Pascal’s Wager: Hedging The Bet
(from my book in progress, Supernatural Hypocrisy: The Cognitive Dissonance of a God Cosmology”)
One explanation that often comes from the lips of the faithful is this: “I’m not sure, but I think I will go with the God is real thing, just in case–if I do, and it’s true, I’ll be covered; if I don’t, and it’s true, I’ll burn in hell.” This is known as Pascal’s Wager. 
First, this ideation doesn’t address WHICH God you should accept or worship. This is often referred to as the “avoiding the wrong hell” conundrum.
And what if God is real, but there is more than one god? How do we know which guidelines to follow for the god of that particular faith?
And there can be a negative consequence for believing something that isn’t true. Refer to the plethora of historical documents, and even current incidents where Christian Scientists believe that prayer, rather than medical intervention, will assure the safety of their children, and those children suffer and die.
At the root of this hedging mentality is a religion of fear. If God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent (the 4 Omni’s) as well as the Alpha and Omega (beginning and end), Infinite, Incorporeal, and Ineffable….the most perfect and indeed the original being in the universe, then why does He need to be worshiped? Why would He care? A perfect, non-human being would not have a human division of consciousness like ego, much less any human emotions we tack onto him.
There’s an essential point to be had here, and that is the tendency Christians have to anthropomorphize God-that is to say: personify or humanize Him. This being, as He is understood by Christians, is anything BUT human. If this deity exists, and is what Christians testify to, then he is INCAPABLE of having His feelings hurt, or being lonely; if he were, he is simply not the God Christians tout, and thus not worthy of worship anyway. An imperfect being does not warrant worship. And if the “truly inspired word of God” is to be our touchstone, then I submit God is not only imperfect, but mean, petty, cruel and, at times, evil.
It makes more sense to me that I make my decisions about what I believe based on sensible arguments, on empirical evidence, or the lack thereof. If we were not meant to use the reason inherent in our working brains, then why would we have it? If God is the Creator of us all, why would he create beings with the ability to choose to deny Him?
As previously mentioned, according to Christians, God needs us to worship Him. So creating something that was contrary to His needs, when he has complete and utter power over the process, is again nonsensical. And another example of the inherent contradiction of the Christian God.
I have had my moments of clarity over this. One came when I sincerely and earnestly asked God to show Himself to me. I told God that if He could show me he was real in a way that was undeniable to me, personally, that I would not only admit I was wrong, but would spend the rest of my life helping others to believe in Him too. This was not the first time I had had this little discussion with God. But they all garnered the same result. No sign; No message, no change at all. A silence that was cosmically deafening.
I know that Christians will be quick to say that this was because I didn’t have enough faith. (Again, anther ad hoc argument that falls flat in the face of reason). But I know for a fact that my faith was larger than that mustard seed found in Matthew 17:20. And I wasn’t trying to move a mountain, nor was I asking God to move one. I was asking for a clear sign. I got nada.
The absence of a sign gave me another sign. (A sin of omission by God?) The sign that said “God is not real.”
At the same time, I have other moments when I wonder. But I am smart enough to recognize that any reticence I have to completely deny the existence of God is attributable to religious insemination–my fear that if I’m wrong, I might meet a horrible fate that includes the mind-numbing pain of feeling my skin melt off in the furnace He so lovingly provided for me throughout eternity. If I had no other reason, that concept alone is enough for me to turn away from this deity, even if I don’t ultimately deny His existence entirely.
Having no material body or form.
Incapable of being expressed in words.
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