Pascal’s Wager

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 21 April, 2005 at

Tuesday, the Round Earth Society and Campus Crusade for Christ, my two favorite clubs, sponsored a debate entitled Does God Exist?
I do not think I could be very effective in recapping the debate here, so instead, I will give a brief explanation of why I’m not an atheist.

The real issue for me is that as an atheist, I had no reason to get out of bed. If there is no God, or more generally, no higher power of any kind, then there truly is no purpose to anything. Staying in bed all day is ultimately as equally useful as getting up. Yet, for some reason, I did get up. Everyday. Even though there were a great many days when I would have rather not. Why? Well, ultimately, it feels better when I actually get up and do things. If I get to the end of the day and don’t feel that I have really accomplished anything, I feel like I have wasted the whole day, and it feels bad. So what? Why does that even matter? If there is ultimately no meaning to anything, why is it “better” to feel “good” than to feel “bad”?

At that point, the argument falls apart for me, and I can go no further. I know instinctively that “good” is better than “bad,” and, working backwards, I ultimately arrive at the conclusion that there must be a purpose for getting out of bed.

Before the debate, the President of the Round Earth Society stated that, despite what people think, they are not an “atheist” club, but a “free-thinkers” club, with the goal of being unbiased. Having been to a couple of their meetings, I would say that they are not doing a very good job.

I come from a scientific background, and I believe that there are things that are, and things that are not. I think that the very basis of science is that things behave in a certain way and not in another. So if one person says that there is a God, and one person says that there is not, they can not both be right. They could, of course, both be wrong, with the truth lying somewhere in between, or somewhere else entirely that neither of them had considered. Yet ultimately, I believe that truth exists. Now, if one gets to that point and look around, they might notice that we are surrounded by people who claim to know what that truth is. Is it not worth while to at least find out what they have to say? Who needs a lecture on an open mind now?

If it so happens that Christians are wrong, perhaps it really is true that “following God” is a total waste of time… but no more so than anything else.

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