Hi, I had a Facebook message conversation with my cousin concerning evolution. I am not planning to go any further with him on it but one of his comments made me want to. It is this: "Thanks. I'll take my chances with living in the Truth. There is just too much to loose and it doesn't cost me anything."
Doesn't cost him anything? To live his life and bring up his kids with the faith that there is a big god in the sky who he and his kids have to worship? What does it cost him to have faith?
I know I've seen this elsewhere but thought I'd bring it here since I can't seem to remember the good ones.
I guess "nothing to lose" and "doesn't cost me anything" are the same thing. For some reason Pascal's Wager didn't come to mind to me when he said this. Becca's reply below is what I was thinking of. :-)
In my opinion it costs more to have faith in a god than it does to not have faith in a god.
- Being a theist would cost me my time. Many theists spend a large amount of time in places of worship and in prayer to their god. I'd rather spend my time working on something than sitting and hoping or making appeals for it to happen. They also spend a lot of time trying to please something else... I'd rather spend my precious time in a variety of other ways but mostly I like spending my time having experiences with the people I love.
- Being a theist would cost me my ability to make decisions for myself. Many theists have holy books and dogmas they must follow. An atheist can freely decide on which values are important to them and on which values they think are important for society as a whole.
- Being a theist would cost me my ability to look at the world objectively. Theists often do mental gymnastics both consciously and unconsciously to make sure everything they are seeing and experiencing fits into the preconceived notions of their particular religion. As an atheist I am not bound by any preconceived notions, my views on the world are constantly adapting and changing with new ideas and new experiences.
- Being a theist would cost me my sense of awe, wonder, and importance of this life. When you are a theist there is one answer to everything: god did it. As a theist you life your life for the next one. As an atheist there is only this one life and that means I have to make everyday count. For me being an atheist makes life extremely valuable. Being a theist to me just cheapens this life because it's not as valuable as the next.
Also, being a theist impedes the progress in this world, if you are somehow interested in a common good. We do think about this world, not another one. Most theists try to force their own invented and unjustified 'reality' on reality.
Also, a lot of taxes are poured into religions.
Overall, being religious is a pretty selfish decision. It means you reject reality and substitute your own, not caring what the 'non-believers' do, impeding progress, especially scientific progress.
The cost? Not enjoying this life for what it is. This life is not a trial run for an eternal afterlife. It's the only one we get. By thinking there is something to follow this life, you aren't this life to its fullest.
I would rather enjoy the movie I'm watching than wait for something better to come along after the credits roll.