Atheists also need to realize that whether they like it or not they are in competition with believers. A base, gladiatorial competition in the marketplace of ideas that has serious implications for atheists’ political rights. This means it’s actually ok and even (wrap your head around this) a good thing to respectfully ‘evangelize’ (as some theists do) for the scientific method / rationality, and a world where organized religion is stripped of its supposedly exclusive claims to truth and subsumed into wider culture as ‘mere’ tradition.
Atheists need to get off the couch and prove not only that their truths are deeper, but that theirs is a life better lived as well. Just don’t get all Jerry Falwell or Pope Benedict XVI about it. Shouldn’t be that hard.
With that said, please think seriously about the following:
If you do believe in an almighty, morally perfect God, do you really want to spend ever-lasting eternity with all the Christians you know? (Or insert your monotheistic religion here) And only Christians? Not a single Hindhu, Buddhist, Atheist, Muslim or Jew… ever, ever, ever again?
Please explain how that would be heavenly, and not weird and totalitarian like something out of Orwell’s 1984? Does this make the God described in the bible a not-so-benevolent dictator if ‘paradise’ is completely and utterly religiously homogeneous?
Because paradise must certainly exclude outright hundreds of millions of entertaining, enlightening, otherwise ethically praiseworthy people who in good conscience do not believe in the existence of the Christian God, not to mention some ethnicities and even entire civilizations of humans from throughout history.
As someone who finds their humble existence profusely richer from interaction with more diverse, rather than less diverse populations of humans (and animals, and vegetation!), the thought of living in any completely homogeneous population – especially one disproportionate with fundamentalists… is not exactly attractive. As distasteful as some religious people are, it is thoroughly preferable to live in a world with a grand variety of perspectives and traditions.
If I had to live in a homogeneous society, I would prefer to live in a society of ethically praiseworthy people, and given that there are many people of sincere religious belief with very poor ethics, and many people of no, or different religion, who possess outstanding personal ethical codes – heaven is not my idea of heaven.
But I would love to have it explained to me how the heaven of the great monotheistic religions is not inhabited solely by an arbitrarily exclusive yet ‘morally diverse’ population existing in spiritual totalitarianism? Anyone?
Across the world, cultures, and generations there have been many thousands of different gods worshiped by mankind: Thor, Zeus, Mithras, Buddha, Allah, the Great Juju Up the Mountain, etc. Let’s call the number of different possible gods 1000 (or N.)
First ask what proof there is that these 999 gods don’t exist (or N-1).
You need these proofs in order to answer the question, because whatever proof is used to disprove these 999 (or N-1) gods is the same proof that disproves Yahwey as well.