Symmetry, symmetry everywhere — Belief and worship requires an entry fee — The Gods do not like cheap signaling.
Note: I am posting these excerpts from SKIN IN THE GAME as I am ending the grueling Greek-Orthodox lent period which, for the most part, allows no animal products. This diet is particularly hard to keep in the West where people use butter and dairy products. But once you fast, you feel entitled to celebrate Easter; it is like the exhilaration of fresh water when one is thirsty. You’ve paid a price. Your holiday is different from that of others who stole it.
Fasting is one of the human sacrifices that make like different from an experience machine — or, worse, a hedonic, pleasure-seeking mercenary pursuit. Recall our brief discussion of the theological necessity of making Christ man –he had to sacrifice himself. Time to develop the argument here.
The main theological flaw in Pascal’s wager is that belief cannot be a free-option. It entails a symmetry between what pay and what you receive. Things otherwise would be too easy. Accordingly, the skin in the game rules that hold between humans also hold in the rapport with the gods.