Pascal’s Wager

AngelicFerret | July 12, 2011 in observations | Comments (3)

The single argument I have encountered most often as to why I should rejoin the Mormon church, or at least stop influencing people to leave it, is the question what if you’re wrong?

Now, the chances that I am wrong are beyond remote, at least about the true nature of the Mormon church. I can’t prove that there is no god, but ultimately that is meaningless as the concept of a god makes very little sense to me. The way I see it, if I’m wrong and God is just, he will know me intimately. He will know exactly how sincere I was about discovering if he was really there. He will then see that I did my best to be a good person inasmuch as I knew how, and will judge me accordingly. If I am wrong but god is not just, then he is certainly not worthy of my worship.

But what if I’m right? A Mormon would try to make the claim that you lose nothing and live your life focused on your family and being a good person. But is this really the case? Let’s examine this for a moment. Do you really lose anything by remaining a member of the Mormon church? Fill in the relevant details in the table below to find out:

How many years old are you?
How many hours do you spend each week on your calling outside of the three hour sunday block? Include meetings, prep time, activities, service, etc.
How many hours do you spend per month home teaching and being home/visiting taught?
What is your annual income? (don’t include commas, dollar signs, etc)
What is your gender?


Please use the form above to determine your personalized benefits from leaving the Mormon church.


The chart above doesn’t take into account other activities like trek, christmas programs, devotionals, BYU, the purchases of materials, temple visits or a myriad of other time and money sinks the church has to offer. And even with all that missing, the numbers are still quite significant. This is time that you could spend with your family, with your spouse, building relationships. Learning and growing. This is money that could be spent paying off debts. Sending your children to college. Paying for your college. Donating to secular charities that aren’t concerned about building expensive temples or shopping centers.

I’ve seen plenty of people try to argue with the psychological benefits that come once you’re free of the guilt, shame and constant self-loathing the church puts you in, but the statistics above are quite hard to argue. It’s clear to me that there is a whole lot to be gained here. All it takes is the first step. All it takes is starting with a little research.

Credit to fellow redditor Mithryn for coming up with the idea for this.

3 Responses to “Pascal’s Wager”

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  1. Comment by Anon_badong — December 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm   Reply

    This is AWESOME. I am so going to try to share this with my believing family if the timing is right.

  2. Comment by thecoagulates — August 31, 2012 at 7:51 am   Reply

    Leaving the church is a better deal that Allstate

  3. Comment by How to use these discussions, A guide | Exploring MormonismJanuary 23, 2013 at 11:50 am   Reply

    [...] A good way to bring up these discussions with a stranger might be to say, “What if I could save you several hundred thousand dollars and several hours a week”¬†Inactivity value calculator [...]

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