Okay, so earlier today, I had a little discussion with a theist who just didn't seem to know the meaning of the sentence "give up, you're out of arguments!"
I used the "silver bullet" technique. (Asking him what his strongest argument was and then completely breaking it down, so all his other arguments are automatically bullpeep)
But this guy just didn't show any sign of stopping.
And after many hours of argueing and yes/no fights, it all came down to one question. He said: "Okay, suppose I'm right. Suppose you die and come before god. What are you going to say to him when he tells you that you have been a bad person for not believing in him?"
My reply was: "If god would say that I have been a bad person, I'd say he's out of his mind! I am in no way a bad person, just as you are in no way an atheist."
But now that I think about it...I actually have no idea at all what I really would say...
Just SUPPOSE that he's right (of course, he is not), and you DO appear in front of god. What the hell would you say?
Here is the full line:
"God isn't interested in technology. He cares nothing for the microchips or the silicon revolution. Look how he spends his time, forty-three species of parrots! Nipples for men!"
- by the character "Evil" in the 1981 movie Time Bandits
Hell as the place it is today has only been like the hell since the....writing of Dante's Inferno.
In the bible, it is simply a "dark place" "separate from god" where you may never be near him. That was the punishment. Dante's inferno added the hellfire and the punishments and the torture.
Maybe it's described as a lake of fire once--I forget where. Point is---most of the constructions and scare tactics about hell today are made up by the followers to make hell seem worse than the bible ever said it was.
And I'm not gambling--I don't mind being burned, it never felt that bad, and it wouldn't be as bad as spending an eternity in a place where I couldn't kill myself and was stuck with everyone I absolutely hated.
That said, I'm damn sure there is no god. All the times I've challenged him to strike me down, to kill me, to do something bad to me--nothing bad ever happens to me. It's much like this: I own 3 different black cats currently. Am I beset horribly by bad luck on a regular basis? NO. But people in my area have gone so far to toss out black kittens and/or attempt to kill them so they don't bring this possibility of bad luck--when it's just a superstitious belief, with no proof for it. None.
I would rather not kill innocent kittens "just in case".
And Yeah, most of the answers are sarcastic---because this really isn't a worry that's on our minds. We worry more about pulling friends away from delusions, or to try to keep them from joining up with religions that could bleed them dry and put them in danger. We know that the life we have -now- is important, not for whomever garners the most amount of converts, but because it's all we have, and other human lives, they're precious and important, and I don't want to see the people in my life waste their time, money, and energy on something that doesn't care about them anyways.
I would say:
Who are you and where have you been all my life?
"Yeah, so your followers hated me, verbally abused me, and you made me fat, and put me into an abusive family, and that's just my life--you killed millions of people, you allowed millions to be killed in your name, and you made us all suffer for something an ancestor of mine purportedly did?"
"You're a huge DICK." Then I flip him off and skip merrily to hell.
I've already decided hell is gonna be more fun to live in hell anyways. Even if it's eternal suffering, hell, most of my life on earth is suffering(that is one thing Buddhists got right), and if there's an afterlife I doubt it'll be any different. And some really great writers committed suicide and are supposedly down there.
And I already mentioned that going to heaven would be hell for me. There'd be my dad's shitty side of the family, all the fundies, mormons, the crazy puritans, suicide bombers, super-religious crazies who handle snakes---I would get out of there ASAP. Unless, of course, god is going on general personality--which we already know from the Xtians that he's apparently not going on whether you're naughty or nice, but whether you believed in his zombie son or not.
And I'm sorry, I don't care if he went extinct for my sins, I don't think he ever existed, but instead was an amalgam of previous myths used by the early Xtians to try to prove that their savior was as holy/holier than previous gods/sons of gods.