How Would You Answer?


UPDATED 12.14.08

Recently on Blogcatalog I asked the following:

It is said that Bertrand Russell was asked,
What if when you die you stand before the living God and he looks you in the eye and asks, “why did you not believe in me”, what will you say to Him?
his reply was said to be,
I would stand before Him and say, you did not give me enough evidence to believe in you.
I am just curious, as individual atheists what is it you would say if you were to die and find yourself standing before the God that created you?

As you can see by my other pages I sometimes log the conversations and add them to my blog (the other pages were actually a part of my now gone web site).

I had not expected to add this to my blog. I asked simply out of curiosity, but the answers as well as what I believe some of the answers revealed, made me want to share it here.

I found it very interesting.

As always, I will not use the screen names of the various posters.

Again the question was:

It is said that Bertrand Russell was asked,
What if when you die you stand before the living God and he looks you in the eye and asks, “why did you not believe in me”, what will you say to Him?
his reply was said to be,
I would stand before Him and say, you did not give me enough evidence to believe in you.
I am just curious, as individual atheists what is it you would say if you were to die and find yourself standing before the God that created you?

The answers follow (some posters answered more than once because I asked them to be more specific, or to restate:

  • If so, I would just say, “Don’t like my choices? You shouldn’t have let me make them, then. Bye!”
  • My time would be better spent wandering around the afterlife, admiring the landscape, and making my own paradise.
  • “Why do you ask a question you already know the answer to?”I suppose if I had to provide an actual reason, it would be the lack of God. In history, in humanity, in trying times, and in existance. I suppose if God was to stand before me, I’d have quite a few more questions, but then, if he was God (we are talking about the Christian God, right?) he would already know what I was thinking and going to say.
    But I suppose my reasoning is the lack of God. I don’t really think ‘is there a greater being’ or what happens to me after I die. I’ve never felt like there was any great being in the sky manipulating the movements of mankind or grandfatherly figure watching over the plight of humanity in disdain.
  • You should probably see someone if you’re hearing voices…and I don’t mean a priest.
  • I’d say ‘I did believe in you, but I thought you were a woman.’If I am one of your creations then it’s in my creation to doubt you, that’s just the way it is… you made me this way.
    But don’t feel too bad, you’ve got a whole ton of followers down there -doing all kinds of weird stuff who some of them are probably a bigger problem than me for not believing in you. BTW Let me know if you need any help?
  • “I didn’t believe in you because I saw nothing divine in this world. The only ‘divinity’ I saw were human attributes, love, compassion, selfless acts of kindness. You have done nothing but help cause great divide in the world and it only grows worse. Yet you give us no discernable sign. Men and Women look to science for the answer, but again there you simply gave no discernable answer, you would not answer those who truly seeked. Yet, those that seek you for fear of Hell or those that sake you for fear of retribution, which nearly all have been learned to do?
    A God that does nothing, offering salvation for his self-righteous praise and belief in him while his flock slaughters itself. A God that instead of weighing the choices and tribulations a man goes through, weighs a mans desperation to seek the divine for fear of unearthly retribution. A God, untill now, I couldn’t believe would exist.”
  • Isn’t the guy all-knowing? Shouldn’t he already have the answer to that question?
  • I would say that I didn’t believe in your because of all the idiot whackos that you had spewing and perverting what you allegedly mean.
  • I am not an atheist, but I guess I would ask why he/she never felt it necessary to reveal themself to me and do they feel the path they chose for me was the correct one.
  • i CANNOT assume for the sake of argument that god exists. period.I would say 2 things,
    1-(As you stated)You gave me no proof
    2-If you wanted me to believe in you (God), and follow your teachings (The Bible) then maybe you should have checked the book for GLARING errors.
    Just one of MANY examples that pushed me away from religion (My family is Christian):
    First people on Earth were Adam & Eve, they had two children, Kane & Able. Kane killed Able and was sent out where he married and had kids. Where did these people come from if they were the first 4 people on the planet? and lets give then the benefit of the doubt and say there were other people, isn’t that incest? Are they not related?
    this is just one of MANY errors that I just can’t get over, to many mistakes.
    Last comment,
    Why would I want to follow ANY religion that has caused more death over our history than it has saved?
    Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, Catholic/Protestant conflict, Muslim/Jewish Fighting. Too much Death caused by religion for my taste thanks!!

    I have a problem with the concenpt of “one god, one ruler”. Who is he ,if he does exist, to tell anyone they must worship him.
    You might answer: “he created you”. If he would give me real evidence that he did infact create me, I would give him all my respect. Unfortunately a book written by people just like us does not serve as evidence.
    How can so much pain and death be the result of something good, aka believing in christ/god/allah/adonai/jehovah and so forth.

