Home > family, humor > God, cucumber, & lottery ticket

God, cucumber, & lottery ticket

One of my favorite bloggers spurred me to write on this topic so, here—we—- go.  Tackling topic on God, I hope I don’t mess this up.

I think a lot about random topics, as most bloggers do.  I especially like the, “how did we get here…” question.  I was an atheist pretty much all throughout my life, until I finally graduated with my engineering degree and started living on my own.  I used to torment fellow college students who were faithful to God and I tried my hardest to make them feel bad.  It went something like this, “You belong to Christian Fellowship group?” “Hmm, you must be a hypocrite and a fool!”

I had what I call a cucumber moment when I lived out in Iowa for couple of years.  When you are out there all you do is muse because there is absolutely nothing else to do.  I am your typical guy.   I’m messy, I keep rotting things in a refrigerator, all my cooking involves the George Foreman grill, etc…  One day my mother came to visit me and helped me clean out the apartment and the fridge.  My mother discovered big pool of “mucus” in the vegetable drawer, she was clearly disgusted.  I stared at it for a while and realized that used to be a fresh healthy cucumber.  But also, it finally dawned on me, that pool of mucus will never be anything better than its current condition of “pool of crap”.    I don’t care if I stare at the thing for 20+million years, it’s NEVER going to turn into a frog, fish, potato, or a toad.  I convincingly believed it doesn’t matter if you kiss it, spit at it, mix it with other rotting juice, it will never ever turn into a “prince”.  How could I have believed such a fairy tale to be true, when it was so obvious it wasn’t?  Princess and the Toad story will always remain a fairy tale story.   

It became pretty easy to apply some logic after I was convinced about the state of the cucumber.  I asked myself what is the most reasonable thing to believe?  What makes better sense?  It’s either 1.  God exists, or 2.  That Pool-of-crap will someday, in the distant future, will fly in the air with feathers.

With those to two possible assumptions I get four possible outcomes:

1.  God really exists and I believe in God.

2.  God really exists, but I believe the Pool-of-crap will fly someday.

3.  God doesn’t exist but I believe in God

4.  God doesn’t exist and I believe the Pool-of-crap will fly someday.

If scenario 1 is true, congratulations, you are going to heaven.

If scenario 2 is true, you are in for a world of hurt.  That last divorce where your spouse wiped you out is nothing, compared to what is about to happen.

If scenario 3 is true, you basically wasted time going to church, some money, and some time.  But I’m willing to bet people waste more time and money by sitting through bad TV shows/movies/parties, etc…  (Can somebody please put Kardesians & Jersey Shore out of their misery?)

If scenario 4 is true, I guess you will die an optimized death, with minimal resources wasted.

Being a good person is a very hard work, it’s not easy resisting temptations on a daily basis, but it’s one of the requirements of going to “heaven”.  We all know, the other requirement is to believe, which I feel is the easier of the two requirements.  What I’m implying is this; you are already doing the hardest part of the requirements anyway.  Why not just take a chance on believing and see what happens in the end?  When you invest this HEAVILY on yourself, you do want a good return in the end.  If you are this good person, there are two possible outcomes.  1.  If there is God, you will be very well rewarded.  2.  If there is no God, it won’t even matter because if you die, you simply remain dead.  If you are going to gamble don’t you want to put it into something that may have some reward in the end?  versus putting money on something with ZERO chance of any positive reward.

Conclusion(1)

 I see this “believe/non believe issue” like a lottery ticket. 

Let’s say you are only allowed to purchase one very special lottery ticket from a store 15miles away.  It costs a $1 to play for $1million, but your chance of winning is 50/50.  Do you commit? 

In conclusion(2),

 Assuming you are a good person.

Let’s say you are given a chance to believe in God at a church roughly 15miles away.  It costs very minimal in tides to participate for infinite happiness, but your chance of winning is 50/50.  Do you commit?

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Categories: family, humor
  1. March 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I like this analogy. It’s actually a very logical one. Who said people who are religious can’t be logical? lol.

    However, I believe there is one flaw in this hypothesis. And that is, if you are buying a lottery ticket, you do not have to make an ideological choice. You are simply hoping you will win, but knowing that you might not. Now, if the person who is selling you the lottery ticket tells you “you can only buy this ticket if you truly, with all your heart BELIEVE you will win, only then will you definitely win.” But how can we believe it completely when we think the chance is only 50/50?

    That I think is the intrinsic problem with gambling with religion. To be truly faithful, you can’t just be a believer because you think it’s a safer bet, but because you truly truly believe it’s true and don’t even think you are gambling, because you believe the odds are 100% in your favour.

