If I am wrong and you are right, what have I lost - nothing, and what have you gained - nothing. But if I am right and you are wrong, what have I gained - everything, and what have you lost - everything.This is a pretty stock standard quote from a recent christian commentator on my blog. I appreciated the time s/he took to help me out, but I have to shake my head at the reasoning. What would I lose if I entertained one particular afterlife possibility over another? I'd lose my own intellect and freedom to think as an individual for a start. That's not the sort of life I want to lead, following the pack and baah-ing with each other in mind numbing bible verse hair splitting (sigh, yet I still do that anyway). I don't want to set myself up as 'saved' while worrying about all the unsaved. It'd be like reliving the end scene of Schindler's List every day. And even if I did force myself to a church according to what I can best make out of the Bible, I'd have to side with the Universalists and go with Ultimate reconciliation, as it makes the most sense to me theologically.
Normal Bob puts it best:
I would reverse the question back onto you and ask you, what if you are wrong about your God, and instead you're supposed to be worshipping Allah, the Muslim God who commands you to worship him? If you are wrong, then that means you will go to hell forever and ever for not worshipping him. What then? If Islamic Fundamentalists are correct then you are at this very moment an infidel who deserves to be punished for your betrayal of The Great Allah!But okay, Christians can comment here and I'll appreciate your ideas and promise not to bite. Did the honest decisions I made as a Christian to take on Jesus' teaching start a binding contract, or do my current fence-sitting notions of god non-existing negate the salvation I was gracefully given? If I die today in my inability to accept the Gospel as gospel, while living out my years, in this brief moment in time, do I have a good chance on missing out on eternal bliss to come? If that's true then so be it, I suppose, I am given a chance to see if I'll follow blindly or continue to ponder. This angry, jealous god sounds a tad emotive to me and even tested one's faith by asking him to stab his child to death. I find it hard to relate to that.
When you are standing before Allah, cowering in your shoes, it will be too late. You will try to beg like a dog for Allah to forgive you and let you into heaven, but there is no chance that he will. Then you might remember this email to you and Islamic Fundementalists commanding you to listen to their Prophet Muhammad and follow his laws, but sorry. You will be in hell, without hope or relief. The Koran says that there is a lot of praying to Allah in Hell. You should consider all of the other gods who 'may' be right. what have you to lose?
There is a part of me, a tiny flicker of flame, that believes god is real and that he wrote us a book, but then that's how I was brought up to believe, so of course that mixture of faith and doubt plays out as much as it ever has. Do I have to study for years to try and work out why this god, who is in three parts, one of which is a son, had to let part of himself die very temporarily so that everyone who acknowledged his soon resurrection from the dead, and lived their life according to his moral laws would get the lucky door prize of immortality? The rest, die... just after sheepishly (or goatishly) staring at the floor in front of an enormous 'throne', or get eternally separated, whichever comes first.