I am fascinated by how smart some people are. Take for example Blaise Pascal. He was born in 1623, and only lived to 39 years. Yet in this time he did so much! What really blows me away is what he was doing as a teenager. At the age of 16 he was developing new concepts in math(conic sections), and while still a teenager is credited with inventing the mechanical calculator. I don’t know about you lovely readers, but when I was 16 I was busy chasing girls and listening to the devil’s music.
Pascal went on to invent the hydraulic press (used today to stop your car with hydraulic breaks) and the syringe. There is a unit of pressure named for him, and I used Pascal’s law in school to calculate the pressure distribution of an incompressible fluid. He was also very much into the mathematics of probability.
In later life Pascal became religious, and using his background in probability, came up with what is called Pascal’s Wager. Here he argues that it is better to believe and live your life such that God exists. He reasons that if God does not exist, and you have lived a religious life, your only loss is a finite loss of some earthy pleasures and luxury. But if God does exist, your gain is infinite (Eternal Life with God), while if you chose not to believe and there really is a God, your loss is infinite (eternity in Hell)
What are your thoughts on this wager? How does it apply to a Mormon theology? To make it work for Mormons, since we don’t teach that simple belief in God will save (exalt) you, we would need to change the word “believe” to “doing all the requisite ordinances for exaltation”, and all the accompanying time and resources throughout your life to “endure to the end”. If you did not believe, we teach you will not rot in Hell, but live in a kingdom of glory, just not as well as the believers.
What do you give up if you chose to believe in God and follow all the requirements of the LDS church, and then there is no God? Is it just a few “earthly pleasures”? What if we chose to follow the LDS church and all its requirements, and then discover there is a God, but he is not the Mormon God? What is the loss then? Is it less than if there is no God at all?