To the theists: How would you behave different if there was no God?

In a hypothetical (and I grant impossible) scenario: Tomorrow there is definite proof that there is no GOD. All religions are proven wrong.

How would this change your life and the way you act? (except from attending church, if so)

This is not a debate, it is an opinion poll.

I am moving it to IMHO.

(It is also among 13 separate threads you have begun in just a few hours.
Back off. Cool down. take some time to absorb the information you collect in the threads you have alread started. Don’t burn out in your first week.)

Not at all. I would still attend and lead rituals, celebrate the seasons and explore the changes I feel in my body and psyche throughout the year. I would still talk about facets of the Divine as Gods and Goddesses, study their stories and ponder their lessons as they apply to various facets of me and my life, even were They all to be shown merely metaphor. But I’m a religious agnostic, theist neopagan, so I’m probably not who you were thinking of when you wrote the OP. :wink:


I hope though that these are all quality threads (not for me to decide).

Very interested in peoples responses.

Only time will tell.
(trying to make clear im not spamming)

There have been quite a few times where my belief in God has been the only thing that has kept me from doing something immoral that would hurt me in the long run. I honestly think I’d be in jail or worse.

And that’s assuming my recovery from being declared dead for 45 minutes as a 15 month old after everyone praying for me to come back from the dead was not a divine miracle.

I might make a world-killer fusion bomb so that when I die I can push the button and turn the world to ash. Yes, it’s possible (although… very difficult). Other than that, I’d rob, steal, and plunder the world.

I feel pretty comfortable with that assumption :slight_smile:

I am not a theist, and this thread intrigues me because we often hear theists seeming to expect atheists to be immoral. Instead, perhaps, it is those theists who would be immoral without their belief.

Is smiling bandit joking? Does he think those of us who don’t believe in God are happy to rob, steal and plunder?

I’ve often wondered this. Surely a truly skeptical religious person - if such a thing can exist! - would experiment a little, and maybe try taking a year off to see if they noticed anything different?

Oh hell yes, i would act differently.

If this is the only chance we get at life or interacting with others, then I would certainly be more polite to my fellow humans. I would also be more active in alleviating poor living conditions if I were certain there is no “next world” where people get a reward. I am sure I would be more militant against injustice if this is the only justice we wil ever see.

I think a definite lack of a deity would make me a more outwardly moral person. As it stands, I tend to slack off, since everyone is going to face divine judgement eventually and earthly justice is only a pale shadow of the Divine Will.

I have. My life works better when I’m active in my religion. I feel better when I’m doing my work. So my religion is for me and of me, not because I fear Aphrodite will strike me down if I don’t light an incense for Her every night. But when I do light an incense for Her every night, it gives me a few moments to express my gratitude for my lover and really appreciate what we have together, and that makes me feel good.

It’s all about me, you see. :wink:

If you want to know how they’ll behave, all you have to look is how they behaved before they Found Jesus, or when they’re temporarily on the outs with Him. That pretty much says it all.

I’m wondering the same thing.

Then why not do that anyway?

That’s a common belief about atheists among believers, but I don’t recall smiling bandit ever saying so; I think it’s probably a joke.

Wow, these answers have been kind of depressing so far. I’m surprised.

In your hypothetical situation, is this proof made known only to me? Or is it common knowledge?

In the former case, I would have to decide whom, if anyone, to share my newfound knowledge with.

In the latter case, I would have to worry about what would change in the world at large, and how other former believers might behave differently.

In any case, I can’t say for sure. It might depend on what sort of a disproof it was, and what exactly was disproven or ruled out. But I could imagine myself becoming less hopeful and more cynical. Becoming more selfish and hedonistic. Being less willing to go outside my confort zone or make an effort to make the world a better place, if there is no objective “better.” Just caring less about things in general.

I’ve thought about this from time to time and I can say that there would be very little I would change because most of what I refrain from for religious reasons I have non-religious reasons for as well. The only change I can think of is no longer going to church, which wouldn’t bother me in the least.

I am an “avowed theist.” My faith is the single most important part of my life, the bedrock on which I base my life.

I’ve hesitated to reply because my response will have to beg the question. I think we may be talking about entirely different concepts of God. Of course my own concept of God is necessarily limited, so let me give you my understanding, because the worldview I hold honestly makes your question meaningless.

The God I worship (and who I believe enters into an intimate relationship with all who ask), is the creator and sustainer of “life, the universe and everything.” He provides the air I breathe, the earth on which I stand, daily guidance and companionship, and the empowering spirit that lets me overcome obstacles within myself. If God does not exist, then nothing exists, then I do not exist, and your question is moot.

Many of my beliefs, many of the trappings of my religion, much that I do to serve Him, all could be proven wrong. A lot of it probably is wrong or cultural at best. All religions could be proven wrong. But as long as I exist, there can be no proof that the creator doesn’t exist.

So, I’ll answer as best as I can—if there were proof positive that **all my beliefs about God were wrong, **I would repent, crying out to the creator God to provide me with increased faith and insight, to know Him better, asking Him to reveal Himself more clearly, that I might know how I had been so badly mistaken. I would continue to “walk with Him and talk with Him, along life’s daily way.” I would continue to seek to love and serve my fellow man, to strive for justice and peace, and to look forward to the true clarity that will come when we no longer “see through a glass darkly.”

Or if you want the short, cynical answer: If there were “proof positive that there was no God,” I would not believe it. Because I already have all the proof I need that He exists and (through His grace, I pray) the faith to hold on to that truth in times of trial and uncertainty.

I’d want to keep going to church - I’d need other Christians to process this information with.

Same for me but from the Lutheran side. So I’m guessing between us we cover the OP.

If you also own a Harley we’re going to have to run our DNA just to convince me there isn’t some evil cloning thing gone awry here. :smiley: