09 August 2007

Atheist Version of Pascal's Wager

I saw this on Greta Christina's blog and I thought it was worth sharing with the Unitarian Universalist blog community. It's an Atheist version of Pascal's Wager.

Greta had noticed the Atheist version of Pascal's Wager as an off-hand comment on the Pharyngula ("Evolution, development, and random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal") where they were discussing the blog article on Dilbert creator Scott Adams' blog where he defends Pascal's Wager as a reasonable case for believing in God.
"Any deity this argument (the original Pascal's Wager) applies to is evil. Honestly, E-V-I-L... You might as well take the Atheist's Wager. Do good, then if there's a evil God everybody is still screwed. If there is a good God then you go to heaven, if there is no God then doing good is its own reward."
I mention this because our congregation's Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship had a multi-week series on "tough issues" in Christianity with a guest minister from the Shreveport Bible Church offering Pascal's Wager as a serious argument for believing in God.

Even more fun is Scott Adams' next blog article where he addresses the previous blog article about Pascal's Wager:
"Personally, if I were more rational, and less focused on immediate gratification, I would become a moderate, peace-loving Muslim. My reasoning is that Islam has the best chance of becoming the dominant world religion in the future, and therefore probably has God’s backing, if he exists. The Muslim belief that death is sometimes a good thing is a huge advantage in a future where weapons are improving, and the only thing keeping people from using them is fear of death.

If you believe God exists, the smart money says he’s backing the team with the best strategy and long term viability. Based on what I see today, I’m betting on Islam being the only religion in a thousand years. Once you can build your own nuke from stuff you buy online, don’t be betting on the Buddhists."
And I guess this pretty much illustrates the practical limits of using probability and game theory strategies to discern theological truth.

1 comment:

hafidha sofia said...

Wow. Just wow! Scott Adams is :::Pyscho music::: scary.