Nonbelievers: How Would You React to the Following Events

If the “people disappear” meant they just vanished with no other observable drastic changes to the environment, then the same answer like before applies: “Impossible”.

Not if it happened. Then it happened, but we just don’t know how - but we can rule some things out, like meteors and gods.

Impossible things don’t happen.

That’s how we can tell insanity from reason. The belief that impossible things can happen and that belief interferes with a person’s every day life, we call that schizophrenia.

That’s why religion is a mental disorder.

I think for 1, it’d depend a lot on what the voice said, and whether or not I’m able to talk back and get a response. Regardless of what was said I’d likely consider the possibility of hallucinations, but I’d also try to ascertain if said voice knows anything that I couldn’t know, or knows things that other humans couldn’t know (to rule out me being crazy, or someone else messing with me somehow). I’d only consider this reasonable evidence of some godlike entity (‘godlike’ including superior alien beings, angels, whatever) if I could verify that some of what it said was true, like giving me a specific prediction of the future and having it come true. That said, magicians do things that seem impossible to me all the time, and it doesn’t lead me to believe in magic - so for me to be convinced that something magical is going on, I would have to be told, say, the cure to some serious disease, and then have that information confirmed by the scientific community.

For 2, again, it depends - and one major thing it depends on is whether everyone in the world reporting this voice heard the same thing. Everyone in the world going crazy at the same time might be interesting, but not evidence of god - everyone in the world suddenly independently hearing a voice tell them the same thing in each instance might be a bit more interesting. Although I’d be rather hard to convince that this is what had actually happened.

For 3, this seems strange. It wouldn’t even occur to me to interpret sudden mass disappearances as evidence of god. Evidence of a malicious* force greater than our understanding, sure. I wouldn’t draw a conclusion until hearing the results of the inevitable investigation by various curious people around the world.

*‘Malicious’ might be putting it a bit strong - ‘indifferent’ might also fit the bill here. Unless all the people disappearing were murderers and child molesters, then arguably it’d be evidence of a benevolent force.

But things we previously thought impossible do; at that point we need to find a reason why it happened that conforms to physics, or modify physics to fit the facts. Not say over and over “It’s impossible! It’s against the Laws of Science!” like a bad Hollywood scientist meeting the Monster of the Week.

And this is a hypothetical question in the first place; it doesn’t have to adhere to physical plausibility any more than a question like “what would you do if Toons were real like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

  1. Go see a shrink.
  2. I’d thank Him for the best bacon sandwich I ever had.
  3. Find out which of them owns an Aston Martin DB9, and take it.

You don’t seem to get it.

Reality is not dependent on human perception or imagination. In a few other threads the past couple of months there was a term “universal truth” that was discussed that meant exactly this: that reality is real and independent of the human brain.

That means that you can’t just come up with a wild hypothetical scenario and then expect to get a reasonable explanation of what we could do about it.

It’s irrational to assume that all humans could be cut in half… their left side of their body veering off to the left and the right side of their body going off to the right… with all their internal organs being cut off and still functioning as nothing happened.

That’s an impossibility, and for anyone that seriously considers it as being probable, then we call these people insane.

It’s the same situation with your questions. No gods exist, therefore all your questions refer to impossibilities, so there’s no reason to consider them probable.

  1. Put the bong down for a little while.
  2. Pick the bong back up for a little while.
  3. Find Kirk Cameron and kick the shit out of him.
  1. I wouldn’t assume that the voice was God. My first assumption would be that I was hallucinating. I’d probably stick with that unless the voice could be confirmed somehow. Even if it was a real voice that demonstrated preternatural knowledge/ability, I wouldn’t assume that made it the God. Assuming that ‘supernatural’ things were possible, I’d see no reason that it wasn’t one of an infinite number of super-beings, perhaps even posing as the God. Or maybe there were 77 gods and goddesses, and one had decided to talk to me. Or what have you.

  2. Same as 1, just without assuming that only I am hallucinating.

  3. I don’t know, I’d probably try to figure out what had happened and where the people had gone to. I’d give credence to physical explanations long, long, long before I’d resort to magic to explain it.

  1. Mark it down as my first out of body experience, then return to reality by re reading what Douglas Adams has to say about the Total Perception Vortex.

  2. Meh, the world has always had a full quota of religious nutters

  3. Presume those who’d copped it would be all those who’d answered the call of God, and that keeping a low profile would be an excellent survival strategy.

It doesn’t mean that at all.

Look, say you start with: “There’s an objective reality that exists independent of the human brain.” Among other things, what that does mean is that that which humans believe to be true or false – to be possible or impossible – is not necessarily so. Hence the hypothetical: what if this seemingly impossible thing happened? Do you attribute it to a god? Do you assume that you’re insane? Or perhaps you say, “Gee, I guess that is possible after all. I wonder how.”

The last option isn’t prima facie absurd.

I pretty much ignore it, as I have no particular reason to think it’s not a hallucination. If it keeps going on I seek out a medical professional.

Whatever I may or may not do depends entirely on what this disembodied voice says, but converting to Christianity is pretty much last on a very long list.

I start looking for a nice car with the keys still in it.

Sorry, as a truthful answer, after millennia in which a bona fide supernatural event has never once occurred anywhere in the world, I’m supposed to jump to the conclusion that some deity has spirited a bunch of people away for some obscure reason? I don’t think so.

  1. I get my head examined because there’s something wrong it it.

  2. Whatever everybody is hearing obviously wouldn’t be God, so I’d look for other explanations.

  3. Same as number 2, but I wouldn’t envy the ones who got snatched. I’d assume they were taken by aliens for some reason - food, sex, labor, zoo exhibits, whatever. Better them than me.

It would prove the Bible was wrong if it loosely seemed to resemble any kind of “rapture,” event, but there’s no chance I would actually think it was the Rapture. Just suckers being harvested to be alien dogfood or something.

Not to fight the hypothetical, but from a theological standpoint I think the OP is probably besides the point, and at the least I think it suggests a lack of imagination.

If this booming voice actually was God’s, isn’t it reasonable to assume that a part of us, installed by the manufacturer, would intuitively understand it to be so? That the presence of God would instill in us the sense of direct, divine inspiration which would render moot any conscious doubts? Are there any instances in the Bible of God speaking directly to a human and being met with initial skepticism?

In other words, if your response to a direct encounter with a purported Jehovah is “not bloody likely,” then your doubt’s very existence suggests that it’s well-founded.

Well, it happened to me once. I chose potato salad.

Turn on the TV, watch news channels.

Jump for joy.
I’m not a virulent non-believer though.

Dopers are so anti-god that in a hypothetical situation where god exists, god still doesn’t exist.

Qin Shi Huangdi, I would fall down on my knees to grovel and slobber in the nearest church, if scenario 2 or 3 ever happened.

Cite that Dopers are “anti-God?” What does that even mean?

I meant anti-religion, but I decided to go with anti-god because it made the rest of the sentence flow more naturally. Do you want a cite for dopers being against religion?

Do you understand what a hypothetical is?

  1. I’m hallucinating. Just like millions of people before me.
  2. I’m hallucinating that other people heard a voice.
  3. Can you be more specific? Likely another hallucination if it’s “all the people in 395 with me disappeared into thin air.” If it’s “lots of people on the other side of the world are unaccounted for” I’d shrug and go about my day.