I’ve just made an amazing discovery… It’s late and I can’t think clearly so I don’t remember the name of the famous (French?) philosopher who said, in effect, that since we can’t know for certain, believing in God is the smartest bet. Because if you’re wrong, it doesn’t matter, and if you’re right, you go to heaven. Whereas, the penalty for not believing is much worse. (I remember now – it’s ‘Pascal’s wager’.)
However – I’ve found that by publishing mildly controversial articles, I can get people to pray for me. If I am very bad, and insult a lot of religions, I could get millions of people to pray for me. Would God still send me to hell, even with all those prayers? (If so – what good are the prayers… God either listens to them or he doesn’t. Assuming he listens to them, there should be a ‘critical number’ perhaps that he responds to.)
Is it better to be God, and have no one praying for you, or be bad, and have many people praying for you?
In my conception of God and life, it doesn’t really matter. You see, although it’s stubborn and not very smart, I’m not willing to ‘hedge my bets’ by doing something that doesn’t make sense to me. I’m going to do what, in my mind, is good, right, just and true. I won’t kill, rape, cheat, steal or murder. I don’t even lie to girls to get them to sleep with me. I’m only slightly proud. I try to help others, I donate, I share, and I’m a good listener. I guess my problem is, I’m a big fan of justice, and I know – I KNOW – that a just God (or anybody, for that matter) cannot reward or punish someone based on a belief without taking into account all of the motivating factors of that belief, as well as balancing out their good thoughts, actions and intentions. I’m a sinner automatically because I was born and nothing I do can change that? I’m sorry, but that’s one of the foulest ideas I’ve ever come across (and it was developed nearly 4 centuries after Christ, by St. Augustine, a notorious sex-addict, and later included in Church doctrine.)
But go ahead – pray for me! It can’t hurt, and I don’t mind. And I’m sure I need it more, than say, starving African kids need 10% of your paycheck. The important thing is that we all sleep well at night.