Skip to content

August 8, 2011

3

Arguments for the Existence of God: Pascal’s Wager

by juju2112

Dice on a craps table

This post won’t be interesting at all to atheists. It’s mostly for the believers that happen upon this site. I’d like to address a common bit of reasoning put forth by theists for why I should believe in God.

The argument in question goes like this:

What if you’re wrong? If you believe and there is no God, when you die, you have lost nothing. But if you die and there is a God, there is everything to lose. Eternal punishment! Is it worth the risk?

There are a number of problems with this. Firstly, which God should I believe in? If I believe in the Christian God and it turns out the Jews were right, I’m still going to hell. If I prayed every day for 50 years to the Christian God and it turned out the Muslim god was the correct God, I could still end up going to hell!

This was most famously stated by Richard Dawkins in a youtube clip where he spoke at Liberty University (almost 3 million views on that clip, wow!)

People believe in many different kinds of gods, and this argument doesn’t specify which one it’s referring to. In fact, you could replace “God” with anything and the argument would be just as valid. I know that a Christian would balk at me trying to replace “God” in the argument with “Invisible Pink Unicorn” and calling it just as valid. But really, I don’t believe in God, and this argument is supposed to persuade me. It doesn’t help if the argument already assumes the existence of the thing it’s supposed to convince me of.

Another problem: I can’t just decide to believe in a God out of fear. I either buy the story or I don’t. So, what, am I supposed to pretend to believe out of fear of hell? Don’t you think a God would see past my ruse? Is that what God wants? Fake belief? I hardly think that would work. “Ummm… yeah… sure, Jesus. I believed in you the whole time! Now, let me in! Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

Lastly, I find the assertion that belief in God costs us nothing to be untrue. Many believers spend a lot of time in church (and a lot of money as well). Some believers even spend time trying to legislate beliefs which have no rational basis into law. This ends up causing real human harm. Your beliefs end up causing actions in the real world. So it’s not a “worth nothing” choice at all. Furthermore, is it “nothing” to go through the one life you have believing a lie? I don’t think so. My time is valuable. I do not give it up so easily.

Advertisements
Read more from Miscellaneous Rants
3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 9 2011

    Donald,

    You win! I cannot prove the existence of God nor should I try. Our believing does not change Him. He IS whether we believe or not. As far as your response, “which God should we believe in” again I assumed we were talking about the One True Living God, God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. I took this assumption due to the fact of your websight. I don’t read any other god being discussed there.

    For someone who does not believe God exists, you do know a lot about Him. You are right, you cannot believe out of fear. You are right following the Lord Jesus cost us a lot—our very lives indeed.

    I am interested in learning why you strive so hard in denying God. You put a lot of time and energy in trying to prove He does not exist.

    Thank again for the dialog. Please teach me your culture. I am interested in understanding people.

    Reply
    • juju2112
      Aug 9 2011

      I don’t really get your response about which God. Do you realize all arguments for God’s existence work just as well for Thor or Allah as they do for the Christian god? Or heck, even a deist god would work.

  2. juju2112
    Aug 9 2011

    My entire life was consumed by a fantasy world. Many religious people are the same way in that God is their whole life. It’s the filter that they view the world through. Believing and living a lie isn’t good. Think of the movie The Truman Show. It really is like that for some people. I don’t want others going through what inwent through.

    It also causes all kinds of irrational actions in the real world. Rather than spend time futiley trying to stop actions I see as irrational, I choose to go to the root of the problem n

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: