Hypothetically speaking, if you were given a choice to make what would ensure your financial independence but went against your personal convictions would you still do it? If your mother/father told you that they could not grant an inheritance to anyone who didn't believe in god and jebus, and that conversion would be necessary to ensure your eligibility, what would be your response? Let's say half a million dollars is at stake in this decision. Would you stand your ground and remain adamant about your atheism or would you acquiesce and go get baptized? Would playing a charade to ensure a fat bank account cause you mental anguish? Or would the peace of mind in remaining true to oneself outweigh the allure of potential financial gain?
And I realize there is the option of being able to contest a family will/inheritance. But that outcome is not a certainty.
One of Bertrand Russell's "ten commandment for atheists" that are obviously just suggestions since there aren't concrete "commandments" for anyone, states that you should not lie to others unless they are exercising tyranny over you.
In this case I believe that suggestion applies. Therefore it would not be immoral to me since the immoral situation was created by the family member and not me.
I would make this clear to them and then if they still didn't change their moral stance on it, I might feel justified to lie to them. Just depends on who that person is or what the required religious commitments I would have to make, etc.
So, it is not a clear cut situation but what is clear is that the family member that asks such things from their family members is a bigot and intolerant asshole that is not being reasonable or kind. I also agree with what Wayne says about the money and where it would end up.
"In this case I believe that suggestion applies. Therefore it would not be immoral to me since the immoral situation was created by the family member and not me."
But you're participation in the immoral situation might qualify for "two wrongs don't make a right." The allure of a lot of money makes it tempting and that placing religious conditions on your eligibility might make one vengeful to the point of playing the role. Nonetheless it is still a deception and you have ask yourself about the content of your character.
I'm with Galen. Sure I would, for a chunk of cash. I'd be acting, for money. Substitute Santa for gob and jesus, and it all seems relatively clear. If someone wants me to perform a little pantomime to get paid a lot of cash... pass the facepaint..
If I do something, I won't feel guilty. If I'll feel guilty, I won't do something.
All depends. Truly the best answer i can think of. All depends.
I ain't got nuthin' and don't want nothin', so I'm probably not the one to ask --
Hah. I'm with Strega and Galen. Forget the others. Of course I'd lie. Half a million? Hell yes, as soon as they're dead and the money changes hands I'd be openly back to atheist anyway, what's the problem? Would I have any mental anguish? Haha. Come on people, you gotta be emotionally more resilient than that. You're not lying to anyone important. Maybe if I did have some moral qualms for a couple of seconds I could just take a nap on my big pile of money and feel better. You're still true to yourself when you're acting, or do you think actors feel mental anguish when acting out a movie role? They get payed by their company for acting, similarly I'd get payed by the heritage for my acting. There is easy cash to be made in the field of theology and superstition (same thing really). So that's my plan B anyway. If I can't get a good honest job in life and fail, I'll just go and become a priest or imam and suck the sheepy masses dry of their money. It's my safety net.
And this would be the other --
"You're not lying to anyone important."
What about yourself?
Christians quote the bible as saying, "the wealth of the wicked is laid up in store for the righteous."
Well I say the wealth of the so-called "righteous" is laid up in store for the so-called "wicked".
Adding religious stipulations to an inheritance is discrimination in some sense.
Say you added a stipulation that carried out the lie.. Say the money was in a Trust Fund and you only got it on a monthly basis if you became a preacher and continued to preach the gospel. If you stopped, so would the money. You had to make the people believe in you and keep believing in you and not get voted out.
How many would LIVE this continuous lie for the money?
I know I couldn't do it.