Friday, July 31, 2009

Pascal’s Insurance Policy

Pascal’s Insurance Policy

You know Pascal’s Wager, right? Either god exists, or he does not. Either you believe in god, or you do not. If god does not exist, nothing happens to either the believer or the non-believer. If god does exist, the believer goes to heaven and the non-believer goes to hell. The believer stands to lose nothing, while the non-believer stands to win nothing. Therefore, believe.

Well, that’s fine, but we never defined “god”. Which god? You can as easily use Pascal’s wager to argue belief for Zeus, Thor, or Odin. Shall we believe in every god ever conceived by man? That’s a lot of gods, and many will not play nice together, especially that christian/jewish/muslim god.

The believer stands to lose nothing? Really. What of all the time spent at church, or at home, worshiping or praying to an imaginary god? What of any and all money donated to churches? You believers ARE donating the first 10% of your gross income every year, aren’t you? It takes a mere decade, and you’ve lost a year’s wages.

The believer stands to gain nothing? Really. What of the freedom and independence from a tyrannical deity? What of the responsibility of finding and making our own path in life? What of the possibility of recognizing reality?

But I had rejected Pascal’s Wager before I had stopped believing in god. Back when I was a believer, before I knew this argument had a name, I realized it fails miserably. No real believer believes BECAUSE of Pascal’s Wager. Believers have faith, not insurance.

That’s how I see Pascal’s Wager: spiritual insurance. But like real insurance, the premiums are sky-high. And just try to get a claim paid with prayer. Go ahead. Try. You’ve nothing to lose, right? I know I’ll get a giggle watching.

No comments:

Post a Comment