So, when you ask an atheist "What if you're wrong?" as a serious question against their disbelief... you should first ask yourself "How could they not have asked themselves this already?"
Pascal's Wager is almost as unlikely to convert an atheist as quoting Scripture at them. Nevertheless, while searching through Ray's past posts for his statements about the arrogance of atheists for "Haughty, Audacious Arrogance," I found a surprising number of comments threatening Pascal's Wager. Here's just the first five hits for the keywords of "if you're wrong":
#1:To those Christians who subscribe to this blog who choose to use Pascal's Wager, I will briefly explain why you shouldn't use it. Better explanations are linked at the bottom as this is a well debunked argument (oft described as "fractally wrong").
Arizona athiest IF you are right and we Christians are wrong then you will not even know it as there will be nothing after life. On the other hand if you are wrong, then there will be hell to pay...literally! Don't gamble with your eternity.
If you are right (we know better because we’ve gone into communication with God), you have nothing to lose, but if you are wrong, you have everything to loose. Whether you believe or not, if there could be (never mind all testaments) and as far as you could possibly know, there COULD be, eternal life with God, doesn’t it make sense to error on that side? That is, you don’t know there isn’t, and denying is not going to make eternal judgment less true. How foolish-no wonder God wrote all those scriptures about fools. Don’t be one.
But, the words you wrote, will be required of you in the day of Judgment. You can think that as fairy tale, too, if you like. But, the fact is, one day, like the rest of us, you will have to face death. What do you believe happened after someone dies? Do you have any evidence of what you believes is true? Will you be willing to stake your lives on what you believes regarding what happened to someone after death? Because, you are. Please, I beg of you. Just think about it, what if you are wrong? You are staking everything on this.
#4: (was preceded by science statements which I've italicized)
I believe God created man. I do not believe man created God. I have a degree in science and understand the difference between micro and macro evolution. I choose to worship the Creator rather than the created. If I am wrong, I have nothing to lose. If you are wrong, you have made the biggest mistake of your life.
We don't deny uncertainty--we just say not to place your eternal fate in the hands of uncertain things, because death is irreversible, and, if you are wrong, you can't get back to change it. Go with what is real--Jesus Christ, the risen Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
- It assumes a false dichotomy between atheism and Christianity. There are thousands of religion; why should we give any more credence to Christianity? Many are mutually exclusive. For example, Christianity teaches that Muslims go to Hell while Islam teaches that Christians go to Hell.
- It assumes God simply rewards belief... or belief at all.
- It assumes that you can will yourself to believe something.
- It assumes all current religions are the only possible considerations. It could very well be there is a God who has not revealed himself yet in any religion.
- It assumes God would reward someone who is simply choosing to believe to avoid Hell.
- There is a great toll to pay if you believe and are wrong. You do not simply "lose nothing." You lose, by virture of having only one life, everything. There is a serious price to pay for compliance.
If I were to wager on something regarding Pascal's Wager, it would be that every atheist has asked himself "What if I'm wrong?" It's something the troubled me greatly as I was coming around to a rational view from my fundamentalist beliefs. It was a heavy weight to bear; I was constantly tormented with the thought of not only Hell, but of disappointing Yahweh. I still am occasionally haunted by such feelings as they were so inculcated in me as a child. So, when you ask an atheist "What if you're wrong?" as a serious question against their disbelief... you should first ask yourself "How could they not have asked themselves this already?"
Here is a two-minute debunking of Pascal's Wager.