New here. Been an admirer of Sam Harris for a while now.
I have been pondering this question for some time but have not posed it to any Christians until recently on another forum. The feedback was very disappointing. Hope it is Ok to post it here. Just would like some feedback from Christians and non believers.
Many, if not most Christians I encounter (including myself when I was a believer for 25 years) would probably claim that they have faith in and worship God/Jesus because of who God/Jesus are. In other words - God is worthy of their worship and adoration simply because He is God, not because of anything He has done (or will do). And the specific thing “He has done” that I want to discus is God’s provision of “heaven” for His followers to live for eternity.
I listened to a debate recently between Dr. W. L. Craig and Dr. Sam Harris concerning morality. In the debate, Dr. Craig said - “You don’t believe in God to avoid going to hell. Belief in God isn’t some kind of fire insurance. You believe in God because God, as the supreme good, is the appropriate object of adoration and love. He is goodness it’s self to be desired for it’s own sake…It has nothing to do with avoiding hell or promoting your own well-being.”
Dr. Craig claims that believers believe in God because God deserves to be believed in. He claims that belief in God has nothing to do with what you will receive as a result of that faith.
My question is then directed primarily toward Christians - If the bible that Christians now possess had no mention of heaven, meaning that, regardless of whether or not a person “believed in” the God of the bible or not. Regardless if a person “worshipped” God or not, when we die, we ALL would end up in the same place - hell
1 - Christian, do you think you would still believe in and worship the God of the bible if you would still end up in hell when you died?
2 - Christian, do you think anyone would have good reason or incentive to worship the God of the bible if He, God, did not promise some kind of reward (escape from hell and eternity in heaven) for that faith and worship?
You see, I believe Dr. Craig has not actually thought it through. As intelligent and educated as he is, I do not believe his above quote is true. I believe if you remove the promise of a reward from the Christian concept, most prospective believers, those who would become Christians under the current biblical concept of heaven and hell, would not become Christians if the concept of reward (heaven) were removed. Which would mean that people don’t believe in God simply because He is God, but because of what He has to offer as a reward - heaven.
If my suspicions are correct, which I believe they are, people become Christians out of purely selfish reasons - self preservation. To me, that is counter to Dr. Craig’s above claim.