Saturday, 3 May 2008
How many of you Xians think that Pascal's Wager is a good argument? For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, the short version of the argument goes like this:
If you believe in god and you are wrong, well no harm no foul. If you are right, you get to go to heaven. If you disbelieve in god and are right, no harm no foul. But, if you disbelieve and you are wrong, then you go to hell. Disbelief at best leads to nothing and at worst leads to eternal torture, while belief at worst leads to nothing but has heaven as a reward for being right.
I've had lots of Xians try to use this argument as if it's a good one. Unfortunately for them, it's not a good argument at all. Let's forget about the perversity of a supposedly omni-benevolent, all-loving god that will throw us into hell for simply disbelieving. This argument presupposes that god wants us to believe regardless of everything else. The argument hinges on god holding our belief as a higher virtue than anything else, but no one can know that. It may be that god would rather us be true to ourselves than try to profess belief in something that can't be shown. The argument also presupposes that we can simply choose to believe. Really, it sets up a system where we should believe, just in case. But, this is not true belief, and it's hard to believe that an omni-max god won't see through the ruse.
There are, of course, other problems as well. This argument presupposes the Xian god, but there are other gods out there that will throw you into hell for your disbelief. Take Allah for example. If you disbelieve in Allah, you are bound for hell. So, any Xians that think this is a good argument should also believe in Allah in order to increase their chances.