The Curmudgeon’s Wager

Most of you know about Pascal’s Wager. Wikipedia describes it like this:

Pascal argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas he stands to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell).

You also know about the wager’s criticisms, many summarized in that same Wikipedia article (see Criticism). But there’s another criticism never mentioned before — Pascal’s wager doesn’t go far enough!

Today we’re causing a major advance in theology by announcing the result of years of solitary cutting-edge research conducted in our superbly-equipped, secret, underground la-BOR-a-tory. We call it The Curmudgeon’s Wager, and it goes like this:

Pascal’s wager is woefully inadequate. It deals only with the existence of God. But if the reward of the wager is to be won, there is much more that must be believed — and again, there is no penalty if such beliefs are wrong. Therefore, if you want to avoid the Lake of Fire and win an eternity of bliss, your Curmudgeon says you must also believe in:

1. Young Earth
2. Flat Earth
3. Sin-cursed Earth
4. Earth-centered universe
5. Intelligently designed Earth, and
6. Recently flooded Earth

The timid among you may reject this by protesting that our wager demands too much. But does it really? We say that if you want eternal ecstasy, you should be willing to go all the way. Paradise is not for the timid!

In conclusion, if you’re aware of any other vital doctrine that should also be believed, please let us know. Considering the eternal stakes involved, we don’t want to take any risks.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “The Curmudgeon’s Wager

  1. Trump’s the second coming of something or other. Also the one chosen by something or someone.

  2. You seem to have covered all bases

  3. RetiredSciGuy

    Ham et al. would also add:

    6. Talking snakes.
    7. A Flood covering the entire Earth.
    8. A magical place where all that water receded to.
    9. The Trinity — not just Yahweh, but His Son and the Holy Ghost.
    10. All the miracles attributed to said Son. Catholics may also add all the miracles attributed to all the saints who followed.
    11. The Resurrection.
    12. The Second Coming, along with the Rapture.

    Besides these beliefs of Christian fundamentalism, we must add:
    13. All the talking points of Judaism.
    14. All the talking points of Islam.
    15. All the talking points of Hinduism.
    16. All the talking points of of every other religious belief system on Earth,
    regardless of size.
    17. All the talking points of every religious belief system of any and all inhabitants that may exist anywhere in this universe, or in any universe yet unknown.

    Given all these beliefs one must adhere to, one may conclude that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for anyone to pass through the Pearly Gates.

  4. RetiredSciGuy, I’m trying to make a serious wager here.

  5. Well, I really should include the Flood. I’ll amend the original post.

  6. Geocentrism.
    Pehaps understood as a conequence of the Flat Earth, but is worth mentioning on its own.

  7. TomS, Geocentrism is included in the Earth-centered universe.

  8. Dave Luckett

    There is also the requirement, in general Christian theology, let alone that of fundamentalism, that one must acknowledge that Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice of atonement for all the sins of mankind, and that without that sacrifice and that acknowledgement all human beings are necessarily damned. It is of course not for us to ask why God demands that sacrifice and belief, without which He cannot forgive, when He demands of us that we forgive for the asking, as many time as required. Why, to make such an observation would be to imply that God is holding us to a standard He does not meet Himself.

  9. Climate change doesn’t happen, because God doesn’t allow it.
    If it happens God will save (christian) mankind from the consequences, either here on Earth or in afterlife.
    God will MAGA.
    The USA is God’s given country.
    White Americans descend from one of Israel’s lost tribes.

  10. Stephen Kennedy

    Pascal’s Wager is based on a false premise: That we can choose what we believe. Beliefs are not chosen, they are things that have credibility for us and it is impossible to sincerely believe something that does not seem credible to us. What makes something credible to an individual is difficult to pin down but seems to have a lot to do with innate intelligence, experiences, educational level and the kind of environment we were raised in.

    It has been my experience that as we mature and gain more knowledge things that we once believed can lose their credibility in our eyes, are no longer believed, and never regain credibility. As a small child I believed the story of the Flood but the accumulation of experience and knowledge about the Hydrological Cycle resulted in a sudden loss of credibility that such a flood could actually happen and I no longer believed it and there is nothing that Hambo or anyone else could say that would restore that belief.

  11. Humans are ‘created’ in the image of their ‘creator.’
    Humans are a distinct form of life and are not included or related to other ‘animal’ life forms.

  12. What we believe is an existential choice though.

    https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/culture/philosophy/thinkers/jean-paul-sartre-and-existential-choice

    This doesn’t back up Pascal’s Wager.

  13. Mark Germano

    It’s fun to imagine a god who would fall for the ol’ “I’m just saying I believe in god in case there’s a heaven” trick.

  14. RetiredSciGuy

    The Curmudgeon complains, | 24-August-2019 at 1:40 pm |
    “RetiredSciGuy, I’m trying to make a serious wager here.”

    I am being serious. Pascal stated that a rational person should believe in God, just in case. He’s saying we should cover all bases. Well, to cover all bases, we have to profess belief in all gods – just in case. If there is a God, how do we know which one is really THE god? Like Pascal said, why take the chance?

    So logically, we must profess our belief in all gods, lest the real one be left out. Did Pascal adequately define “God”? For that matter, can anyone adequately define “God”?

  15. According to a new study by astronomers, based on data from the Kepler Space Telescope, 1 in 4 sunlike stars should have a planet that’s approximately Earth-sized, orbiting in the star’s habitable zone.
    Therefore, in order to be saved dear SC, I believe it is logical that one must also believe that the godless scientists who made the observation above are lying. And all those other godless science things also. Like evolution. There.
    So in summary, one must reject ALL credible, peer reviewed scientific information. Period. Its a slippery slope according to Pastor Jeffries of First Dallas Baptist. No dissension allowed. Otherwise where do you draw the line. Its the either or, slippery slope fallacy on steroids. Please add that to your superb and brilliant list or be gone to the lake of fire forever.

  16. Theodore Lawry

    Shame on all of you! You left out the most important point: giving money to Answer’s in Genesis. Better yet, give the money direct to Ken Ham, save on overhead. I am sure he’ll take it and put it to good use. And remember to thank Ham for all he has done for us.

  17. To RetiredSciGuy’s point, one must be willing to go all in by wagering that ALL claims from ALL religions are true. Any apparent contradictions between religions–e.g., Jesus is god vs. he’s not god but he was a really cool guy–are easily explained away as “god works in mysterious ways”. Even better if one can do so with a feeling of self-satisfaction for being so open-minded.