For my purposes, a “hopeless hypothesis” is an idea that, even if true, either must be or should be treated as untrue for all practical purposes. This puts a special onus on anyone claiming a “hopeless hypothesis” to be genuinely true – they have to explain what alternative to believe, and give reasons how and why to do so.
The practical use of these ideas is as follows: First, the fact that even atheists see the value in certain ideas, even if they aren’t true, makes logically consistent systems such as Christianity deserving of at least their grudging respect. Second, some ideas being espoused by anti-Christians aren’t worth believing under any circumstances. Let’s face it, at least the Christian worldview is internally consistent – we can live out exactly what we believe. The atheist has to “pretend” to have free will, and “pretend” that life has meaning, even though that’s not a supportable part of their worldview. Thus the lesson from Pascal’s Wager, that Christianity is something worth pursuing even if all we get in eternity is oblivion.
That’s worth thinking about. I want to caution you, though, against reading into it something “MedicineMan” didn’t write. Some will think he means that Pascal’s wager proves Christianity. That’s not what he’s saying. I’ll leave it to you to read what he really did say; and you can also look to his two previous related posts here and here.
But I will highlight one point from the first quoted paragraph. Some say that unless we can prove the truth of Christianity (or any religion, for that matter), then our default position ought to be to presume there is no God. MedicineMan’s “special onus” here is a challenge that presumption.
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