While there are many well known objections to Pascal’s Wager, in a recent e-mail discussion with a reader I formulated a simple argument which I don’t remember ever having encountered and which I would like to share here: A deity who causes any of its creatures to suffer eternal torment is necessarily evil, and thus we cannot trust such a deity to honor its promises regarding salvation. Therefore, we have no reason to believe that practicing any religion in order to enter its heaven and avoid its hell will be more successful than not practicing it. It’s better to practice virtue as informed by our reason and not worry about unsubstantiated threats from unknown gods.
The author is an atheist in Jacksonville, Florida, United States. He is a former devout Catholic who investigated his doubts and became convinced that belief in the supernatural was mistaken. The primary goals in writing are to be coherent, rational, insightful, eloquent, and above all else, sincere.
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