Comments about ‘Former pastor's experiment with atheism examined as sincere or a stunt’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 16 2014 2:30 p.m. MST

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

I’m reminded of the Native American parable about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.
We need more of this in our society today, especially in politics. Much of what ails us might be helped by a stunt en masse like this.

aldrisang
Cowansville, PA

I'd just like to add that there are two major reasons that Pascal's Wager isn't in common use today, at least by those who research the counter-arguments and can admit when they make sense:

1) You don't choose belief, it's formed by your experiences regardless of what you "want" to believe. You can't choose to believe or not believe in a specific god any more than you can choose to believe that UFOs are indeed abducting people and "probing" them.

2) It's not an issue of "God or No-God", but "gods or no-gods", and that means tens of thousands (maybe more) gods that humans have worshiped. That changes Pascal's Wager dramatically, to where it's 50% "no-gods" and 50% "one of these thousands of gods exists". If you choose a specific god out of that, the probability that you've picked the right one to worship is practically nil.

There are other problems with Pascal's Wager, but those two are enough to show that Pascal wasn't being very open and honest about the question of belief.

aldrisang
Cowansville, PA

I might as well add a third major reason that Pascal's Wager is an utter failure: It can be used by any religion as a justification. A Muslim could use it to tell a Christian that they should follow the prophet Mohammed; after all, the Muslim version of "Hell" is even worse than the Christian one, and isn't the impetus behind Pascal's Wager "better safe than sorry"? Taken with the other reasons I've already posted, there's absolutely no excuse for anyone to think Pascal's Wager is a good argument. My work here is done. =)

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