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.
They do it and there are a lot of them. Some have posted their stories online. http://clergyproject.org/
According to where they live, it could be fatal or at least life destroying "out" themselves.
If the only skill they have in life is to preach, possibly because they became a preacher at a young age, they may be looking at the difference in continuing the lie versus being completely destitute.
Lies put the preacher into his position, although he had no idea they were lies at the time.
Really rough position. And he may have realized part of the truth (he's now an atheist) but not realized fully that spreading and perpetuating religion is truly evil, therefore he doens't yet understand how damaging his job is.
Additionally, if he leaves the post, it will be filled, so absenting the podium won't stop the dissemination of religion. Zero sum game on the religious side. Negative sum game on his family.
Agreed. Preaching religion is an evil act that directly hurts people.
Would only do that to save the lives of my family, and maybe not even then.
Take the money. Any parent who would force a child to betray a trust deserves to get screwed.
Of course I would become baptized and pretend. Nothing to lose in that folly for it is no less a folly than to swear allegiance to some mythical and non existent God. The entire thought is silly. Please, pay me to pretend-just to you-for a short time. I am not damaged by it and neither are you.
If the money in question were needed to save me or my family from being destitute, I might grit my teeth and lie, though not without profound regret. However, no amount of money could possibly make me happier and more fulfilled than I am at present, ensconced in the solitude of my little cabin in the mountains composing these comments for T.A.; so NO, I would not lie to acquire ANY amount of money. If I did, it would be tantamount to giving up everything that makes my life worth living in exchange for nothing of value to me. If I were to lie in order to acquire one million dollars, what would happen then? Two things: I would agonize over how in the world I could spend it; and I would be deeply mired in shame. I honestly can't think of a thing I could purchase with one million dollars that would compensate me for my profound disappointment in myself.
But here's one that is more apropos for all of you presumably committed atheists out there: would you lie and say you believed in God if it would save you from being murdered by a religious zealot? Being 77, it's not as difficult a choice for me as it would be for most of you. Just asking.