The God Contingency

Question from Dane:
I’m just wondering, what if after all these years of not believing in God (Yaweh) then when you die you find out that there really is a God? What will you do?

Answer by SmartLX:
If that happens, what I do will depend entirely on which god it is.

If it’s one of the popular, jealous gods like Yaweh/Yahweh (the spelling isn’t that important when it’s approximating a different language) or Allah, then I will protest that there wasn’t any available, substantive evidence to justify believing in him or her. I’ll point out that at least I didn’t believe in any of the false, rival gods, and indeed worked to dispel those false beliefs in others.

If it’s a god or a collection of gods from ancient times before organised polytheism, when people fought over who had the best gods rather than the only real gods (see henotheism and folk religion), I will again stand upon my opposition to every other god, and see whether the actual god(s) could use another late convert. Given that the Mormons think the dead can even convert to their form of Christianity, an early tribal god should have no problem with taking me in.

If it’s a god I’ve never heard of, or some strange godlike energy or creature of a type I haven’t anticipated, I’ll have to play it by ear; work out what it wants, whether I can still be of use to it, and whether it even cares what I think or do as a spirit.

If I’m right and there’s no god at all, there most likely won’t be any afterlife, and I won’t be in this sort of predicament.

There’s no point swearing allegiance to any particular god while I live, unless it’s got better than a 50% chance of being the real god – instead of any of the tens of thousands of major deities humans have apparently invented, and the infinite deities we haven’t thought of yet. Otherwise chances are I’d be picking the wrong god, and would suffer all the more when faced with the real one. This is one of the main reasons why Pascal’s Wager is not an effective reason to worship the God of Abraham.

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