I'm agnostic, yet it strikes me that even if there is no God, those that decide to have faith, and have the ability to have faith, in a benign God have gained quite a bit.  They have faith in an afterlife, in ultimate justice, in the triumph of good over evil, etc.  Without this faith, life for many would be intolerable. 
If there is no God, there is no afterlife and they get a zero.  If there is a God, there is an after life and they get infinity.  So how can they lose?  Maybe Pascal's Wager deserves more consideration.
Norman Samish
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brent Meeker" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2006 5:25 PM
Subject: Re: belief, faith, truth

Even within the context that Pascal intended it is fallacious.  If you worship the God of Abraham and there is no god, you have given up freedom of thought, you have given up responsibility for your own morals and ethics, you have denied yourself some pleasures of the mind as well as pleasures of the flesh.

It's a bad bargain.

Brent Meeker

“The Christian religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration- courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth.” --- H. L. Mencken

Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> That's right: if you believe in the Christian God and are wrong, the real God (who may be worshipped by an obscure group numbering a few dozen people, or by aliens, or by nobody at all) may be angry and may punish you. An analogous situation arises when creationists demand that the Biblical version of events be taught alongside evolutionary theory in schools: if we are to be fair, the creation myths of every religious sect should be taught.  - Stathis Papaioannou
>> On Mon, Jan 30, 2006 at 12:36:46AM +1100, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>> >
>> > [Incidently, can you see the logical flaw in Pascal's Wager as
>> described
>> > above?]
>> >
>> I always wondered why it should be the Christian account of God and Heaven that was relevant.

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