The question is: what if religious believers are wrong about God, afterlife, ultimate reality? Usually the consequences of being wrong are thrown in the face of atheists and infidels.
You'll spend eternity in hell if you're wrong! So you should believe. Running the risk of sacrificing eternal joy for transient earthly pleasure is stupid.
Well, not really.
It comes down to probabilities. As I've noted before, the existence or non-existence of God isn't a 50-50 proposition. Virtually all of the demonstrable evidence points to no-God, no-afterlife.
In fact, mathematician and religious skeptic James Lindsay argues in his book "God Doesn't, We Do" that the probability of God being real is as close to zero as it is possible to get.
Here's what Lindsay says in a God doesn't exist, almost surely section.
First, when considering the claim that titles this chapter and section, observe that making it is not lost to philosophical indefensibility because it does not flatly deny the possibility of the existence of God. It claims only that the probability that God exists is zero, almost surely.
Second, notice that it serves as the perfect default position in dealing with any existence claim before evidence is provided for it.
In every situation where there is a question about a positive claim that is not settled, the only honest point in investigating the matter is one that assigns the lowest possible philosophically defensible probability for the truth of that claim.
...Since it is not the case that assuming "probability zero" means "no possibility," the severe lack of satisfactory evidence that we see in the world concerning every question about God renders probability zero, almost surely, as the only acceptable starting guess that is philosophically defensible.
Later Lindsay asks religious believers some tough questions in a "What if you're wrong?" section. Here's a sampling.
-- What if you, believer, are right about there being a God but picked the wrong one?
-- What if you're right about God but picked the wrong religion to worship Him, as Muslims, Jews, and Christians mutually claim about each other?
-- What if you're right about God and your religion but wrong about which denomination, sect, or church has it right?
-- What if no demomination or person has figured it out correctly yet?
-- Can you, in your little corner of faith, in your tiny denominational box, shaded by your own personal perception, interests, likes, and dislikes, really be so sure that all of these billions of others have it wrong and that you have it right?
-- What if you are wrong about God's existence?
-- What, then, are you doing with some or much of your life?
-- How much time and effort are you wasting chasing fairy tales out of a book that is ancient literature turned social-control manual?
-- What are you doing to yourself, to your psychological well-being, when you must constantly lie to yourself about your worldview, which does not match your view of the world anywhere you look without relying on rationalizations and contortions of facts?
-- What are you ignoring or failing to learn about the world or yourself because you think you already have answers or because you want them less than your cherished beliefs?
-- What are you doing when you support inhuman social policies, hold back education, suppress healthy expressions of sexuality, oppose beneficial measures in regards to sexual health, deny others their basic human rights, curse the names and lives of your enemies or go to war with them, vote for idiotic politicians because you like their beliefs, held without evidence, enough to act without regard of their backwards ideas on key matters of policy?
-- What are you asking from those of your friends, your family, and your community who do not believe and yet are currently all but forced to listen to and to pretend to respect your religious beliefs, delusional rambling, misplaced thanksgiving, and unflattering solipsism?
-- What actions and thoughts do you deny or attempt to deny yourself on the grounds of your faith, activities and mindsets that might bring enjoyment, pleasure, meaning, or fulfillment to your life?
-- Which of those do you do anyway, needlessly hating yourself for it even while you do it?
-- What do you do only because you hope for bonus points with your imagined creator, selfishly trying to improve the chances that you will get your reward?