There is a thing called Pascal’s Wager.
Mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, writer, and Catholic theologian, Blaise Pascal contemplated the risk/reward matrix whether believing in God was justified absent concrete proof of God’s existence.
In a very simplified description, Pascal deduced that even under the assumption that God’s existence is unlikely, the potential benefits of believing are so vast as to make betting on theism rational.
Pascal noted there are only two possibilities: either God exists, or He does not.
Pascal then proposed there were two personal beliefs people could have about God’s existence: either they can believe that God exists, or that He does not.
When Pascal combined the issues of God’s real existence and our personal belief, he determined that there were only four possible outcomes:
- People might believe that God exists, when in fact He does.
- People can believe that God exists, even though He does not.
- People could believe that God does not exist, and that belief is true.
- People could believe that God does not exist, and that belief is false.
Pascal wrote that we should choose according to our reason and our happiness – but reason alone cannot aid us in making this decision. Pascal determined the central truth of his wager, that we must base our belief upon our happiness.
In other words, just another ROI analysis (a shameless plug for a post from yesterday) that Pascal conducted determined the very small sacrifices of sometimes not getting to do the things you really want to do pale in comparison to going to Heaven or to Hell. The basis of the wager is that the upside of believing in God is far, far greater than the rejection of God.
I choose to believe God exists.
“Judge not lest ye be judged”, is a snippet from Christ’s great Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3—7:27), and it is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied teachings in Scripture by both believers and non-believers alike.
My recent critiques of transgenderism, as both a political tactic and as a component of a mental illness, gender dysphoria (which was removed from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2012), have, to no one’s surprise brought forth the use of this verse by people who tell me I cannot judge others.
But as with many things in religion, they are about as accurate in their assessment of this phrase as they are the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which never says you can’t say “gay” or is anti-LGBTQ in any way. It just secures parent’s rights to protect their children from being indoctrinated in activist philosophies with which the parents do not agree, especially during the most formative years of their children.
By saying “Judge not lest ye be judged”, Jesus was telling the masses gathered at the Mount to be careful judging others based on your own standards because those are by which you will be judged. He warned of substituting the standards of mankind for those of God.
The phrase targeted problems of spiritual hypocrisy, like that of the Pharisees, countering the human tendency to take spiritual truth and twist it into irrational, illogical and hypocritical self-righteous superiority, and moral bankruptcy. Commenting on the splinter in someone else’s eye while having a log lodged in your own is the epitome of hypocrisy (Matthew 7, 1-3).
So, to the charge of “you can’t judge”, I say “Yes, I can when I base my judgement on God’s laws.
One of the first of God’s revealed wisdom is found in the first chapter of Genesis, the first book of the Christian Bible, but specifically in Verse 27, it says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
It is not my place to judge someone who believes they are female who was born as a male and vice versa. While I to not pass judgement on them individually, I do resist and refuse to participate in what I see as a delusion and a sin against God. I cannot be responsible for someone else’s soul, I can only inform them and protect my own.
“Male and female, created He them” is a very declarative statement. It did not say He created shape shifting, sexual fluid androgynous beings, very definitely the verse stipulates two categories of humans, male and female. Period. Believing God made a mistake in this creation is a heresy, a sin.
My purpose is not to assign guilt to those who believe differently, my purpose is to avoid participating in that sin.
I’m just as subject to human failings as anyone else.
There is nothing special about me, I’m just a guy so ordinary, if you passed me on the street, you would hardly notice me. I am what the intel community calls a “gray man”, someone who blends into the background.
I tend to live a libertarian, you do you and I’ll do me, life where matters of sexual orientation are involved – but when distinctly non-libertarian pressures are placed upon my life, when I am not only expected to tolerate certain things, but when attempts to actively force me into acceptance and participation in cheering them on, that’s where I draw the line.
One thought on “Pascal’s Wager”
Me too !