Sunday, December 02, 2007

Well, That Just About Wraps It Up For Gods

PZ Myers has a link to August Berkshires' 34 Unconvincing Argruments for Gods. It pretty much encapsulates my view on the subject. Show me proof, and I'd have no choice but to believe.

(14) “Pascal’s Wager” / Faith - In short, Pascal’s Wager states that we have everything to gain (an eternity in heaven) and nothing to lose by believing in a god. On the other hand, disbelief can lead to a loss of heaven (i.e. hell).
We’ve already noted that heaven is wishful thinking and that hell is a scam, so let’s address the issue of faith.
Pascal’s Wager assumes a person can will himself or herself into having faith. This is simply not the case, at least not for an atheist. So atheists would have to pretend to believe. But according to most definitions of God, wouldn’t God know we were lying to hedge our bets? Would a god reward this?
Part of Pascal’s Wager states that you “lose nothing” by believing. But an atheist would disagree. By believing under these conditions, you’re acknowledging that you’re willing to accept some things on faith. In other words, you’re saying you’re willing to abandon evidence as your standard for judging reality.

Yup, that's the price. Actually, there are a lot of other things arong with Pascal's Wager as well, not the least of which is that it assumes a god that rewards blind faith. Personally, I subscribe to Horvath's Wager, that if god exists, it rewards skeptical inquiry and punishes blind faith. Acording to Pascal's mathematics, these are equally likely outcomes.