Wednesday, May 10th, 2006 - 10:25 PM

English, google randomness, and theology…

“More clear” is clearer than “clearer” but “clearer” is correcter. That bugs me.

When I checked, the top hit for “clearer” on Google was a page about why there isn’t stronger evidence of the existence of a Christian god.

I read a few paragraphs of it, but it quickly degraded to Pascal’s Wager and I lost interest. The paragraph that first set off the Pascal’s Wager alarm was:

Some are tempted to apply the rule that “the more critical the decision, the clearer the evidence must be.” They demand that the evidence for Christianity must be extraordinarily and especially clear to win their allegiance. The problem with this standard is that it assumes that there are no consequences to the decision. If, however, there are cataclysmic consequences to the observer, he will have to settle for “sufficient evidence, or the most trustworthy evidence.”

Wow. If I consider a decision critical, doesn’t that imply that I believe it has severe consequences? The more critical the decision, the more severe the consequences… right?

People who argue in favor of Pascal’s Wager (believe in God just in case, because otherwise you’ll go to hell) ignore an opposite wager: Believe in no god just in case, because otherwise you risk letting a myth motivate your entire existence.

Another interesting wager: Only believe in God if you have strong evidence, because God may damn people who make critical decisions without reason.

Also worth considering: Believe in the religion with the most severe eternal consequences for non-belief.

So, I guess my point is that there may be excellent explanations for lack of evidence supporting a Christian god, but Pascal’s Wager isn’t an effective way to get skeptics to pay attention. It’s entirely focused on the perspective of a believer. It ignores the skeptic’s perspective that IF there is no god and there is no afterlife, a decision that defines her mortal life also defines her entire existence.

What is the target audience of that page?

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