I’m an Apathist. It’s a funny sort of mix between the various flavours of Atheism and Agnostism.
At its very root is the fact that I just don’t care. Arguments about religions and their various gods are tedious; by their very nature there is no way of resolving them.
So, lets take some points. See if you agree or disagree with my reasoning.
- There is no evidence of gods.
- Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
- Pascal’s wager shows (when corrected for high numbers of gods*) that it is irrational to worship any one god for fear of angering any of the other gods.
- Most religions hold that gods can only be understood supernaturally – usually this means post-mortem.
- It therefore holds that any gods who may exist will be reveal themselves after death. Traditionally, in the West, this means a day of reckoning and / or being consigned to heaven, hell or purgatory.
- I cannot know gods in life – nor can anyone else – after death I will either experience nothing or I will find out which gods I should have been worshipping.
- The probability of my death is 100%
- So, at some point I will either have the definitive answer or be in no position to care.
There is no way to know – the very discussion of the subject is pointless**. Hence apathy.
This rock we’re stuck on is billions of years old. I’m going to be on it for a handful of years (time-travel, cryogenics and reincarnation not withstanding).
Or, I can choose not to worry. To have fun. Do good. Leave the world in a slightly better state for those who are left after I’ve gone.
*Pascal’s Wager is simply explained as “If there is a god and I don’t worship her – I’ll go to hell. Whereas, if there is no god and I worship her – I’ve lost nothing. Therefore, it’s more rational to worship god on the off-chance she exist becuase the punishment is so terrible.”
This falls down in several areas
- What if you are worshiping the wrong god? Most gods seem rather vengeful; there are lots and lots to choose from.
- Have you lost nothing by spending a portion of each day venerating an imaginary friend?
- Finally – and this depends on the rationality of any gods – would they welcome you with open arms if they knew you didn’t really believe but were just playing it safe?
**So, why spend so much time talking and blogging about it? Sadly, we live in a world where rationality is under assault. It is necessary to gently let people know that they are not alone. That there is rationality in the world.