Friday, September 4, 2009

My Personal Problem with Pascal's Wager

I'm willing to bet that many tomes have been written on subject of Pascal's Wager.

Therefore, I am NOT going to try and reinvent the wheel. I'm just sharing my personal feelings about Pascal's Wager. No formal, scholarly arguments here.

In a nutshell, Pascal's Wager suggests that due to the uncertainty in all things, deciding God's existence comes down to a coin toss. If that is the case, one would be safest to err on the side of caution and believe in God.

Sounds good and reasonable.

But taking his approach can quickly get complicated and defeat the purpose of taking a "safe bet".

Pascal's Wager, to me, is recursive to the point that our uncertainty can never be banished. So-- unless you simply choose a belief system or tailor your own, you will always be plagued by the problem of Pascal's Wager.

If I did decide to believe in God again based upon Pascal's Wager, in what manner shall I believe?

If I begin to worship God as Ganesha, a Muslim can easily come along and propose Pascal's Wager to me with his or her specifications. Should I err on the side of caution and become Muslim now because Allah will punish me for remaining an infidel?

And when I convert to Islam, what do I do when a Christian comes along and presents a Christianized version of Pascal's Wager? Do I then convert to Christianity and risk the ire of my former Muslim brethren?

And when I then become a Christian, what do I do when a Pentecostal comes along and gives me the Pentecostal version of Pascal's Wager? And what do I do when I get the Pentecostal Apostolic Faith version? And what do I do when the Church of God version tells me not to accept the Apostolic Faith wager?

And the rabbit hole goes even deeper. But, I'll stop there.

With that perspective, my "soul" is no more at risk with me being an atheist than being a theist.

Anyway, maybe I'm off base. Regardless, that's my personal problem with Pascal's Wager.
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