Thursday, February 13, 2014

No Fury

Michelangelo's Last Judgment (Wikipedia photo)
Better to be on the top than the bottom
Youngsters have their eyes on life's smorgasbord--the colleges they want to attend, jobs and careers, places to live, when to start a family, etc.--while over-50's gaze more at eternity (in addition to staving off decrepitude and checking off items on the bucket list).

Death may still have its sting, but Hell ("a medieval relic") doesn't preoccupy Westerners any more. Everlasting fire becomes less problematic when one no longer has corporeal form--"Descartes in the 17th century declared that the soul was immaterial, and thus beyond physical pain"--and separation from God is not so terrible if a lonely sinner has thousands of friends just a click away.

The theology of Hell also doesn't seem fair to modern eyes--"It could not be just and right, for example, that all the unbaptised were automatically sent there"--what about all the good people, including Old Testament heroes, in history who weren't even given the opportunity to be born again? If God reasons like Western man (or woman), then traditional Hell should not be a concern.

But if there's even the slightest chance that the medievalists were onto something, it may be prudent for those with a wrinkled mien to start going to church again. It's not religion, it's math.

Pascal's wager:
Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.).
Really, it's not that complicated.

No comments: