The Roman Catholic Church teaches that if you believe in God and obey him and join his Catholic Church, even if you are wrong and there is no God you will at least have lived a righteous life. They say that if you don’t believe you will be damned in Hell forever. So they conclude that you are better off to believe. It is the best bet. You have less to lose if you are a believer.

There are several problems with this.

You can do as much good for others with no belief in God as you might with the belief. The bet insults the goodness of the non-religious. Are we to believe that God wants us to be insulted?

It accuses unbelievers of being bad or dangerous or having great potential to be bad. It is only right to do that if there is strong proof.

Is it really best to accuse God of being capable of making us suffer in Hell forever? Or of being so unattractive at least to some of us that we can stay there of our own free will forever? Is he that bad at helping us see how adorable he supposedly is? If he loves all people, would he be pleased if we say that those people are capable of being so evil that they will face everlasting suffering and loneliness in Hell forever just because they are too vindictive to leave? That is a very serious accusation and you would need to be able to visit Hell and see it for yourself before you would have the right to accuse people. Plus you would need to keep an eye on it for all eternity!

If it is best to believe in God that still does not mean you can believe in it. You cannot make yourself believe anything. It has to happen freely. Thus the best bet thing is irrelevant.

If God has a true Church set up, believing in him may not help you much unless you join it and obey it as his voice on earth. But such obedience makes babies of us.

Why should the best bet be about God and Catholicism? Maybe there is a religion out that that is a better bet!

If you adore God and religion because you fear what punishment will befall you if you ignore or oppose them that should lead to more fear - fear takes on a life of its own. It will lead to violence and arrogance.

Also, believing just in case is not believing at all. If you really believed, the warnings and threats would not motivate you to believe. Belief is separate from all that. The fear masquerading as belief would be dangerous. It would make you dangerous too.

The teaching of the Church about the Church and its faith being the best bet is really a veiled threat. It says, "We believe you will go to Hell if you don't believe so you should believe even if just in case we are right".

The Roman Catholic Church is not the only religion that makes threats. Islam says people will be damned forever for deliberately refusing to become Muslim. You would to try the impossible and believe in every religion that makes threats to be really safe!

It is evil to believe in Hell just because you are afraid. You need excellent evidence for such a horrible doctrine before you believe it without detriment to your dignity.

Another version of the wager claims that if you find the evidence for God and everlasting life in Heaven and the existence of Hell to be rather weak, believe anyway for they will be confirmed when you die. This is still saying that it is safer to believe.

Jesus claimed to be the Truth and Catholicism and Christianity claim to be the one true faith. They say Jesus commanded we must worship God in truth, that is by having his truth. So you are not allowed to treat say, your Catholic religion as probably true or possibly true. You treat it as the truth and as if everything was proven even when it is not. In other words, you obey the papal ban on birth-control no matter how evil or absurd this ban seems to you. This is a very arrogant, stubborn, pig-headed, irresponsible, dangerous and fanatical example that the Roman Catholic religion is setting.

You are forbidden to argue like Pascal did, "I will follow God's Church in case it is true. If it is false I will be virtuous because I obeyed. If it is true and I don't obey, then I will go to Hell forever. So it is safer to follow the Church." That totally contradicts the insistence of Jesus and his mad apostles that you put ifs and buts out of your head. For you, the Church and Jesus are the truth. Period. This shows how the faith is about control over minds and lives.

The Catholic and Christian religion uses Pascal's argument to get followers for it ditches honesty and consistency when it wants to get new victims. But what it is but mere fire insurance against Hell? It thrives on religious fear. It boosts that fear. It is the fear that leads Catholic to fear the Protestant and Mormon and Muslim to name a few. It is the fear that makes Catholic families disinherit and cast off sons or daughters who leave the Church. It is the fear that makes Catholics vent hatred towards priests who forsake their "vocation" and get married. It is the fear that is used to bully and frighten and put pressure on women to avoid getting pregnant out of marriage. It is the fear of giving a "bad example that draws to sin and Hell" that leads parents to rip the babies from the arms of their unwed daughters and have the babies sent off to adoptive parents to keep the "scandalous" knowledge of the births from the neighbours and the rest of the family. It is the fear that leads a Catholic father to beat up his son or daughter for doubting the religion or failing to go to Mass or getting drunk or whatever - all of which Rome considers to be serious sins that deserve everlasting torment. All it produces is hardship and hypocrisy because it has people living in fear and only doing good and obeying to avoid Hell. The good person does good for it is good. Doing it to avoid Hell means you are not doing good for it is good but to avoid torment. It is begrudged good. Yet the Church approves of this good for it says God will forgive you in confession through the priest even if you are only repentant of sin for the sake of avoiding Hell! Unmarried mothers and gay people, to take two examples, who support the Church by being classed a member, by going to Mass or by giving financial support to the Church are betraying themselves and other unmarried mothers and other gay people. One day the Church could have the power to make unmarried motherhood and being gay the horrific shame it was able to make it in the past. And indeed in many parts of the world it has that power. Morality changes with the fashions. As long as the Church condemns something, it could get into a position in the future where it can persecute and suppress those who flout its condemnation.

What a fine preparation for death Christianity is! When you feel death coming upon you, you are naturally going to accept the Wager as correct and applicable. It will be irresistible. After all who wants to go to Hell especially when it could be only a few minutes away. But rejecting sin to avoid punishment is in reality not rejecting the sin at all but the punishment. It means that because of your Christian faith, you go out of this world hating punishment and wishing you could sin all you want without the fear of it hanging over you. It's a no-win situation. You are damned if you do repent and damned if you don't.


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