To Believe or Not Believe… or Not Decide: A Decision-Theoretic Model of Agnosticism
Tigran Melkonyan and
Mark Pingle ()
No 10-005, Working Papers from University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics
Using basic decision-theory, we construct a theory of agnosticism, where agnosticism is defined as choosing not to choose a religion. The theory indicates agnosticism can be supported as a rational choice if (a) adopting agnosticism provides in-life benefits relative to any religion, (b) the perceived payoff for agnosticism after death is not too much less than any religion, (c) no religion has a high perceived likelihood of truth, (d) probability of death is neither too high nor too low, or (e) it is less costly to switch from agnosticism to a given religion than from one religion to another, while at the same time there is a reasonable likelihood an informative signal may be received in life as to the truth of various religions.
Keywords: Agnosticism; Decision theory; Religion; Procrastination; Signal; Uncertainty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C44 D81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hpe, nep-mic and nep-upt
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:unr:wpaper:10-005
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