Paging Blaise Pascal… Rick Warren Makes a Foolish Bet on Baby Jesus
Christmas Day is a fitting time to note that Rick Warren isn’t just a religious, sexual and gender bigot; he’s also got a bad gambling habit. I’m talking about Pascal’s Wager, which Warren invokes as his closing argument against atheism in Newsweek. This is why Rick Warren says he is a Christian:
We’re both betting. He’s betting his life that he’s right. I’m betting my life that Jesus was not a liar. When we die, if he’s right, I’ve lost nothing. If I’m right, he’s lost everything. I’m not willing to make that gamble.
Actually, if Rick Warren is wrong and there is no Christian God, then when he dies, then he has lost a great deal: the content of the only life he has, all spent following a series of fictional dictates dreamed up by a religious bureaucracy.
Rick Warren is right in a superficial sense when he says he’s not “willing to make that gamble” that “Jesus was not a liar.” But Rick Warren is more fundamentally wrong, since he has been making just the sort of gamble he mocks atheists for making over and over and over again throughout his life. Rick Warren is willing to gamble that Vishnu is a liar. Rick Warren is willing to gamble that Odin is a liar. Rick Warren is willing to gamble that the gods and goddesses of Olympus are liars. Rick Warren is willing to gamble that Zoroaster was a liar. Rick Warren is willing to gamble that animism is a pack of lies. Rick Warren is willing to shove all sorts of religions down the crapper. He’s willing to make the bet that hundreds of religious authorities and supposed deities with their rules and systems are complete bullshit. Christianity is the only religion exempt from his scorn.
What kind of moral exemplar is Rick Warren at the inauguration of the next president? He’s the kind of man who would for reasons of self-interest reasons pick one out of hundreds of evidence-less religious dogmas, then seek to impose the terms of his wild and arbitrary gamble on an entire country. Is that kind of reckless gambling habit the sort of moral example Barack Obama really wants to promote?