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How about a "No Lose" wager? 
Started by eKIM
30 May 2012, 11:17 PM

This is not verbatim.  It is simply "my take" on a very old philosophy:  Call it pascal 2.0 beta version  lol  If you don't like it, create your own version and/or separate philosophy.  But here's my opinion - for what it's worth.

PASCAL’S WAGER  
 
The 17th century physicist-philosopher, Blaise Pascal posited that without evidence, that faith in God (and by extension, the afterlife) is but a mere wager… but as a wager, it presents itself as a double winner. 
 
As a scientist, Pascal considered himself a rational man, and as such, he chose to wager on the side of happiness.  He chose to wager on an existence (a continuation of some type, if you will) after death. 
 
He reasoned that if, when you die, you experience transcendence to a new plane of existence, then you have won the wager.
 
On the other hand, if when you die, there is nothing afterwards, you still have won.  Not only will you will never know that you were wrong, but also, there will be no one around to collect on your lost wager.
 
In any event, it results in a happy life full of joyful expectation.  

I personally choose this over the atheist’s grim disbelief.
 
Life presents us with many choices.
In spite of all of life’s pain and obstacles, 
choose happiness!
 
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Reply by Cath1
01 Jun 2012, 3:44 PM

Hi eKIM:

Yours is an interesting take on the acceptance of faith in one's life. I see your point, but for me it doesn't work.

I have to either wholeheartedly believe in myself as a spiritual being on a mystical journey with the promise and potential of an afterlife and all that may spiritually require of me while I'm living, or completely and honestly dismiss that possibility to embrace the other option, which for me I have considered but reject.

I cannot take comfort in the notion that I can choose faith just to be on the safe side and if my beliefs end up wrong there's no harm done. I simply cannot pretend and to do so would diminish the quality and authenticity of the faith I am trying to cultivate.

I always feel most true to myself when I take a position one way or another, despite the risks or absence of proof or popularity, and yet I know that anything is possible and I don't purport to know what is best for others - only me!:-)

Many people have no faith in God, an afterlife or anything spiritual and they are completely fine with it, and so am I, as that is their right and personal view and it would be disrespectful of me to try to convert them or convince them otherwise. They do not fear what comes after life as they genuinely don't believe in one.

Of course, you are right that if those with faith are proven wrong in the end it will not matter, but if people have faith only because they fear the consequence of not having any, it defeats the purpose and meaning of true faith, in my opinion. As well, I don't believe that having faith guarantees anything insofar as the type of afterlife we will encounter as I believe that people of faith and those without will all find peace in the end.

For me, I don't need assurances that what I believe in will work out as I hope or imagine, as that alone provides me no comfort. My faith simply has to be sincere as it develops and evolves, and my faith includes doubt which I think is a huge part of the desire to explore and attain it.     

Thank you for your thought provoking post, eKIM!:-)

-hugs- xo
Cath1      
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Reply by eKIM
01 Jun 2012, 6:58 PM

I agree with you 100% Cath1.  We must be on the same wavelength.  

I think that my motivation for the posting was to gently and kindly reach out to those who are at the end of life and have no faith, not sure if they want faith, but yet are confused or afraid of what lies ahead.  

I hope that it is a way to offer comfort without proselytizing.  Escpecially from me, I'm not even a church-goer, but like you I have an unshakable faith that allows me not to fear death. 
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Reply by Cath1
01 Jun 2012, 7:33 PM

Hi eKIM:

Thank you for clarifying the beautiful motive behind your post which is precisely what I had suspected. We are very much it seems on the same wavelength, but you give me and my faith far too much credit as I often say it is a work in progress and it's anything but unshakable!;-)

For me, I may be best described as a curious agnostic with a strong desire and leaning toward spiritual belief and understanding. I cannot prove the existance or presence of God and nor can I or anyone else for that matter prove that God does not exist or is not present, but I welcome and value all viewpoints.

My own personally spiritual experiences in life guide my quest to believe and to mean it with all my heart. Much of my faith is based upon inexplicable events and anecdotal evidence, and it's impossible for me to ignore the subject. My Mom used to call me a 'doubting Thomas' because for as certain as she was about God and faith and religion, I was equally unsure. I do know that my inability to accept faith at face value by way of traditional indoctrination was a source of frustration for her with me, but I just cannot profess to believe in something or someone unless I mean it wholeheartedly.

Then again, my Mom in her later years as she aged became more open and tolerant of other perspectives on faith. She used to tell me that great faith is the grand reward for those who doubt and question. Blind faith appeals nothing to me, yet some people are graced and satisfied by such smooth and unchallenged acceptance.

Still, I am a contradiction I know because I pray all the time and feel tangibly connected to a higher power that moves my spirit and my desire to experience the ultimate bliss. I don't know what happens when we die, but after seeing my Mom pass from this life to the next, blessedly peaceful, greeting her rapture, I am not afraid of death, but I still struggle with being the one left behind to grieve. I miss my Mom.

I hope and believe that as I continue to question and search for spiritual enlightenment, I will one day have a solid and immovable faith. I've heard it can move mountains!:-)

Thank you eKIM for a really meaningful and healing conversation!;-)

-hugs-
Cath1 
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