Puddleglum's Wager


Hi folks,

I’m thinking of making a wiki entry called Puddleglum’s Wager. Unlike Pascal’s wager, I think Puddleglum’s is watertight, but I am no philosopher. After some background re. Marshwiggles etc, I intend to say something like:

Puddleglum sets off in the dark, not seeking a Spaghetti Monster or a Tooth fairy, but the Good God.

If no God exists, Puddleglum will have lived a good life nonetheless, one illuminated by hope and guided by his noble quest.

If God is bad, Puddleglum is doomed whatever he does.

If God is good, Puddleglum will find his heart’s desire.

This wager minimizes risk and maximizes return.

If God is bad, Puddleglum cannot reduce risk whatever he does. If God punishes Puddleglum for daring to make such a wager, He is without pity and therefore not good. The risk associated with such a God is infinite and unavoidable.

If God is nonexistent, Puddleglum will have lived a good and hopeful life, one not clouded by despair and futility. Once he is dead, he will not be disappointed to discover he was deluded.

If God is good, not only has Puddleglum lived a good and hopeful life, he will enjoy God forever in the life to come.

Puddleglum therefore is wise, prudent, noble, defiant and courageous to spend his life seeking the good God, even if God doesn’t exist. He has much to gain in this life, everything to gain in the next, and less than nothing to lose. (What he loses in this life are all negative: meaninglessness, indirection, futility and despair.)

Whacha reckon? :slight_smile:


Superior to Pascal’s wager I’d wager.

LOL! Pun!

But yes, superior I believe. And it doesn’t appeal to rushed salesman tactics or risk and pressure to get its point across like Pascal’s wager; but appeals instead to the nobler desires in mankind, our better angels if you will, and adds on to it a hopeful desire to meet a good god, who by definition must exercise goodness in all of his infinite capacity.

Of course, an evil god makes any attempt at allegiance or goodness, or even badness, or any thing just a vain attempt and a doomed choice; I like this part of the wager, it brings to light a counter balance that doesn’t appeal to ‘survival’ instinct or cowardice. But presents a viable truth; if the deity is evil, it is evil infinitely. Good will be repaid with evil, and so will evil be repaid with evil.

A good god will repay with good, even if that good is to make a thing good through what seems to be evil.

As for no god…what are all the accomplishments of humanity to the inevitable heat death of the universe? Live now and prosper, for tomorrow the universe dies. But a good life lived, even in delusion, is indeed a better life lived.


Sorry for throwing a fly in the ointment, but in order for your logic to work one must assume the above statement to be true, but many will likely disagree I think.


No fly at all. Criticism from friends is a gift.

And I agree. Somewhere in the article, I must describe the sort of life Puddleglum would lead, one that was consistent with his quest to find the good God.