Whenever I’m being driven to madness by illogical arguments for religion, there is typically bound to be a bright spot – faith. It is, by far, my favorite word to hear in such discussions. It is the refuge of a dying man, a dead end street. I rarely have a mirror, but I think it even makes me get this egotistical, self-righteous smile on my face.
Recently, I was having lunch and the topic of religion was brought up to me. Specifically, the topic of “How can you not be religious?” was brought up to me. As I swatted away feeble arguments, the discussion grew ever nearer to that eventual cliff. Someone I knew posed this little conundrum. “If you’re right, I don’t have anything to lose and will just rot in the ground. But if I’m right, you’ll have everything to lose.” Of course! It’s so simple. How can I have been so foolish? What a perfectly utilitarian rationale.
But, wait, does my friend even believe that himself? I asked him if he would like some dragon repellant that I happened to be selling. I heard there were some dragons in the area and I really thought he should be protected just in case I was right. I had put some on that morning and, wouldn’t you know it, I hadn’t seen a single dragon. I then gave a little tighter analogy. If Hinduism is correct, then you should follow its principles or risk coming back as a bug. So wouldn’t my friend like to become a devout Hindu in case he is wrong? Of course not. What a ridiculous method to convince someone over the age of 6 (or who isn’t just kind of dumb).
Since he couldn’t convince me and I couldn’t convince him to either become a Hindu or buy some dragon repellant, we reached a standoff. In this moment (and you can see it coming from a mile away), he said “Well, I guess it just comes down to faith and we’ll know for sure in the afterlife.”