March 02, 2006

Pascal's Wager: An Embarrassment to Theism

For those who don't know, Pascal's Wager is the childish "argument" that it is better to believe in god (as opposed to being an atheist) because if you believe and there's no god, you've lost nothing. But, if there is a god and you don't believe, when you die you'll spend eternity being tortured in hell.

Let us lay aside the obviously primitive nature of this statement - because it's simply to easy to attack (neanderthals could see through it, for goodness sakes). Instead, let me point out - as other atheists have done ad nauseam - that there is one very simple retort to this.

If there is a god, but when you meet him discover that it is not the god you followed during life, we'll see you in hell.

Aside from this glaring error of such a silly "argument" I would like to add:

-If the only reason you believe is to get the big reward at the end, it is a shallow and selfish faith you follow.

- Let's say for the sake of debate the god does exist. If he does, and he both plans our lives for us, and being omnipotent knows all, then he planned for us to be atheists and who are we to go against you're almighty fairy tale? See An Exercise In Logic

-I do more work for my community and fellow man than any theist I know. (And being that this is a densely xian area - I know plenty.) As there is no god to pray too and no after life to make excuses for, it is incumbent on every individual to help their fellow man. I volunteer in two shelters (presently), I donate blood every other month and my hair (to Locks of Love) every other year. I knit/quilt blankets for Project Linus. I donate money to a few charities. I don't lie, cheat or steal. I try not to gossip, or bear grudges. If god does exist, and my life is not good enough for him solely because I didn't spend money on empty headed churches, or praise him every day, then he is a selfish, childish deity unworthy of worship. And since according to you he planned for me to think so, then he's a sadist as well.

Like all active atheists, I know you have nothing to justify your faith. It's emotional, illogical etc - and that's fine. You don't need to justify it. If it makes you feel good (and you're not hurting anyone) do it. But, spare me the pathetic and flaccid attempts at emotional blackmail. You're embarrassing yourselves.