christine~ (eppylover) wrote,
christine~
eppylover

Sunday Sermon ~ Pensées & Mark Twain

Disclaimer for Sundays
If you're a regular reader and a Christian
(or similarly afflicted with the mindset of any brand of religiousity),
you already know to avoid this journal on Sundays.
However, if you're
relatively new to me
~ welcome friend! ~
please enjoy my random weekday scribblings, raves and rants on Eppy, Beatles, and everything that happens to assail my consciousness, unconsciousness and subconsciousness. Feel free to friend me and/or comment to me. If you don't wish to expose yourself (and yes, there are good reasons), I love anonymous comments, too ~ believe it or not!


a little song, a little dance,
a little seltzer down your pants
.
In conclusion...
Depending upon your "faith"
be on your guard on Sundays.
The eppylover never wishes to offend,
yet she must have her day
to indulge in her own non-beliefs
and vent her frustrations.
~*~*~

In the seventeenth century the mathematician Blaise Pascal formulated his infamous pragmatic argument for belief in God in Pensées. The argument runs as follows:

If you erroneously believe in God, you lose nothing (assuming that death is the absolute end), whereas if you correctly believe in God, you gain everything (eternal bliss). But if you correctly disbelieve in God, you gain nothing (death ends all), whereas if you erroneously disbelieve in God, you lose everything (eternal damnation).

In other words: Regardless of any evidence for or against the existence of God, Pascal argued that failure to accept God's existence risks losing everything with no payoff on any count. The best bet, then, is to accept the existence of God.

However, there are a few things wrong with that way of thinking:

A person cannot simply will himself to believe something that is evidently false to him.
Also, the wager would apply as much to belief in the wrong God as it would to disbelief in all gods, leaving the the believer in any particular god in the same situation as the atheist or agnostic ~ that God would not reward belief in him based solely on hedging one's bets.




"Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion -- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven."
          ~ Mark Twain

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