The reading notes record thoughts from things I read. 這網誌是我的一些閱讀後的思考和摘要記錄。My website 我的網頁: http://raympoon.playgroundhk.com

The God Gamble

This is one of the stories in the book The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten. It is particularly interesting as it is about logical thinking on the usually illogical religious belief.

God was having a conversation with the philosopher who thought that the fact of no evidence on the non-existence of god was not an evidence on the existence of god.
God said to the philosopher, I give you a reason to believe: a gamble based on self-interest.
There are two possibilities: I exist or I do not exist.
If you believe in me and I exist, you get eternal happiness in heaven.
If you believe in me but I do not exist, you get a normal short mortal life.
If you do not believe in me and I do not exist, you still get a mortal life.
If you do not believe in me and I exist, you will suffer from the eternal fire.
It is easy to see that if you gamble that I do not exist, the best you can get is mortal life, but the worst scenario is eternal damnation.
If you gamble that I exist, the worst you can get is the mortal life, but the best outcome is eternal happiness.
So any person with a logical mind should believe that god exists; he could win a chance to heaven and not losing anything he already has, but could certainly avoid the worst of hell.

This theory was proposed by Blaise Pascal in 1660 with a view to defending Christian faith by reason.

The critics agreed that believing in god would be a good bet if there were only two such possibilities. However, there are much more than just choosing to believe in god, which god in particular. If there were such an envious and unforgiving god, believing in the wrong one would have serious consequences. Christians in particular consider that people not accepting Jesus as the messiah would surely go to hell, that would include many good Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and many other faithful religious people. Some would believe in a benevolent and all-loving god that eternal salvation would be granted if you just committed a mistake in believing the wrong god but would remain moral (which is a vaguely defined term in different times, cultures and religions). However, for such a good god, he would similarly grant eternal happiness to the non-believers who would be equally if not more moral.

As far as gambling based on self-interest is concerned, the bet should be placed on the belief of one vengeful and punishing god who commands absolute belief in him, or the belief that there is no god or god is forgiving in whatever you believe as long as you are moral. Even if you bet on a nasty god, there are too many to choose from. Betting is not a rewarding game afterall.

2 Comments

  • Posted June 5, 2012 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    你的看法是宗教看法,去為一個擬人的神作開解,將很多人性的缺點加在他身上,當是美德。現代看法認為神是全能,所有未解的自然問題都因他而有暫時解釋。他不斷引導人類去接近大自然真相。這一個全能者不能用宗教去解釋,所有加於他身上的人性都是人類主觀產物。宗教騎劫了神的概念將他壓低為一個超人,可以和他溝通,得到庇佑,只是一廂情願。

    現代科學已可以解釋能量物質粒子的關係和組織,又解釋了物種由有機分子進化到智人的過程。前面的路全能者正帶著我們走,不用浪費時間去祟拜他,這些低層次的事對全能者來說是廢話。

  • Anonymous
    Posted June 5, 2012 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    看了你的文章,我有別的見解。神既然那麼大愛,為何只愛信祂的人而不愛不信祂的人呢?聖經裡說「神愛世人」,並不是只愛信祂的人。

    為什麼信祂的就上天堂,不信祂的便下地獄,是恐嚇嗎?信耶穌得永生,但神並沒有應許信耶穌「必」得永生、神沒有應許基督徒必定可以上天堂,聖經說基督徒也要被神審判的。人是需要約束的,也需要有懲治,否則不會自律,在地上也有地上的法律去懲治犯了事的人,就算有法律去管轄人,人仍然會做犯法的事,如果沒有法律,人就 會胡作非為。所以神只是為我們好,用祂的慈繩愛索拉住我們。

    信耶穌是因為利益計算,無損失而且可以有機會得到神庇佑?有些基督徒以為信了神便可以得到神庇佑,其實神並沒有應許基督徒可以一帆風順的,基督徒一樣是有苦難的,聖經裡面是有講的。我也曾說有些基督徒是迷信的,他們根本不是真正相信神的,只求希望從神那裡得到利益,但我並不是說所有基督徒都是迷信的,真正的基督徒不是基於 迷信的。

    基督教是迷信的?有人認為:沒有証據去証明沒有神,這就是証明有神的証據。這當然不合邏輯,邏輯是要多角度去看,並不是非黑即白。不過這些話只是人說的,不是神說的,人的智慧是很有限的,基督徒信的是神、不是信說這些話的人。不合理、不可解釋、不合邏輯、沒有事實根據等等就去信就是迷信,這個分析是對的。例如燒注香就希望可以得到某神的保佑,這明顯是不合理、不可解釋、不合邏輯、沒有事實根據的,因為「香」是人造出來的。

    獨一真神?只有聖經說神創造天地萬物,聖經說萬事都互相效力,神叫我們要常常喜樂。神造花、造草、造山、造水,以及一切的自然界的美麗,原是要我們喜樂,造不同的飛禽走獸,不同的細胞、DNA,好的細菌、不好的細菌,宇宙萬物,全部都互相效力,這就是神的大能。聖經說神坐在地球的大圈上(以塞亞書40章22節),即是說在聖經舊約時代已經寫出地球是圓的,哥倫佈發現地球是圓的,只不過是在 大約五百年前。 其它有些宗教是有哲理的,但沒有神的大能。電是有地球便已經存在,以前人類生活都是烏燈黑火的,只是近百年才發現有電的存在。

    我讀書時代不是讀教會學校,工作又沒有接觸基督教,我是在2005年去青島旅行時在酒店,遇上可能是靈界的出現,後來才主動去認識 基督教,然後看聖經,發現有很高的智慧在聖經裡面,在日常生活中,慢慢感覺到神的存在。人是很渺小的,好比螞蟻,不可能完全明白神的大能。愛情也是看不見的,很大程度上是憑感覺的,但要把心打開才能感覺得到。