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Atheist Critter's Avatar Comment 1 by Atheist Critter

I agree wholeheartedly that tackling fear of hell is the way forward to free people from superstitious terror. Islam and Christianity are the most popular because they’re the most terrifying no doubt – no other religions threaten eternal horrific torture that I am aware of.

The issue boils down to Pascal's Wager I think. Saying "there probably is no hell" doesn't cut the mustard but saying "there is no hell" is like saying "there is no tooth fairy" or "there is no god" - it can't be proven so can't be said (irritatingly enough!).

The weakest part of Pascal’s wager is that people can’t choose what to believe. If a skeptic tried to believe in the god of Christianity or Islam purely because they are afraid of the existence of hell, and that they might go there if they don’t believe, they will always be aware that they purely fane belief out of fear. Sam Harris articulates this well here. Both the quran and the bible say that if a person does not believe in that god in their heart of hearts they will be refused salvation. So how about:

“You can’t choose to truly believe in the existence of a hellish afterlife, neither a god. All you can do is receive the evidence”.

Encouraging people to look at evidence and question their own free will beyond the influence of genetics and environment are also quite central to the atheistic mindset, so a slogan attacking Pascal’s wager from that angle jibes quite well I think.

There are many other weaknesses to Pascal’s Wager, check out the wikipedia page on it for RD’s useful contributions, but they are quite difficult in a way and don’t really nip it in the bud quite so swiftly I think.

Updated: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 20:35:06 UTC | #502050

Atheist Critter's Avatar Comment 2 by Atheist Critter

Or should that be:

"Nobody can choose to truly believe in the existence of hell, neither a god. All anybody can do is acknowledge the evidence"

Updated: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 20:51:10 UTC | #502056

kiki5711's Avatar Comment 3 by kiki5711

how about "Down with all religion/they corrupt and lie/seek the truth through evidence"

(just a thought) it would certainly get a rise out of the religious :):)

Wed, 18 Aug 2010 21:30:45 UTC | #502088