    Another problem (which is one I am sure you understand, since you commented briefly about this in my blog), is that most atheists, really really doubt that there is a God. Some will vaguely believe there is something out there, but for the most part, it’s just difficult for them to believe in the idea of a deity. So, even if an atheist knows that they have nothing to lose by betting on religion, they are still unable to invest in it, since the conditions of buying that lottery ticket requires you to 100% believe in the existence of a deity.

    • March 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      And all those great points is the exact reason why I think religion is personal, its nobody else’s biz 🙂 All this stuff I wrote was my initial thinking process from my past. Things have greatly changed since then, probably lot more complicated than what I want to get into, and its quite personal 🙂
      I really thought, back then, it was a simple 50/50 chance, either you believe or you don’t. I figured since I was a good person anyway, why not just decide to believe. It really was that simple for me. I’m sure everybody’s “path to believing” is going to be lot different than mine, care to share yours on your home turf?

      • March 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm

        Yes, I definitely agree that religion should only exist in the private sphere. And I think most critics of religion do not suggest that religion should be completely abolished, only that it should be something that people kept to themselves and not impose on others. Plus, the whole concept of experiencing transcendental connections is very complex and generally beyond logical comprehension anyway. Personally, I don’t believe the human kind can ever live without spirituality, ideas of transcendental existence, and the desire to find meaning in life.

        However, I don’t think religion is the only way to achieve this pursuit for transcendence and meaning, there are many other ways to be spiritually connected to the world. For me, I get this connection from studying the sciences and the wonders of the cosmos, examining the complexities of quantum relationships, and appreciating the beauty of evolution and the natural world. However, of course there are many other ways to appreciate our existence, and religion can be one. I personally acknowledge all of them as long as they do not jeopardize the happiness and well-being of others.

        • March 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm

          I once had your enthusiasm on science and the cosmos, until I started working full time with folks at various engineering/science institutions and nasa. I guess thats another story for another time 🙂 Speaking of science and religion, check out book series called “Bible code”. A science mind, like you, might enjoy it.

  2. March 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Ah! Yes! Really awesome Chris!

    • March 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      Thanks a bunch for visiting here on Friday night 🙂

      • March 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

        Sometimes I forget to login first. I do really love your post though, and I really enjoy when people share my side of things and go for the personal musings and inner questioning rather than the promotion of a belief pattern, which just makes other’s uncomfortable. I really like that you make sure to end on a question and pose multiple scenarios for interpretation. This post is really good, I hope you post more like this! As an aside however, I really enjoy your straightforward and entirely endearing family blog posts, they make this child of divorce feel all warm and fuzzy that a family dynamic like yours is not an impossible feat. 🙂

        • March 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm

          Sheesh, a comment like that will make ANY receiving blogger feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Good thing I don’t have a hairy back, because it, too, would get all tingly 🙂
          Can you believe I, initially, only had intention of writing reviews/comparisons of various tech gadgets and gizmos, only? Oh, and I remember it like it was only yesterday, you almost single-handedly ended my “personal writing” career, when you blasted me about something I said about my wife…lol. Thanks for this amazing comment, and thanks for all your fun and creative blogs, I enjoy every single one of them. I was pretty serious about the comment I made on your blog regarding the New York times folks. Please say hi to your mom for me, you have no idea how much I enjoyed the mother-daughter interaction on your “Medication” blog, it was like watching a play in a theater.

  3. April 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Chris, you definitely have a very interesting blog here. Thanks for sharing your journey in such an entertaining way, and for giving us a glimpse of your faith.

    For your friend who places so much “faith” in Scientific thought (and others), I would posit that we can actually increase our faith in God when we look at empirical data that is found in science. Empirical data that shows the literally “astronomical” odds for life and this universe to exist as it does. Some amazing research out there which indicates strongly there is a Creator God who brought everything into existence. A great book to read on the subject is “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.”

    Enjoying your blog!

    • April 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      I am looking forward to reading up on your blogs as soon as I’m done with some things here. I know exactly what you are talking about in regards to science and God. The longer I stay working with all these scientists and PhDs, the more I’m convinced there is one true God…lol
      I’ve never seen so much abuse of “outliers”, biased statistics, & “fuzzy math” to basically connect the dots to whatever answer they want to see. The result still makes its way to science journals and its now called “science”. Its really unbelievable what goes on behind the scene. I will look in to that book than you for the recommendation and the great comment!

  4. purpleowltree1234
    May 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I might check out that book too, New View From Here. Thanks! 🙂
    Rach.

    • May 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      I hope you have as fun with with his blog as you do with mine. His customer service is also 2nd to none!

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