We don't agree about everything and that's OK. What we do agree on is the need to carry on the discussion in a civil way.

Before you contribute to a discussion, familiarize yourself with logical fallacies. Ad hominem attacks will not be tolerated.

The goal here is for civil conversation so be nice; no profanity. Anyone who calls another person an idiot will be banned.

Lastly remember, when someone disagrees with your views it does not mean they like you less as a person. If you can't handle being disagreed with then go away.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pascal's Wager

Several people have said to me "I'd rather believe and be wrong then not believe and be wrong, because if you're wrong you're going to hell." What you may not realize is that this is actually called Pascal's Wager, created by the seventeenth-century philosopher, Blaise Pascal. In a nutshell, Pascal's Wager says that since we can never really know if God exists, there is so much more to gain by simply believing God does exist. Essentially if you wager that God exists you gain everything (eternal life) and if you lose (and God doesn't exist) you've lost nothing.

It seems like a compelling proposition, right? Just believe the right things and you'll go to heaven! But what are the right things to believe? Why should anyone wager the Christian God is the right God to gamble your eternal soul on? He is not the only option. Maybe the Hindu God is the right one. Maybe Zeus is the right one.

Secondly, I've given up my previously held beliefs because of reason and thinking. I simply can't force myself to un-know all the things I've learned during the last five years. Surely God would know I was faking it. Believe me, there are plenty of times I think to myself "why oh why didn't I take the blue pill?" but I can't take the blue pill and forget everything.

And finally, is faith really just a matter of mentally assenting to a checklist of established beliefs? That seems so hollow, so pointless. I think any God (who every religion says is utterly transcendent and ineffable) wouldn't endow us with an intellect and ability to reason and then require we throw those abilities out the window and just blindly believe what we're told. I genuinely believe any God would much prefer those who honestly seek the truth, wherever that may lead.

So please stop lobbing this argument at me. Like everything else, I've given it a good deal of thought before rejecting it, but I find it lacking and frankly disrespectful of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment