Bacon, God & Hashtags (or the price of belief)

There is always a price to pay for belief (or a lack thereof it).

In my 20s, I didn’t believe in the laxative effects of prune juice. The price I paid in that case was 3 hours in a service station toilet.

I don’t believe in God (I haven’t seen anything that gives me reason to), but I know that comes as a cost. If I’m wrong, depending on which god I’m wrong about, I may have to spend an eternity in damnation with heinous torture devices, eternal misery and cold coffee.

I may not even make it that far if I run into one of those lovely counties where apostasy is a capital offence. You know, those bastions of freedom and tolerance like: Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Thankfully, we only sell weapons to a few of them.

If you do believe in God, and it turns that you’re wrong, then there is no threat of eternal damnation, the price is merely an opportunity cost. What you could/would have done if you knew in advance that (s)he didn’t exist. Maybe you would have eaten more bacon, committed more adultery, or done some more coveting of your neighbour’s ass. I’m sure somewhere in the world #AssCoveting is a viable hashtag.

Despite the prune juice, I still don’t believe in God. I know I’m risking the equivalent of eternity in a service station toilet, but it still seems like a good bet. I’m not even in it for the bacon or the hashtag. The stakes may be high, but at least I know what the stakes are.

How many things do we believe where we don’t know what the price is? How big is the price we’re paying? Is it bacon, #AssCoveting or the entire spectrum of service station toilets in between?