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.
Why not, it'd be a thrill and millions of people already do just that. I'd preach to them and then go back into my villa, put on my comfy robes made out of bills, jump into my bed made out of bills, light my cigar with a bill, then drink a nice whiskey from a cup made out of, guess what, even more bills. While I inhale the beautiful smell of fresh money I'll chuckle about all the dumbasses I've told lies to today, about how they're sinners and will go to hell and whatnot. People are practically begging to be robbed and misled. Fuck em.
This is not to even mention the immense power these people wield. How can you say no to that?
Hey pope Benedict, should you ever read this, I'm available. I have no problem changing my name and everything, let me know if you're interested.
It is amazing the difference of perspective on this subject. From "To thine own self be true" to phuck um' and I'll take their money. While it is a form of acting to play a role that benefits oneself I believe the problem for me lies in the deceit of others. Does it not say something about one's character that they are willing to deceive simply for monetary gain. On the other hand, the fact you are being held hostage by an unfair discrimination seems to mitigate your actions. I suppose I do have mixed emotions about the situation.
What about the real life situation where preachers and reverends who are really atheist are "tending to the flock" on a regular basis and remain financially or emotionally unable to come clean?
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.
Honestly, I would quite shamelessly lie and take the money.
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.
This goes back to the statement of don't lie to others unless they are exercising tyranny over you so of course I would lie to a psychopath that would want to kill me for not believing in their deity.
As with the original question, the moral question can be answered by considering the consequences of my actions. With the relative giving money based on forcing me to be religious for any length of time, I would not do it and would rather be homeless than live a lying or deceptive lifestyle. If it was a one time lie to a person that would be dead within a short time and the lie was to make them feel better in their remaining hours, I think it would be a humane "white" lie for their benefit as long as that lie did no harm to that person or anyone else. The consequence would be that they are dead and then their will or feelings would no longer be an urgent consideration. But this is in a bilateral relationship only.
If the inheritance was a family matter, I would not take the money given the religious stipulation because that would be actively deceiving people that are still part of my life and I'm not willing to do that. That's why the only reasonable answer to the question is that it depends. Lying is something that I don't do lightly and hate doing it. I correct any lies I have told as quickly as circumstances allow and have only lied/covered the truth out of extreme need a few times in my life.
I sleep well at night knowing that my integrity is intact on all the large matters and the majority of the small ones that are important in life. I'm just glad I don't have any rich and/or psychopathic fundamentalist relatives or friends. hahaha :)