I was driving today along Interstate-93 (I-93) approaching Boston and there read this big ad for lottery: "–WIN 113,000,000,000– *minus the dollar you spend on the ticket". And I would think this ad would scare many from playing the lottery or thinking of it as means of getting rich but usually it doesn’t.
I can dream all day about being a multi-millionaire from hitting this jackpot, and does not change the fact that my chances of winning is ‘n/N’, where ‘n’ is the amount of ticket I buy and ‘N’ is the amount of other people who are buying this ticket. Assuming (and usually) 100,000 other people buy the ticket and I buy 1, my chances are 1/100,000 or 0.00001 — not very promising. Buying 2, 2/100,000 or 0.00002… It might be safe to guess that each of those 100,000 people bought more than 1 ticket increasing N. Point is, the more people buying the ticket, the lower my chances of winning but, the higher the illusion I have of winning (considering I don’t know how much people are buying) since the jackpot is huge.
That was not the point, lottery players at least have something as a reward if they ever win, what about those who don’t have any reward but are more hopeful that there is a reward somewhere, yes, I’m referring to the grand lottery game of all time — religion.
There are countless promises in the bible or qu’ran about heaven, rewards, earthly goodness, long-life, etc for those who follow God and do his commandments. I often wonder, have religious people like lottery players ever thought deeply about the odds of this possiblities or the pay-offs. They pray, fast, deny themselves of this and that, and in the end, they are not better off those who don’t do any of it — is this God really being fair to them?
When I’m faced with the arguement to follow God, I would ask: "What difference those it make?" I don’t get smarter, richer, healthier, I actually get worse because now I have to thinki about praying, if those prayers are answered, obeying the bible or qu’ran, and if I’m obeying them well enough — all for what?
A non-existent reward — this illusion beats those of lottery players.