I am a pastor. I worked hard towards it and take it seriously. By the way I had to look Pascal's Wager up. That is what I was saying but I never read it before.
Forgive me, but at what point did it become acceptable for professional theists to be ignorant of the absolute basics of theology?
How can I possibly believe that you "worked hard" and "take it seriously" when you skipped over an argument you should have learned in Philosophy 101?
For those who don't know, Pascal's Wager is a very simple argument for belief in God. I specify that it's an argument for belief in God, rather than an argument for the existence of God, because it never actually says anything about whether God exists or not. It's important to separate the two, as theists so often enjoy confusing them. I believe the strategy there is to muddle the line between fact and opinion, because they can't win with facts alone.
Pascal's Wager, essentially, states that God either exists or does not. Each of those conditions has two possible outcomes.
If God does not exist and you did not believe he existed, you die and receive no reward.
If God does not exist and you did believe he existed, you die and receive no reward.
If God does exist and you did not believe he existed, you die and receive eternal torment.
If God does exist and you did believe he existed, you die and receive an eternity in Paradise.
Therefore, you might as well believe in God. What do you have to lose?
The false assumptions this argument makes are as follows:
Belief in God is something you can change at will because it suits you.
If you believe in God, you believe in the right God. One thing gods tend to be is jealous, so choose well.
A life lived in fear of God's punishment is equal to a life lived freely.
God is appeased by self-serving belief, for fear of punishment.
There. Now you know more about basic theology than a pastor.