What If God Quit?

by Brian Holtz 2001-01-04

Many theists say that life without any gods would be an absurd one devoid of hope, values, and goals.  I dare such theists to answer a hypothetical question: what would you do if in the near future you came to believe that there are no gods?

If you cannot imagine not believing in any gods, then hypothesize that your god uncreated itself.

If your god would never or could never uncreate itself, then hypothesize something like Gen 6:5.  Imagine your god "saw how great man's wickedness on earth had become" and decided to be rid of us. But instead of drowning us all in a Flood, imagine that your god simply abandoned us to the uncaring universe.  Imagine that he decided to leave us alone and unmolested, the way all the wicked atheists thought we were anyway.  Imagine too that he had firmly decided and announced that the few not-quite-so-wicked people like you had zero hope of salvation, and that upon men's natural bodily death he was going to uncreate their souls.

What would be your goals and values?  How would you decide on them? Would you guide your actions by the ethical rules of the god(s) you now firmly believed would never further punish those actions?  Would you lie, cheat, steal, rape, and murder?  Would you kill yourself?

Or would you simply pursue the goals and values that you decided were most consistent with the most happiness for the most people?

I dare you theists to answer this question, but I don't think many of you will.