The atheist's wager
In the MP3 below, Zacharias mentions Pascal's Wager - the idea that believing in God, regardless of whether He exists of not, is the rational thing to do.
I've never given the wager much time, it raises too many questions and makes too many assumptions to be considered valid in my eyes. I mention it only because I came across this during my mid-morning blogsurf today. It could be summed up as the atheist's wager:
We must consider the possibility that there is a God. However, this God gave us a brain and wanted us to use it. The faith-based thinker hears God tell him, “I saw these religions come up and sweep the land. I could have stepped forward and say, ‘Don’t believe them.’ However, if I had done that, you would never have learned to think for yourselves. This was my ultimate test – to see if you would follow self-professed prophets uttering nonsense, or whether you will use reason to see through this religious nonsense and come to me with a thinking mind, or whether you would shut off and throw away this gift of a brain that I gave you. These people have devoted their lives to reason. They used the brain that I gave them. You, however, have not. I have no use for you.”
Now, if apply Pascal’s Wager to this interpretation of God, we get a situation where it is rational to abandon God and take up reason. Taking up reason saves the individual from eternal damnation – a fate that one gets thrown into if one commits the mortal sin of taking the existence of God on faith value.
Pascal's wager only holds if we're able to demonstrate that the proposition 'God wants us to believe in Him' is more likely than 'God wants us to make the most of the attributes he gave us'.