pascall's wager is remarkably effective when you use it against a witch who uses magic to brainwash people into believing the sun isn't real and turns into a giant snake. c s lewis, master of philosophical theology.
My favorite response to Pascal's Wager was posted on the Internet like 22 years ago by a guy named Nenslo:
Nenslo declares: Hey, that guy was okay! I mean I have always gone through life acting like I have an invisible four-foot-long iron bar stuck sideways through my head because if there isn't I haven't lost anything and if there is it's really going to hurt going through a doorway. Whang!
I knew a guy that went through life as if an alligator was chewing his leg off because if there was he hadn't lost anything, and if there was he'd probably bleed to death. And I knew a woman who went through life as if she were always being watched by malicious invisible demons because if she weren't she wouldn't have etc. but if she were, they would laugh at every slip or mistake she made.
And I knew another guy and so on and so on...
I think we should ALL go through life as if there were some sort of irrational qualifier attached to everything we do. Hedge your bets, you know. I mean what if you really will have bad luck if you don't sacrifice a chicken to Baron Samedi, and you don't do it? BAD LUCK, q.e.d.
So listen folks, take it from me, NENSLO, live your life every day as if some weird crazy irrational nonsensical thing will happen to you if you don't perform a screwy ritual action. Sure, they call that "psychotic," but what do THEY know?
That may very well have been NENSLO from the Church of the Subgenius. It sounds like something he would write.
It was exactly that Nenslo.
I'm not proud of it, but until about 21 years ago I was a SubGenius. The books were fine, interacting with SubGenii online was fun too; but after a while I came to realize that a lot of them were simply trying to build a hierarchy where they were on top, and were just as bad as the "Pinks" they sneered at. Intelligence doesn't imply character; who knew?
Basically, the burden of proving negatives is infinite so those "minimal investments" add up to controlling your life.
Jon Pertwee makes a much better offer:
CS Lewis is an odd duck. He wrote so much about how dumb and irrational basically all of Christian dogma and belief systems are, then basically just hand-waved it away with "But, anyway...." never actually confronting the shit he just wrote. It's too bad he ruined the Narnia books with his bullshit because the first 2 or 3 are legit entertaining young-reader level fantasy. As a kid reading the books for the first time, I did the heaviest and most over-the-top eyeroll one can possibly manage when I got as far as the nonsense about Lucy never being allowed back into Narnia for wearing make-up and stockings and then stopped reading after that.
You didn't get to the worst final book then, which was basically the book of revelations.
It opens with a monkey conning the animals of Narnia into believing in a false god. I THINK Lewis was trying to hammer home the idea of false idols and turning to the one true god, but it unintentionally comes off as commentary on how all religion is a con.
"The Last Battle" is also Lewis's jab against Muslims; it's delightfully tone-deaf.
And of course we have to love how Susan goes to hell because she hit adulthood and decided than Aslan wasn't real because lipstick. Hey C. S. Lewis, can you think of any ways in which Susan's experiences in Narnia make for a poor analogy to believing in Jesus? Any at all?
Another great oddity of the "Narnia" books is how, any time anyone disobeys an instruction, however how minor or justifiable, they meet a terrible fate. That C. S. Lewis had a thing for obedience.
There's also the book where Lucy and Edmund (I think it's those two) are trying to go home at the end of the story, and to do so they have to shove a thorn in Aslan's paw so he bleeds and his drop of blood forms a portal or something. LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO ASLAN YOU MEANIES.
Aslan is a master of Catholic guilt.
also the dwarves in The Last Battle were basically the neutral angels turned black people from Mormon myth.
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