What if Atheists are Wrong? Aren't You Afraid of Hell? Can You Take the Chance?

Pandemonium in Hell
Pandemonium in Hell. ohn Martin; Art Images; Getty

Intimidating Atheists Through Threats of Torment
One common logical fallacy is argumentum ad baculum, which literally translated means "argument to the stick" and which is commonly translated to mean "appeal to force." With this fallacy, an argument is accompanied by the threat of violence if the conclusions are not accepted. Many religions are based upon just such an tactic: if you don't accept this religion, you will be punished either by adherents now or in some afterlife.

If this is how a religion treats its own adherents, it's not a surprise that arguments employing this tactic or fallacy are offered to nonbelievers as a reason to convert.

What If Atheists Are Wrong And God Exists? Aren't You Afraid of Hell?
Aren’t you afraid of hell? Don’t you worry about what might happen to you when you die? No. If there is a god who punishes people for rational doubt, why would you want to spend an eternity with it anyway? Such a capricious, egotistical, and nasty god wouldn’t be much fun. If you can’t trust it to be as moral as you are, you can’t trust it to keep its promises and make heaven nice or even let you stay. Not spending eternity with such a being doesn’t sound like much of a loss. Atheists Have No Reason to Fear Hell...

Isn't Atheism Too Much of a Risk? Isn't it Safer to Bet on God & Christianity?
This question, which is really just a simplified version of Pascal's Wager, is one of the most popular questions which religious theists — particularly Christians — pose to atheists.

It must sound very appealing, reasonable, and rational to them, otherwise atheists wouldn't have to hear it so often. Unfortunately, Christians who bring this up reveal that they haven't done their homework because there are a number of very obvious and easy objections to this which they seem completely unaware of.

Are Christians & Religious Theists No Worse Off if They Are Wrong?
Pascal's infamous wager consists of two sides: the idea that atheists are worse off if they are wrong and the idea that theists are no worse off if they are wrong. This is supposedly what justifies saying that atheism is a "bad bet," though religious theists who raise this argument tend to focus on the suffering that awaits atheists if they are wrong. Sometimes, though, they get defensive about atheist critiques by saying that they are no worse off if they are wrong, so why do atheists care?

Haven't Scientists, Philosophers & Theologians Proven that God Exists?
There is a common belief among many theists that there are strong philosophical or theological arguments which have proven that God exists, thus rendering disbelief in God perverse at best. This is not a claim that there exist philosophical arguments that make theism reasonable or the existence of God plausible; rather it is a much stronger argument that theism is necessary and the existence of God definite. This is incorrect and it gives theists a false sense of security in their beliefs.

Intelligent People Throughout History Have Believed in God, Why Don't Atheists?
It is true that smarter people than I and many other atheists have accepted theism and religion — but so what?

Smarter people than you have rejected your brand of theism and your brand of religion in favor of some other type of theism and religion. Smarter people than you have rejected theism and religion entirely, leading an entirely atheistic and irreligious life. Do you think you're better or smarter than they were? Is this a reason for you to drop your theism and religion? Of course not. Theism of Intelligent People Isn't Relevant...

How Can Atheists Be Certain that God Doesn't Exist?
When theists ask how and why atheists can be certain that no gods exist, they do so under the mistaken assumption that all atheists deny the existence or possible existence of any gods and that such denial is based upon certainty. Although this is true of some atheists, it is not true of all — indeed, it seems unlikely that it is true of most or even a significant minority of atheists.

Not all atheists deny the existence of all gods and not all of those who do claim absolute certainty. How Can Atheists Be Certain...

Being Irreligious is Risky, Short-Sighted Behavior Like Crime
Many associate atheism with anti-social and even criminal behavior, but such assertions are usually little more than that: bare assertions without substantiating evidence or arguments. The most people offer may be question-begging claims about religion and god being necessary for moral behavior. Here, however, we have a new twist which claims that there is a physiological, biological reason behind people - or at least men - rejecting religion and gods. Unfortunately, it's rife with flaws. Being Irreligious is Not Like Criminal Behavior...

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Your Citation
Cline, Austin. "What if Atheists are Wrong? Aren't You Afraid of Hell? Can You Take the Chance?" ThoughtCo, May. 6, 2016, thoughtco.com/what-if-atheists-are-wrong-248418. Cline, Austin. (2016, May 6). What if Atheists are Wrong? Aren't You Afraid of Hell? Can You Take the Chance? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-if-atheists-are-wrong-248418 Cline, Austin. "What if Atheists are Wrong? Aren't You Afraid of Hell? Can You Take the Chance?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-if-atheists-are-wrong-248418 (accessed December 17, 2017).