Welcome to my Atheist Parables series. In the tradition of Plato, Jesus, and Aesop, I will use stories and allegory to examine issues of faith, reality and reason.
Here, I’ll share a thought experiment related to Pascal’s Wager, and to the charge that “Atheists just want to sin.” Is that a legitimate charge, or are there other ways to look at it?
We were pretty excited when our parents dropped us off at the city park. It was not our own city, you see; we were visiting a distant town, and the playground here was spectacular. There was a giant wooden construction with bridges and towers, secret passages, slides, and swings. There were seesaws and bouncers and a short climbing wall, and we were itching to go and enjoy it.
We were just about to dart off into the throng of happy, screaming boys and girls, when Jake stopped us.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Jake said. “Didn’t you hear what your mother said?”