  • I would say “Not only did you not provide the evidence, you actually provided evidence to the contrary…”
    …then I would shout at him for the rest of eternity for all the unnecessary pain and suffering he allowed/caused…
  • I would ask him who is simulating him.
  • Well, first I’d say:
    “Oh, crap.”
    Then I’d say:
    “I’ll go to the Hell elevator, am I expected, or do I need a pass?”
    No, seriously, I’m not atheist – but I don’t believe in a Christian God, so I’d say:
    “I believed in something, but you weren’t it. Sorry.”
  • I’d say: you gave me a brain that could think logically and there was no real evidence you existed. You should have shown me a little evidence, dude!
    Now… where are all the virgins I’m supposed to get?
  • “I thought you’d be taller.”
  • I would expect an all-knowing god to already know the answer of course.
  • I did not believe in you because there was no evidence that you existed. I felt it would be rather disrespectful and insulting to you if you did happen to exist and then for me to not use the brain, logic, and reason, you gave me. I felt it would be quite unflattering to you to believe in you when there was absolutely no proof you existed. I knew that If I were wrong, you would already know why, and would understand and expected it to be the norm. It would after all be part of your grand plan. And of course you know all this already.
  • I would say “Did someone drop some acid into my Coke Zero? I seem to be hallucinating…”

    I would say that there was nothing to indicate the existence of any god(s) in the world I inhabited, that countless civilisations besides mine had invented god(s) that we disdained for lack of proof of their existence and therefore relegated to the status of myth, and that there was nothing present in our lives to differentiate the mythological belief systems from the Judeo/Christian systems. And, given the Judeo/Christian system emulated the mythical systems and in some places actually duplicated them wholesale, there was nothing inherent in the system to indicate it was not also a myth.

    Then I would go into a long, looooong diatribe against his criminal neglect of us.

  • Is it written somewhere that God is a man… and for that matter… whos God am I faced with. God, Alah, Zues, Appolo, Buddah, a Eagles Spirit, Confucius ect…. and am i in trouble if i was believing in the wrong one?

    Is it not enough to be a good person, and get judged fairly by the good that you do on your time on earth

  • Although I’m not an atheist, I’ll answer this anyway, supposing that the Christian God would be standing in front of me. I would go:

    “I really didn’t think you would be that unfair and illogical. That made me not WANT TO believe in you.”

  • a higher power might exist but the establishment is what repells me away. patriarchy, subjugation of women, enslaving folks, colonialism, and genocide are some of the biproducts of religion so im athiest because i see what ‘religion’ and ‘belief’ does not to mention there is not a single strand of evidence for it albeit the theoretical work of philosophers and scientists both fields which are like their own religions
  • If there really was a God and I did meet him then surely if he’s everything he’s cracked up to be then he won’t really mind that I don’t believe in him- forgiveness and all that.
  • For the sake of argument: (Russell should have given this answer in my opinion) I would say that I STILL DONT BELIEVE IN YOU! You are yet to prove you are THE GOD. I have already met so many or them in my earthly life, why should I treat you any differently? Can you offer me some proof AT LEAST NOW?… AND…next time around when you get to create a brain that is supposed to answer these kind of questions, you better SPEND MORE THAN A DAY AT IT. I can tell you this- this particular job you did is commendable when I compare myself with a chimp, but on objective terms, IT IS A LOUSY CREATION and my friends back on earth are working to improve it. Darwin helps to some extent, but even he takes too long to get something done. And we dont like to wait.
  • I would reply, “God it’s better to be an atheist than to be one of those fools believing in the insanities of religions. If it’s religion that you need to identify with I don’t still believe in you. You’re a Satan!”
  • Live, be free, unchain your soul and free yourself of the bindings inflicted upon you. Realize that the ‘power’ of God is human power, human invention meant to control the masses and nothing more! Realize that the ‘word of god’ is in fact the written word of man! Wake up! You have eyes and ears and logic and yet choose to use none of them! Open your eyes to the beauty of the world around you and partake and indulge your humanity!
  • Nothing. Never felt I had to explain or defend my view of life and the universe before, and that situation wouldn’t change it.
  • Personally if I had the chance I would punch him on the ******. Wilfully creating life in order that it may suffer? The ultimate sadism and cruelty.
    But the probability of any kind of personal god along monotheist lines is so tiny as to be almost irrelevant, so I won’t get the opportunity.
  • I don’t think God could be a jealous vengeful fellow acting like a spoilt child. God loves us and that’s why created us free. Free to chose. We can chose not to believe though that would be a hard life lacking spirituality. Expecting god to angrily pester us to believe doesn’t sound right.Its up to us go chose whether to believe and have God on our side or forgo faith and do without the divine richness of spiritual development.
  • A life not believing in God or a higher power does NOT equal a life without spirituality or faith…. I have a lot of faith, a huge amount, and I am quite spiritual at times too. And happily humanist.
    Of course I think it’s wonderful that you are spiritual too in whichever way you need to be, but please don’t assume that atheists/humanists etc are not spiritual people. From a quick Google – ‘Spirituality is often associated with religion, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Spirituality has more to do with recognizing and harnessing the spirit within oneself.’
  • I live in the spirit. He’s called Jack Daniels.
  • If there were no gods we would invent them. And guess what, ‘his’ identity would fit perfectly with our racial and cultural identities, and said races and cultures would spend the rest of time bickering and fighting amongst themselves about which one is the real one.
    Coincidence, huh?
    “I was a devout Christian until I had an atheist epiphany”
  • i would say,
    i have done all the things in my life i needed to and i don’t think you should judge me on what i believed
  • If I were to meet the so-called Christian God of the Bible, metaphorically or literally interpreted, my answer would be, On top of the lack of any type of evidence, you and your “conduct” had absolutely no relevance to my life.
  • “So you’re the jerk that hates everyone but is far too sadistic to kill us all at once, huh?”



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