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JHJEFFERY's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by JHJEFFERY

Comment 6 by Mignostic

Just a thought without an opinion:

The subject matter, of course, smacks of Pascal's Wager. I have been an atheist for a long time now, before I even heard of the Wager. I had always assumed, as you do, that whether or not to believe is not optional and that therefore the Wager was a nonsequitur.

When I finally got around to reading Pascal's Penses, I found that he had foreseen this problem. His solution was to literally "go through the motions." That is, to attend church, perform the rites, and be duly diligent as if you were religious--the belief would follow.

Oddly enough, there are some psychological studies that support this methodological approach. In fact, just submitting yourself to peer pressure and social intercourse with believers can improve your odds of getting religion, or getting it back.

So if you really think you need it, go for it. I won't be there . . .

Tue, 13 Sep 2011 01:10:22 UTC | #870079