Document Type : Research Paper
Assistant Professor, Department of Islamic Education, Hakim Sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Iran
The adoption of religiosity or non-religiosity can be one of the most important choices of one’s life. When the arguments for religiosity and non-religiosity are equivalent, agnosticism can be selected as the third alternative in theory. However, the third theoretical option is not available in practice. Then, in such situations, a side should be taken that brings about less loss and more gain. Through the quantitative calculation and comparison of the loss and gain claimed by religious and non-religious people, we can see that the overall gain of religiosity is more than non-religiosity. This reading of intelligibility argument that is formed based on Pascal’s wager is called “the expected superior gain,” using which it can be proved that one should select religiosity in practice and live religiously. Despite some similarities, this argument is different from Pascal’s wager in some premises and purpose. In this argument, the limitations of religiosity are taken into account, and otherworldly gain is deemed for some non-religious people. Moreover, the purpose of this argument is to show the preferability of religiosity in practice rather than proving the rightfulness of religiosity. The existence of different religions with various – and sometimes contradictory – claims, sophisticality, dialecticality, incongruence with the principle of “the badness of non-cautioned punishment,” inaccuracy and irrationality of the premises, and the inability to prove the necessity of religiosity are the main rational doubts facing this argument that are answered in this article. Providing a novel formation for the intelligibility argument and using it to prove the necessity of religiosity as well as responding to the main doubts against it are the main contributions of the article at hand.