Never in my 20 years did I imagine joining the agnostic school of thought. I am not sure how it happened, but it was a progressive change and I saw its advent over the last few months. The last and final trigger was our recent tryst with evil. The omnipresence, the omniscience and the omnipotence surely must define an upper limit to “bad”, but we have ventured into the territory of no return. Justice is as far removed from the picture as the earth from pluto. Free will is a plausible argument, but only so far.
My friend speculates that as people get better, they also get worse, to keep the balance. However, I doubt that good is really keeping pace with evil. Can there be a stronger entity that lures evil? Well, that would defeat the purpose anyway.
Remember Blaise Pascal from Pascal’s triangle (math) and Pascal’s law (physics)? He devised a game theoretic approach to belief in a higher entity, with happiness and reason as the ultimate decision units. He trashed the ability of human reason to ever confirm the (non)existence of the entity, thereby basing a rational decision on happiness alone. Applying game theory then, the dominant strategy of a person should be to believe in the entity, because if the entity does exist, the belief is likely to result in happiness, and if it doesn’t, one stands to lose nothing. Conversely, if we don’t believe, we are likely to be unhappy if the entity does indeed exist, and stay neutral if it doesn’t.
It’s quite thought-provoking, the rational approach to put your wager (Pascal’s wager) on believing in the existence of a supreme power. However, faith isn’t something that is decided out of rationality. Maybe I contradict myself. I am still traversing this uncharted territory. I’ve been reading a fair amount on the ontology of God, and I have become quite a fan of the work of Robert Ingersoll. Also, The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, has gone right on top of my I read list.
Are you a believer?