EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

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

Abstract: 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
Date: 2010-10
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.coba.unr.edu/econ/wp/papers/UNRECONWP10005.pdf First version, 2010 (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:unr:wpaper:10-005

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics Contact information at EDIRC., University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Mehmet Tosun ().

 
Page updated 2019-10-23
Handle: RePEc:unr:wpaper:10-005