Hypothetical Question


If God doesn’t exist, would you say that the time you spend in Church and in prayer is time wasted?

(I know you believe in God and most will be very hesitant to answer the question, but just consider the hypothetical question.)


No I wouldn’t. I have been transformed in my relationships with others, comforted when I’ve needed comforting, and found peace where I thought I could find none. If it isn’t God doing it (let’s say a hypothetical brain disease), then what a blessing to be sick like that :slight_smile:


Thanks. Good answer.


Nah. I’ve always thought of religion as a comfort and freedom, not an obligation. :wink:

The only time I would feel that my prayers were a waste was if I were to never act on them. As for Church, well, it’s a nice way to kill an hour.

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood


Faith, to me, is to believe in something because it is worth believing in. It’s like that wonderful quote from the movie Secondhand Lions, “Sometimes it’s the things that may or may not be true that a man needs to believe in the most.”

If someone told me they had concrete, conclusive evidence there was no God, I honestly would not care. I have gained so much and have such a renewed and deeper perspective on life as a whole from believing in Him and his word, that I would still believe, even if someone presented me with every possible reason to believe he didn’t exist. Maybe that sounds selfish and naive, but it’s the truth.


The homilies alone make weekly Mass a worthwhile experience. People spend millions of dollars to hear motivational speakers, psychologists, and other professionals on how to live a good life. I get that every Sunday when I go to church and listen to the homily.


WOW :tiphat: Dang good question :slight_smile: Seriously. I am NOT being sarcastic. I got some thoughts. I’ll post back in a bit while I write off-line. You seem to want a truthful answer & I will give you my take on it in about another hour or so.


Ok, I promised my take on your VERY GOOD question. I have to say NOBODY has made me think like you have. Here is my take on it:

What if the whole God thing is a lie. Then we die and at the end it’s no big deal. We have been fairly nice people but we may have lost out on a few carnal pleasures. Maybe we should have indulged in them.

But if it all IS true. Then we spend our time here on earth doing the “religion thing” which may be 50 to 90 years or so. Then comes the next 10,000,000 years which is the start of the first second of the first day of eternity. you get my drift? Yea, It’s worth it.


You are not very respectful about the Church.


That’s basically the same thing as Pascal’s Wager. I’m asking the opposite, because in my hypothetical question, you already know that God doesn’t exist.

If you were on your deathbed, and somehow at that instant in time you knew without a doubt that God did not exist, would you look back at your life and think “Even though God doesn’t exist, all that time I spent in prayer and in Church was ultimately beneficial for me and I’m glad I did it.” Or would you think “I wasted so many hours in prayer when I could have spent that time with my wife and kids, learning something new, or enjoying life some other way”?


"But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again. 14 And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain: and your faith is also vain. "

I Corinthians 15:14


My opinion tells me that belief is a spiritual relationship, while religion is the physical reflection of that spiritual relationship (the things we do and say).

So, hypothetically…
[LIST=1]If I believed God existed but he does not…my beliefs would still lead me to my practices (attending Mass), but that, I don’t think is what you are asking.
*]If I didn’t believe in God and was correct because God does not exist, then I wouldn’t be practicing in any religious fashion to reflect that He did.
*]If I believed in God but was told by some absolute authority (say…umm…God…) that he does not exist, I may not continue to attend Mass, but then again I might, because to love God is to love one another as brothers and sisters. So even if there is no God, we would want a better world and that, surely, would include more love. Either way, it would not have been time wasted, in my opinion.[/LIST]


If God didn’t exist I wouldn’t be drawn toward prayer in the first place.

It is His revelation to me in prayer, that draws me to Him.



As a faithful Catholic, if God did not exist, the time would not be wasted. Religious activities are beneficial to the individual socially, emotionally and physically. They are also beneficial for society, through, for example the aid given to the poor, needy, sick, abused and old where ever in the world they are and the maintenance and encouragement of socially cohesive and responsible behaviour.

Talcott Parsons (a sociologist) has a lot to say about the social functions of religion; Michael Arygle (a psychologist) has written plenty on the psychosocial benefits to individuals of religion.

God knows what’s good for us! :wink:


2 things:

  1. I think like Pascal!? coool. I’m smarter than I thought :stuck_out_tongue: not really :smiley:

  2. now that I understand your question it’s back to the thinking for me :slight_smile: Your question is Very thought provoking.


No. I have been blessed many times over by prayer and partaking in the sacraments. I have gained wisdom and understanding; I have faced my sins and my sorrows; I have been comforted and inspired. I have been loved. And my life is better for it – even if it is all a great theological fraud or some sort of personal psychological self-delusion and there is no God, no salvation, no after life. I will still thank God for all with which He has blessed me, even if there is no He. :shrug:


Of course I respect the Church. If it wasn’t for Sunday Mass, I wouldn’t be the person I am, today. Technically, I’m bound to, and I’m perfectly fine with that. :slight_smile:

Ironically Yours. :heart:


I do not believe the time would be wasted.

I seem to be constantly telling my friends who do not believe in God that the Church is very wise regardless of whether one believes in God or not.

For instance, the Church teaches self control (through fasting), dedication (through devotions), humility (through confession), balance (involving our intellect, will, and emotions), and about a million other lessons. These are good for the human person - body and soul.

Even on just a merely physical level, the Church’s teachings are brilliant. That alone is worthwhile to many people, but the Church also offers a psychological prescription for a fulfilled life. Many people who have no intention of seeking a spiritual health seek physical and mental health.


I really am an optimist so it is hard to say how I would react to irrefutable evidence that God didn’t exist. I guess I’d have to be in that situation to find out.

I would probably feel that if God did not exist everything would be a big waste of time. What’s the point of anything if the universe is a spinning funnel that drains to nowhere.


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