Pascal’s wager is a philosophical statement by French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). And briefly stated, it goes like this:
“Humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or does not exist. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.).”
Basically, those of a religious bent (And no, I don’t just mean Catholic priests) say:
“Isn’t it better to play it safe and believe in God? You may be wrong or you may be right. If you’re wrong and there is no God, well then, no harm done, but if you’re right then you’ve guaranteed yourself a prime plot of real estate in His Heavenly Paradise. But get this… If you don’t believe in His Holy Godness and he’s not real, again no harm and good luck to you as the worms eat your bones… But! If he is the Real Deal then you’ve got nothing to look forward to but an eternity of dodging pitchforks and needing to wear Factor 30Million! Wanna think about believing?”
At first glance, you might be thinking, those God Botherers have a point here, I have a 1 in 4 chance of spending eternity as a human marshmallow, best I get meself down the Church and start prattling or praying or whatever the bloody hel… heck it is those religious types do.
Right! Before you start digging into your pockets to swell the holy coffers with your hard-earned pennies, you might want to consider this. You can’t really win with their scenario.
I mean it.
Look, there are two possibilities; God is real or God is not real.
If God ain’t real then what’s the point? And to be honest, going by the dearth of evidence for his/her/its existence, then the percentage doesn’t look terribly good for the Bashers of the Bible.
And now the good bit. This is where it’s lose/lose for the Christians. If God is real and is the omnipresent, omnicient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent being that they say he is, (disregarding the patent absurdity of that notion) do you think he won’t know?
Do you honestly think he won’t know that the only reason you believe in him is for selfish and morally questionable self-interest? Gain entrance to Heaven by deceipt?
That sounds like a one-way ticket to Lavaland if you ask me.
As I look at it, although Pascal’s Wager looks like a 50/50 bet… It really isn’t. The chances that when you die, that’s it, the only way you’re coming back is as fertilizer, are hugely higher than the alternative.
Even if you bet and win against astronomical odds, then you better make sure you’re not wearing your duffelcoat as you are going to be really quite toasty.
So, the chances of the self-interested ‘Christian’ of passing through those pearly gates must be so miniscule they could be compared to the odds against an ant being able to successfully bring an elephant to orgasm.
And EVEN IF you are a true believer, without intellectual dishonesty, you still could be on to a loser. After all, the God you believe in may not be the God that actually exists. We have over 3000 to choose from, and that doesn’t even include any unicorns or pasta-based deities.