the truth.

When you have multiple books and faiths that lay claim to the sole truth....they can't all possibly be right... BUT... They can certainly all be wrong.

These theists aren't just against the skeptical mind.. they are against the believers mind if they don't follow in theological lockstep with themselves.

so what we have is theological opposition with no way to determine the veracity of truth claims. Each have their miracles, saints, prophets, visions etc.

Is God playing the field? How do you judge between miracles of one faith vs miracles of another? Prophecies of one faith vs prophecies of another?

Is the Devil granting prayers and miracles to fool people so that they believe the wrong religion? (I have actually had this argument put before me)

Its not enough to just 'believe' a God exists.... but you have to believe in THEIR 'definition' of God otherwise you are just as bad off as the atheist.

Think about that. Even if you DO believe in God.... its not enough. You have to believe in the correct definition and follow the correct religion.

If the hypothetical god does exist and asks 'Why did you not believe'.... you can seriously answer ' Because there were too many choices and not enough evidence to judge between them.

They all make the same claims... all claim the same evidence and proofs...and all ultimately fail on the same grounds.

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