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 IAmAnAtheist » May 2007

May 2007

I read a reply about the four main ways people use to try and convert you, all of which prove insufficant because none seem to give the answers you would need. Most Christans believe simply out of faith something people like you (and me) simply don’t feel is enough. I have always wondered how someone could do that and I’ve come to believe that it’s in some way (small or large) because faith is your best choise. You have two options believe or don’t believe. Now asuming that God dosn’t exsist and your left no better or no worse when you die, with which ever you choise. Still asuming God dosn’t exsist, when you believe you have a rigied time honored set of morals your, hopefully, going to follow under fear of reincarnation or of hell fire and brimstone, sure your not realy going to hevan or nervana but at least you had a reason to try and be good while you were here. Again still asuming God dosn’t exist, if you dont believe than you have no pushing reason to be a good person (not saying that you wont be or that you aren’t), you wont be juged when you die so you can do what ever you want free of eternal punishment, though it wouldn’t be coming even if you did. So if god dosn’t exsist were all better of if everyong believed in someing so they could have a reason to be good and to do good for others. Now asuming God dose exsist if you believe, well you get to spend the rest of time in happy, fun, sunshine, rainbow land praising God in all his/her splended glory. (maybe the descriotion of heven was a little much but I’m not trying to be to serious and I hope no one is offened). And if you don’t believe well, cause God sent his son to earth to die for you and you still wont believe, you get eternity in hell or where ever God chose to send you. Now I’m not one to be tempted by sunshine and rainbows but this argument (writen by a more litterate persan than my self) is the reson I started considering maybe one day posibly giveing God a real shot in my life, I mean why not your only other options are, nothing, e as a worm, hell, and a couple of other icky places I don’t want to go and things I don’t want to be.

Also let me apologize for any vaugeness or bad grammer, I don’t mean to be not perfect but no matter what you believe, you understand there is not much we can do about that. (though with dictionary.com and more free time I could probably could have fixed it)

What you are describing is referred to as Pascal’s wager. It boils down to this: why not believe since if you are wrong you lose nothing but if you are right you gain everything.

Pascal’s wager is a flawed argument for a number of reasons, including:

1) Most people can’t believe something just because it would be in their best interest to do so. Could you honestly make yourself believe that Benjamin Franklin was still alive if his being alive would get you a million dollars? Similarly, I can’t “just believe” in God the way religious people often urge me to. I find it scary (in a 1984 kind of way) that people seem to think we can adjust our deepest feelings so easily.

2) It assumes that there are only two options — believe and possibly be rewarded, or don’t believe and lose the possibility of reward. But there are many other possibilities. For example, there is at least one option for every religion that says it is the one true religion. Will believing in the Christian God get you to heaven if Islam is the one true way? Remember that many Protestants think that Catholics are not going to their reward, so just believing in God in general may not be enough. And what if none of the major religions are correct? What if there is a deity out there, but it hates people who are religious only out of self interest? Then you loose no matter what you choose for these reasons.

3) Pascal’s wager also ignores the costs associated with belief. Being religious means directing some of your time, energy, and money toward religion, and these are things that might better be used elsewhere if the religion in question is not true. Perhaps even more important, some kinds of religious thought and practice (allowing religious authorities to dictate your opinion or relying on feelings to make decisions instead of reason) can lead to difficulties in other areas of life (such as being taken in by fraudulent religious practitioners).

Thanks for writing. Let me know if you would like more clarification on any of this.

Posted on May 28, 2007 at 10:33 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Evidence

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