What would you believe if you could choose the truth? Would you want there to be a god or gods? If so, what would that god or gods be like? Why?
I really have two answers to this question. One is that I would choose Catholicism because then I would have been right for the majority of my life. I miss the relationship with Jesus I used to have, even though I now believe I might have been suffering delusions, mistaking an imaginary friendship for reality. I miss the relationship with my family that I used to have, although to be honest, I may be looking at it with rose-colored nostalgia glasses. I miss the community I found at my university parish. So, purely for sentimental reasons and self-vindication, I would like Catholicism to be true. It would also be very nice to have a loving being watching over me so closely and taking care of me.
On the other hand, it might be fun to have a pantheon like that of Greek or Norse mythology…
Seriously, however, I don’t want there to be a god, at least not of the kind who brings punishment for every little action or inaction. Short reason: I don’t want to deal with long-term consequences for my actions. Long reason: I want to live my life as chaotic neutral with good leanings sometimes but only when I feel like it. I don’t want to be beholden to everyone for everything. I don’t want to feel guilty simply for being human, for having perfectly natural instincts and desires.
Perhaps cynically, I believe that maybe if there was less prayer and more action, there would be less need for both. True, situations exist for which absolutely nothing can be done, and to those in such situations and those who care for them, prayer is certainly a comfort. But situations in which action can be taken should have action taken, not “I will pray for you”. In my own life, I have never noticed prayer to have any effect statistically distinguishable from coincidence. In fact, I can think of only one time when my prayer was answered. I was driving, and the car in front of me was going below the speed limit. I felt myself growing upset, so I prayed for patience. Immediately, within a minute of me completing that thought, the car turned. If I were a different person, this would be proof positive that God answers prayer. But I’m me, and I know that the more likely explanation is that the car was driving slowly because it was about to turn, and/or the driver was unfamiliar with the area. I always drive more slowly when in unfamiliar territory, and I know human experience is far less unique than my ego wishes it to be.
So, I would choose for there to be no god because that is the hypothesis which best fits the most evidence right now (my choice of truth is based on what I already believe) and because I want to be able to lead my life as I choose without eternal as well as earthly punishment. If I were absolutely certain there were no god or gods, no force that would make sure I were punished for every misdeed, I may not live my life much differently, but at least I wouldn’t have to punish myself for my own humanity. I still believe living a love-based life is valid, with or without a Judgement Figure telling me to. Why? Because I’ve hurt people before by failing to be perfect in loving, and I hurt seeing the harm I’d caused them. In addition, I don’t want to be treated without love, so I should treat everyone with love as much as possible. The Golden Rule has purely logical merit, even without the theo.
Also, I would have superpowers. Because SUPERPOWERS. Maybe some of my friends would, too, but only the ones who would use them to demonstrate love or at least try to. Probably flight for me, maybe invulnerability (but not immortality because NO). Then again, if I had the ability to create what was real simply by believing it, that might be superpower enough.