Wagering Pascal

Today I decided that I wanted to calculate the probability that the god of christianity exists.
If I took a poll of the average citizen of the United States I’d get something like a 75% probability that he exists.
But wait, you object, the United States is not a fair representative sample from which to make so bold of statement about the existence or nonexistence of a christian god. OK, so why don’t we take a poll over the entire planet Earth? Then the probability of a christian god drops to something around 33%.
But wait again, you object, we need a fairer representative than the people of earth. What about other inhabitants of our galaxy? Well Jesus was spreading the gospel 2000 years ago, so his message (traveling at the speed of light) could only have traveled 2000 light years. This is enough to cover around (2000/50000)^2 = 0.16% of the Galaxy (we overcount due to the higher density at the center, but, oh well.) Thus we conclude that the probability of a christian god existing is 0.16%.
Now just you wait one more time! We live in a universe, not in a galaxy! The number of galaxies in the universe is something like 100 billion. So the probability of a christian god existing goes down to 0.0000000000016%.
For comparison, the chance of winning the California Lotto is 0.000007%.

2 Replies to “Wagering Pascal”

  1. if god is real, why wouldn’t it propagate the same mission statement across multiple galaxies.
    generally, i would say this gives buddhism, hinduism and atheism a leg up because they consider this possibility while judaism and its children are inherently local religions.
    except for the mormons.
    mormon’s seriously consider that people on other planets also must believe in jesus. wisely, they give jesus the ability to travel to these other planets, an ability that all gods should have.

  2. Is Heaven a democracy?
    We’ve heard Yahweh’s poll numbers; could you fill us in on Allah’s?
    (Funnily enough, your methodology is not dissimilar to Pascal’s, which I gather he took seriously.)

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