The Punch today publishes a silly piece by a fundamentalist Christian (“Steve Kryger has a passion for Jesus, Rachael (his wife), social media and politics – in that order!”) running the “but what if there’s life after death” line as if that leads naturally to the conclusion that the Bible is “authoritative” and some kind of rational response to this human desire:
Generally speaking, Australians are pretty confident that ‘this’ isn’t all there is, and when life’s umpire raises his finger to the sky and sends them back to the dressing room, they will find themselves in a ‘better place’.
While this is certainly a nice thought, whenever anyone expresses this sentiment I usually respond with two follow-up questions.
Firstly, what evidence do you have that there is a ‘better place’?
And secondly, what confidence do you have that you will be going there?
And he then tries to pretend that he does have this “evidence” and can provide some “confidence” as to who’ll be going there. But, as I commented over there –
You don’t have any “evidence”, either (that’s what “faith” is for – arriving at a conclusion without evidence).
I’d love there to be an afterlife, because the idea of this being all there is is rather depressing. But how do you get past the suspicion that you’re just fooling yourself to avoid facing a depressing reality?
Funny, isn’t it, that the world is full of religious people of all different faiths, absolutely convinced that theirs is the right one and that everyone else is going to hell. And yet they can’t all be right. Funnily enough, hardly any of them have genuinely considered alternative religions – the vast majority of religious people have picked the religion of their parents and/or the country in which they live.
And it’s no more rational to say “I’m going to believe every word in this arbitrarily-constructed Bible” than it is to say “If there’s a heaven I think I’ll get there because I’m a good person”. Just because your creed is more complicated and convoluted doesn’t make it more likely to be right.
Do Christian apologists really not understand the massive logical holes in Pascal’s Wager? Or do they understand them perfectly well, but don’t mind playing on potential converts’ ignorance?