Random Quote #89 topic: atheism, Wayne Aiken's atheism cookie file
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"It is sometimes argued that we have a fifty-fifty betting proposition when
considering God's existence or nonexistence. If we bet that God exists and
he does exist, then we lose nothing while possibly gaining salvation. If we
bet that God exist and he does not exist, then we lose nothing. But if we
bet that God does not exist and he does exist, then we lose everything. Of
course, if we bet that God does not exist and we are correct, then we lose
nothing. Therefore it is prudent to bet on God. (This is Pascal`s Wager).
The problem with the above argument is that it does not establish a
fifty-fifty betting proposition. There are many alternatives that it fails
to consider. For example, God may exist but he may damn anyone who "bets" on
his existence merely for reasons of prudence. He may consider such a "bet"
to be an insult. Furthermore, it may be that a mere belief in God is not
enough to ensure salvation. A further requirement may be the belief in a
particular religion. But which religion? Again, there are many alternatives.
Another possible alternative is that God offers salvation only to atheist
because God does not like being surrounded by obsequious "yes-men." God may
prize independence and skepticism."
[B. C. Johnson, "The Atheist Debater's Handbook"]



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