Theology Web Christians threaten me with Divine Punishment. Should I go with Pascal’s advice?


Blaise Pascal
Philosopher

Pascal’s Wager:  It is in one’s own best interest to behave as if God exists, since the possibility of eternal punishment in hell outweighs any advantage of believing otherwise.  

                                                          —Blaise Pascal


Theology Web Conservative Christian 1:

If he (Gary) thinks God might exist, then why would he deliberately throw away his salvation? If God exists, he’s now in a world of trouble.

Theology Web Conservative Christian 2:

That’s why God is his (Gary’s) worst nightmare! You do not want to antagonize Jesus.   In a hundred years (considering the average human lifespan), we shall see who was right. Or not.

Gary:

Are these Christians correct?  Should I hedge my bet and believe in/obey Jesus the Christ, even though the evidence strongly suggests to me that the Christian belief system is nothing but a superstition, in order to avoid eternal punishment in the Christian Hell?

Answer:  There is no such thing as playing it safe or hedging your bet by believing in the Christian god.  Pascal’s Wager has a big hole in it. In order to play it safe, one must believe in and obey every exclusivist religion on earth, and their god or gods, and this is obviously impossible. One cannot be a good, obedient Muslim and a good, obedient Christian at the same time. You are forced to make a choice. At least one choice and possibly both choices are wrong.

So unless Christians can prove their supernatural belief system is true with 100% certainty, which I don’t think even Nick or Stein would assert, it is incorrect for any of you to tell me that I should believe in Yahweh-Jesus to hedge my bets. There is no way to hedge your bets. No one can be 100% certain that his belief system is correct. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be any need for faith, would there?

I reject Christianity for the same reason I reject Hinduism, Judaism, Mormonism, and Islam: The evidence for their supernatural claims is just too weak to believe that one of them is the ultimate truth of the universe.

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12 thoughts on “Theology Web Christians threaten me with Divine Punishment. Should I go with Pascal’s advice?

  1. G –

    If only you had ever properly learned Christian doctrine, you might have something to say. As it is, and as I have said numerous times in the past – you are just doubling-down on your own intrinsic fundamentalism, calling yourself “right” and disparaging any contrary opinion, or simply calling all else wrong.

    Such a stance simply cannot admit the “objectivity” you think you are displaying. You have simply swapped “God” as your focus of your fundamentalism, to “No God” as the object of your fundamentalism.

    Nevertheless – there are a good many folk out here praying for you.

    Pax – jb

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  2. Pascal's Wager is impossible since it basically says you are saved by just verbally proclaiming you believe in the God of the bible even though you really do not. As if salvation hinges upon mere proclamation of “it's possible” therefore I am saved. You either believe or you do not. You do not and you would be foolish to proclaim faith in or belief in that which you do not believe.

    It's like saying there is a chance you were switched at birth therefore you should love every person old enough to be your parent as your parent because there is a chance (as slight as it may be) that they are your parents. You do not believe, if the Christian God is real then you're screwed, if He is not real then you lose nothing more than I do and you gain nothing more than I do. All your gains for unbelief can only be found and had in this life. This is all there is for you and your belief so enjoy it! Don't lie to yourself, don't pretend to believe what you do not. You're content in your unbelief, why on earth would you want to change that?

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  3. “Pascal is sometimes accused of taking a fideistic approach to apologetics, meaning that he supposedly valued faith over reason. Some even claim, falsely, that following his deep conversion to Christ, Pascal abandoned scientific pursuits. At any rate, one of Pascal’s most famous fragments is often cited in support of Pascal’s fideism: “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing: we know this in countless ways.”5 The fragment itself, however, acknowledges that “we know this in countless ways,” suggesting that Pascal’s epistemology (view of knowledge) is more sophisticated than simply categorizing him as a fideist. Elsewhere, for instance, Pascal remarks, “We know the truth not only through our reason but also through our heart.”6 In another fragment we read, “The way of God…is to instill religion into our minds with reasoned arguments, and into our hearts with grace.”
    http://www.equip.org/article/more-than-a-wager-blaise-pascal-and-the-defense-of-the-faith

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  4. Those using Pascal's wager in negative fashion to prop up their agnosticism or atheism, know little about the man, no of his incredible accomplishments – none nearly at all matched by those who speak derisively of the man.

    Merely so much smoke and mirror to appear to have the upper hand in discussion or argument. Few, if any, would choose to delve into Pascal's accomplishments, and how he actually came upon his “wager.”

    That would terribly inconvenient.

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  5. The point of the discussion is whether or not one should believe in “God” to play it safe.

    There is no playing it safe. Even if one believes in Jesus with all his heart and soul he is not safe, because the evidence strongly indicates that Jesus is dead.

    So if you are someone who is sitting on the fence; someone who has a lot of doubts about your Christian faith—use your brain and good ol' common sense: This ancient tale is only a superstition. Don't let threats like the ones above from members of this ancient cult scare you.

    Walk away from this cult!

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  6. Dear folks,

    Imagine the following: You wake up tomorrow morning and find your keys missing. You are forced to take the bus to work. When you arrive at work and tell your co-workers about your missing keys, one guy tells you the following: “You should seriously consider that an invisible goblin took your keys last night. My ancient, middle-eastern holy book says that goblins are often the cause of key theft. I can't prove that a goblin walked through your locked door and left with your keys, but you should seriously consider it as a strong possibility, and by faith, believe that my holy book is true regarding key-thieving-invisible-goblins.”

    Would you give one second's thought to the possibility that an invisible little being snuck into your house last night and made off with your keys? Aren't there many more probable explanations for your missing keys than to even entertain the possibility of a supernatural cause for your missing keys??

    Dear folks. Many of you have been taught this ancient tall tale since you were children. I know it seems very real to you. But I strongly encourage you to consider why it is that you would consider the very improbable supernatural reanimation of a first century dead corpse but you wouldn't consider for a second that your keys are missing due to a supernatural cause.

    It is just a story. It isn't real.

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  7. Do you feel it is supernatural or miraculous for the universe to explode into being from absolutely nothing at all for absolutely no reason at all without any cause at all? Personally seeing a “dead Jew” as you call Him walking around is far easier and more sane to believe than that.

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  8. How do you know how the universe came into being. Maybe a cloud of hydrogen gas has always existed and is the “creator”. We just don't know. We have hundreds of cultures each with their own story of how the universe began but we don't know with 100% certainty which if any of them are true, do we?

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  9. But your religion says the universe came into being from nothing, for nothing. Though now they say the universe has always existed. So when a Christian says God always existed it was stupid. A scientist says the universe has always existed and POOF science! If you don't know with 100% certainty then why are you 100% certain Christianity is wrong? Apparently you DO know some things with 100% certainty… You're at minimum certain enough to mock it, shun it and write it off as insanely ignorant and without any merit so that's maybe 99.5% certain?

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  10. What the hell are you blathering about now, Frank?

    I have never said that I believe that the universe came from nothing. Science does not know the origin of the universe…at least not yet.

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  11. Gary what is taught in schools as “science”? The “big bang” and “Darwinian evolution” are considered to be scientific fact/reality. I am just constantly stunned shocked and amazed at the stuff you post as if you think all this crap is new and you've uncovered some ancient Chinese secret Madge. What next? You reveal your evidence for Boy George being homosexual? BOMBSHELL!!!!!!!!!! BOOM!

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