The “Mormon Wager”

pascalHere’s a little anecdote that I suspect is more widespread than my experience. It’s not about Orthodoxy, but rather about Mormon-Protestant relations.

Many Mormons in the United States employ the following “wager” when dealing with the Protestants that very likely surround them (if they’re outside the Jello Belt).  This isn’t intended to be framed as a solid logical proof, just a sort of fluid line of reasoning that typifies one kind of Mormon argument:

  1. On Protestantism, all you have to do is “believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved.”  Anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus is damned.
  2. On Mormonism, if you are a Mormon and endure to the end you can eventually be like God and live with your family for eternity.  Anyone who rejects Mormonism and/or doesn’t endure to the end still gets a pretty good existence (Terrestrial or Telestial Kingdoms).
  3. If Mormonism is true, then Mormons will have a great reward, and Protestants will have a lesser, but still good reward.
  4. If Protestantism is true, then Protestants will have a great reward, and Mormons will, too (because Mormons “believe in Jesus” and therefore they will also be saved).
  5. It is therefore rational to be a Mormon, because you are maximizing your reward either way.

Here’s a table of the possibilities. Continue reading