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Levi Ong (M, 32)
Quezon City, PH
Immortal since Dec 25, 2007
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    From levi88
    Dealing with Paradoxes #1
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    From levi88's personal cargo

    My Argument Against Pascal (The Wager)
    During fourth year high school, I was introduced to Pascal's "Wager" by my (slightly psychotic[1]) english teacher. Basically, in Wager, Pascal concludes that it is favorable to have faith and believe in God, because, well... it's basically a good gamble. Let me expound:

    A man has two options: atheism and theism. In both cases, there is a gamble: the existence of God. Assuming that there is an equal (50-50) chance that God exists, there must be two outcomes for each options:

    1. Theism and God exists: Super win, because if you believe in God, you automatically get saved. (Never mind that you killed a billion people, you have faith, and only through faith do you get saved!)
    2. Theism and God doesn't exist: Oh well, at least you tried. Nothing good happens, but nothing bad happens either.
    3. Atheism and God doesn't exist: Same thing as #2
    4. Atheism and God exists: Holy shit, you're in deep shit!

    Based on the four possible outcomes, Pascal therefore concludes that theism is the way to go, because you have nothing to lose. Pretty neat, huh? It's all there, in nice, logical, mathematical[2] and probabilistic sense. There's no reason NOT to believe!

    But I didn't believe. And frankly, I was a little disgusted at Pascal for turning it into a business deal. If one were to believe in God because of that way of thinking... well, that's just wrong. If you are to believe in a god, you have to do it because you err... really do believe in him/her/it. And aside from that, who was he to say how God thinks? Hell, how is anybody to dictate the laws of divine nature? Christians say that a man cannot look at the face of God because it is so incomprehensible and divine that the man will die (of what, I do not know). They tell us not to question what God says because he is omnipotent and that his divine machinations cannot be comprehended by man.

    Then how is it that they know how heaven works? Even if it is written in the bible? Who wrote it? Seriously. Who WROTE it? Certainly not a disembodied pen possessed by our creator. It was apparently someone who, by the grace of the holy spirit (who is apparently also god, even though there are two other persons of god, namely god the father and god the son, but then there is only god, so it all sort of goes downhill from there) was inspired to write God's words[3]... But again, who said that the guy-who-wrote-god's-words was inspired? Another guy. Not god.

    Someone said that it is pride and hubris not to believe in God, because to deny his existence means to claim that man is superior, and that man doesn't need saving, etc...

    What then, do you call pretending to understand how a god works? OH, it's certainly not hubris. mhm, nope. It's just faith.[4]

    But I digress. Let me get back to my point against Pascal. As he[5] says, Pascal simplifies things too much. Again, you can't possibly predict how God acts, and even which god is the right god. It is from here that one should act. This is why atheism is a viable course of action.

    Consider this: You have a child, and you're separated from him or her(let's say "him" for simplicity's sake), and are forbidden to communicate in any way to him, and he's brought up by someone else. Consider the situation wherein your son is brought up being taught that he has to do good because he loves his parent (as catholics are taught). Now think about how you would feel. You'd feel good, because you know that your son wants to prove to you that he loves you, and that means that he does love you. (The fact that he tried to prove it, rather that the fact that he did good)

    But consider another situation. Your son was raised without knowing about you. He was only taught what was the right thing to do, and why it was the right thing to do. All his life, he did what was right because it was right. He didn't think about you at all whenever he'd do whatever he did. How would you feel? I imagine you'd feel bad. Real bad. Your son doesn't know who you are. Worse yet, he refuses to believe that you exist because you've never shown yourself. There are so many other people out there who claim to be your son's father, that he doesn't want to decide. He knows the history of all those "fathers' " children, and he doesn't want to be like them. And so he chooses not to believe that he has a father.

    It would hurt, wouldn't it? Your very own son, denying your existence.

    I myself would feel pretty bad. But I'd be proud. My son did the right thing all his life not because he was threatened with punishment, not because he loved me, not because of anything at all, except that it was the right thing to do.

    I would feel bad, yes. But i'd be proud; fucking proud.



    [1] She tried to exorcise us.

    [2] It involves economics and calculus, so I won't bother explain it here.

    [3] This was what I was taught in my catholic high school, so I'm not quite sure if it applies to all denominations of Christianity. Christianity is so divided.

    [4] I have no problem with God if he may exist. I have absolutely no beef with him. It's the religious organizations which i rail against.

    [5] http://atheistwager.blogspot.com/2007/04/first-post.html  His blog entry is similar to mine in that he explains and attacks Pascal, but our arguments are ultimately different.

    Wed, Jan 30, 2008  Permanent link

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