On Pragmatic Theology – God is Not Fire Insurance


A common notion in atheist communities in regards to the gods concept via-a-vis believers is the fire insurance policy of believers’ sincere belief in God. Why even think this is the case?

Principally, it is grounded in a sense of unfairness or lack of fair play. Most people in the theist communities hold the beliefs for the same reasons others hold those beliefs. Because they believe that they are true.

In some more sophisticated speaking, they consider the beliefs justified and true. True so as to match some reality of the world. Justified so as to have good reasons for holding the belief in the first place.

I see no contradiction in the holding of a justified true belief and thinking something is true, while being unfairly treated by others. A thought to be justified true belief can be false and individuals can be treated unfairly, even cruelly, by ideological opposition.

To be fair to theists, as well as to give a tip of the hat to most atheists and agnostics, there is, generally speaking, a fair and comprehensive representation of the opposition’s positions on a wide smattering of topics.

The issues come in a mis-representation of the opposition. Let’s take, for example, the caricature of the atheist community as Satanic child molesters in service of Gog and Magog. Does this help in any way? Is this an accurate characterization of the generic atheist position?

Same with the field puppet on a post of the generic agnostic as a wishy-washy atheist without the guts of the generic atheist’s convictions. It’s all of a piece of the man of steel fought while in the presence of Kryptonite, turned to straw in other words.

Even amongst the most literalist of the fundamentalists, they will view the idea of the insurance policy theology as ridiculous. Where, God isn’t neither life insurance nor fire insurance. In that, to the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth as a means by which to only save a life, it is minimally satisfying to the heart and soul.

Indeed, when taking the idea of the life insurance policy theology, the idea is that there is, somehow, a way in which to declare oneself a Christian as well as propose oneself as a forgiven one no matter what one does.

In general, they will view the choice to become a Christian as a kickoff to the football game rather than the game. You can start in the game. The coach can have the plays of the game for a guaranteed win laid out.

Yet, you can quit the game or fail to follow rules even after the start of the game. Here, we a similar situation in terms of a fire insurance idea about theology. Obviously, Christians want to avoid Hell.

If you believe in Hell, of course, you want to avoid the worst possible suffering. However, even in this case, we come to the idea of belief as a means solely to avoid Hell. To even some of the most strident Christians, the point is to live a Christ-like life and to adhere to the principles of Jesus, to be forgiven, not to avoid Hell.

It is mistaking a side benefit for the core of the purpose of believing in Christ. Inasmuch as this is the case, the idea of believing in Jesus merely as a life insurance or a fire insurance policy is both incorrect from the outside view and probably offensive to Christian from an inside perspective.

It’s good to argue against particular beliefs, while a proper comprehension of the arguments, whether from new angles or old seems important.

To make a particular point, one could point to this as a reason for some Christians. While more comprehensive critiques, they must involve systematic critiques of the reasoning with examples, in which these insurance policy counterarguments could provide some modicum of additional flavour critique.

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