Saturday, June 03, 2006

Pascal's Wager

Dan at Necessary Roughness comments on this modification of Pascal's Wager: “I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there is.”

In the comments I entertain a different line of thinking, which is probably balderdash but could be amusing.

If I’m a Christian and the Muslims are right, I still get to go to a form of heaven as a Person of the Book. If I’m a Christian and the Hindus are right, I get another chance. If I’m a Christian and the Mormons are right, I get to go to heaven, but I don’t get all the cool stuff (like planets over which to rule). Christianity (historically understood) is a very exclusive religion. Only Christians get to go to heaven. Given the above, it seems that it would be a safe bet to be a Christian. But what kind? This line of thinking could lead one to the most exclusive and fundamentalist forms of Christianity (narrow is the gate after all). You could argue that God will forgive you for being more strict on yourself than he requires, but not the reverse. So then, get to cutting off your hands and plucking out your eyes. Fundamentalism demands a high price, but they give back control to the believer - if I’m morally pure, I will please God. Christian orthodoxy is absolutely the most exclusive of all - only Christ is worthy - the rest of us ride on his coat-tails.

So, who wants to nominate me for the Antibreviary?


Blogger Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

It was an excellent comment. Thank you.

Pascal did people a great disservice by postulating whichever theory has the greatest benefit should be believed. :)

I could believe that Social Security will be turned around, earn monster interest and actually be able to pay my retirement from all the deposits I made into it, but...

2:30 PM  
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2:18 AM  

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