There’s nothing original in today’s blog, which deals with the dilemma of whether we should believe in God or not. In fact, the puzzle was formalized in the seventeenth century by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal that was termed Pascal’s Wager.
Nevertheless, it is an interesting little intellectual proposition. God either exists or he doesn’t exist. People have absolutely no impact on whether God exists. However, people can choose whether or not to believe in God. Economists can demonstrate this “believe or not believe” dilemma utilizing game theory. In this case, the belief dilemma can be represented by the simple 2 X 2 payoff matrix below.
|BELIEVE IN GOD?|
|GOD DOESN’T EXIST||0||0|
If you believe in God you will either go to heaven or it won’t make any difference, depending on whether God exists or not. If you don’t believe in God you will either go to Hell or it won’t make any difference, depending on whether God exists or not. The best “payoff” is to believe in God (Heaven or nothing is a better outcome than Hell or nothing).
The solution to this game is known in economics as a Nash equilibrium. This means that independent people faced with this particular payoff matrix will always choose the same outcome; in this case, they will all believe in God. In fact, according to this payoff matrix all rational human beings will believe in God! Final score: God believers 7 billion, athiests zero!
Nevertheless, I would personally recommend a sincere belief in God rather than a “compulsory” belief decision based on a Nash Equilibrium!