Here's one I'd like to see you respond to:
They believe that they believe, but their beliefs are of the easily disposable kind. Suppose you could take a devoutly religious person, ask him, “Are the tenets of your religion true?” and somehow convince him that the life of his child depends on getting the answer right. I’m guessing that nine times out of ten, you’d find yourself confronting a born-again infidel. The only reason that rarely happens is that there’s rarely an occasion when getting the right answer actually matters.Quote from Steven Landsburg that I came across in this post: http://bit.ly/xpn9Dh
Here's what I want to know
- Which (if any) tenets of your religion would you hold onto and which (if any) would you discard if your kid's life were on the line?
- In your estimate, what percentage of pious people would become, in the above situation, "born again infidels"?
If there really is a heavenly and eternal paradise awaiting us after death, one would think more people would be in a rush to get there, right?I can only speak for Christianity, but the Church mostly agrees that although we long for heaven, we have a mission here on earth. So suicide or a reckless life does not fit with Biblical teachings. Now if the writer had complained that Christians don't live out the second half (the mission part), then that is a legitimate complaint. One that atheist Penn Jillette makes really candidly in this video.
To put it simply, most [religious people] don’t live their lives as if they absolutely believed in the words their religious texts profess. For example, if I truly believed in the Christian God, with absolute certainty, I would live my life in a way consistent with that.
Most religions assert that God is watching our actions even when others aren’t watching. If this were true, my inner economist would tell me that people would avoid displeasing God at all costs.