I’m an atheist. My Catholic father thinks I’ll go to heaven


The question is: do you believe your dad will go to heaven?

Either your dad is irrational or there is reasoning behind his beliefs. To believe that there is no God requires faith far superior to the greatest of Saints.


However, you should bear in mind that a person genuinely covered under invincible ignorance MAY be saved, not will be saved.


Well, WILL,
First, why are you an atheist? The Bible states there IS a God who created. Science tells us HOW GOD CREATED. NO CONFLICT.
Our body is a costume that holds our Spirits (life forms) When we die, it leaves the corruptible body & returns to heaven or hell. I’m not sure, if we’re in a happy place waiting for the last judgement? Charles Manson would go straight to hell. Do not pass Go or collect $200.00…
The afterlife can be a little fuzzy. I believe in NDE. Some don’t. I’ve seen ppl die in the hospital & waiting for them,they see loved ones, sometimes.
Photographers of accident sites.hsppened to catch a mist raising out of the body.
IT IS A CHOICE. If there was only NOTHING, we wouldn’t be here. Nothing =Nothing. If one atom was floating around, how did it get there? 0=0. 1+0=1. Somebody had to create anything. The problem is NAMING WHO CREATED.
It was a Creation. Adam made up names of all things, so he called Him, Creator God. Call it a “thing” created. But when mass & radiation happened, someone put it there. Then, He clapped & BIG BANG DID THE REST. SIGH! You wait, some cosmologist will prove the Big Bang wrong. Believing is pleasant. It’s a good story line w proof. Jesus is written of in Roman Hx. The question, then, is do you believe He Resurrected & is God. I’ll reply to other questions.
God wants all to go to heaven. In that last minute between life & death, We can assume ppl see the truth and are acknowledging God. They’re saying their contrition & begging for forgiveness & mercy. You get in. If there is nothing-NONE OF US WILL KNOW.
Plus, it’s fun walking w Jesus. He is real & some communicate. We’re never alone.
Science has come out w the Adam & Eve Gene. They’re not in the same time line so it’s confusing b:c they say our DNA comes from one Mom & one Dad. They better get those genes together.
Stay tuned for Science. Stuff is changing.
You might get to heaven.
Plus! I forgot this, Romans 2 says, at the end, that anyone who is kind & lives a good life has responded to the Holy Spirits communication. We can’t be good w/o God. Unless evil, we go to heaven
High probability, he’s right.


The possibility of salvation for those who do not believe in Christ and his Catholic Church is discussed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in the section entitled, in quotation marks, “Outside the Church there is no salvation”, paragraphs 846-848.


Obviously, your Father loves you and wants you to go to heaven. Will you go there? You won’t know that until you die.

I certainly think you should be concerned about your salvation. You were raised Catholic. That means you had the opportunity to learn the faith. You are still alive. You still have opportunity to resolve your unbelief.

Well, if at the point of death you, knowing who God is, deny God and/or desire hell, a just and merciful God will allow you to make that choice.

Ultimately, it’s up to you.


I think believing in God is doing Gods Will. In order case, if you believed in God but you don’t do His Will, will you go to heaven?


We can’t ever know who goes to heaven and who does not. Therefore, I would not be comfortable telling someone who says “I don’t believe in God” that they are certainly going to heaven.

The reasons for not believing are many, and I believe can include depression and despair, that is why only God knows our heart.

Your father loves you and sees things about you we cannot. However, I would not be certain of his words.


I’d say he’s rationalizing because of his love for you. In being an atheist, you are denying God as you don’t accept that he exists. This is essentially forcing God out of your life in my interpretation.


One other question about this quote. How would you interpret the “observe carefully the natural law” requirement? Is this a reference to some sort of “natural morality” in general or to more specific things, such as homosexuality (which is how I often hear this term employed)?


I’m not sure how your question applies to my post. I don’t see any reasons to think there is a heaven, so no.

I also don’t see how not believing something is faith (faith would be to hold belief). Are you saying very strong faith in a belief is bad?


This is actually what I used as my rationale to start with. But my father insisted only those who reject God go to hell…and you can’t “reject” something you don’t believe in…


I think your father loves you very much.

I personally disagree with the idea that someone raised Catholic is not denying Christ because he has rejected, through atheism, the idea of His divinity.

OTOH, I would not argue with a father who believes this about his son.

I think that there is a lot that goes into whether a person goes to Heaven or Hell, such that only God in His perfection can sort that out.

But an atheist who gets into Heaven does so despite his atheism, not because of his atheism.


Every parent hopes their child will go to heaven, it would be strange if he did not.

Then, you have rejected the Church, correct? If you were “indoctrinated” then you have knowledge, right?

May I ask one question of you. Give me, not a long laundry list, but, the key reason that you reject Catholicism as true.


I appreciate all the replies here. Some interesting comments but I’m hoping to keep this on track of my original question.

To sum up, I’m looking to better understand my father’s position, and what church teaching(s) might support that position. I had not crossed this line of thinking before and was a bit surprised by it. He portrays it in a very matter of fact way not in conflict with the church.

So far, I see the “infallible ignorance” quote from Pius XI as one source. Any others? Or other Catholic writers or teachers that he may have heard this from?


I think this unfortunately common sentiment significantly trivializes and misunderstands what faith is.


This may likely be my resolution to this discussion… thanks


This is a very common question from all religions (as you may be aware). Lack of evidence is the key reason.

Also my reasons are likely very similar to your reasons for rejecting other religions.


This is something I’ve wondered about, ie what it means to “reject God”. Can you reject God if you do not have an understanding or real awareness of what you’re rejecting? Just as a crazy extreme example, there’s a terrorist group in Central Africa that calls itself the Lord’s Resistance Army, that murders and enslaves countless people. If this was your primary exposure to the Gospel, and you rejected it because you saw it used as a tool and cover for terrorism, would you be culpable of rejecting Christ? If not, what about situations where the failing of those bearing the gospel is not so extreme, but nevertheless significant?

To WP, I think it’s thoughts like these that cause Christians to be cautious in declaring anyone to be condemned. God ultimately judges and knows what is in our hearts.


This is where you rejected God.

Personally I don’t know that this rejection sends you to hell.

There’s a parable about a man with two sons. He tells them to go & accomplish a task. One son says, “Yes father, I will do it.” But doesn’t. The other says, “I’m busy, can’t do it.” But has a change of heart & accomplishes the task.

Which son did the father’s will?

I struggle with this all the time. I say “Yes” all the time, but I know my actions don’t. The good I want to do I don’t. The evil I don’t want to do, I do.

So the question to you. Do you live a life of self giving? Do you serve or expect to be served? How much time do you spend trying to deceive your fellow man?

Is that enough to get you to heaven? (This question is for you, not all the theologians who will read this.)


I can list my reasons for rejecting other religions. They are concrete, and may be debatable, however I could list them if asked.

May I ask one more question, what evidence would you accept?

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