I have laid out the origins of Wagerism, which is not a religion it’s just my own personal way of looking at the world based on the observations from the time I’ve been able to enjoy here. I fully admit that I’m making this up as I go along. I hope I’ve established how this differs from the origins of Christianity which was made up by a whole bunch of people over thousands of years, translated multiple times, and claims to be divinely inspired but with any skeptical inspection appears to be made up too. My writing is not inspired by the Holy Spirit because I have cheerfully committed the unforgivable sin and deny the Holy Ghost.
I would like to address the way I make my decisions. There is an economic concept called utility that varies from person to person. I try to maximize my personal utility while not taking away utility available to the world or my family, friends, co-workers, etc. My perfect day, utility wise, may not look like your perfect day. That’s OK so long as your perfect day, utility wise, doesn’t interfere with my utility. Still with me? Maximizing utility and making good decisions™ is difficult. A lot of thought goes into the bigger decisions and there is a huge burden to being wrong.
For every big decision; I have to really think of how much utility I would get from other options (opportunity costs), how my decision is going to affect other people, the opportunities that this decision will create, etc. Being in charge of your own life may be empowering, but it’s also exhausting!
Hypothetically, what if I got a great job opportunity in Chicago? I’d have to really think about it because it would have a huge impact on my wife and her family. Before even bringing it up with her, I’d have to make sure it was something that would benefit our family and would be good for both of us.
If I decided this is something I really wanted and the opportunity was so good that it would have to be at least considered, I would bring it up to my wife. My wife may disagree with me. Her concept of maximizing utility may be way out of line with mine in this case. This decision to move or not could be the most significant decision that we will face for years. All other decisions will be a result of this decision. The pressure!
I write a lot about the need to rely on oneself, but sometimes it really helps to talk to someone. I might call up The Kiwi to chat over a pitcher of Mac and Jack’s. I would not ask The Kiwi to make my decision for me, but he could certainly help me understand my wife’s reluctance and also understand how difficult the decision may be for me as a married guy. Even after one or more pitchers were consumed, I doubt any resolution would come from my conversation with The Kiwi, but undoubtedly some good would come of it. My understanding of the decision that I will need to make will be expanded and I will have a different viewpoint on the pros and cons of the decision.
During the decision making timeframe, my wife may also contact The Kiwi. The Kiwi is her friend too. They may eat lunch together and discuss the decision. The Kiwi may help her to understand my position.
After we both talked to The Kiwi independently, I may reference something The Kiwi said. My wife may then be startled and say, “Really? Because when I talked to The Kiwi, he said the exact opposite.” If our decision was going to be heavily influenced by advice provided by the neutral Kiwi, we could suspend our conversation and consult him together. All we would have to do is provide an offering of a case of Redhook and The Kiwi would gladly talk to us both and help us analyze this decision.
That’s how difficult decision making that affects the family looks under Wagerism. Wagerists may find themselves in a position where consulting trusted advisors becomes necessary to help broaden the perspective of a decision. That’s what making good decisions™ is all about. As much as I am a rugged individualist, consulting with other people on important decisions can be incredibly useful.
What if, I wasn’t a Wagerist? What if instead, I had an invisible friend that I like to talk to and I named this invisible friend Jesus? I bet I could talk to my invisible friend Jesus and get some pretty good advice. Jesus’s advice would probably side with me, since he is, after all, my invisible friend. It would be hard for Jesus to be neutral or to understand my wife’s side of the argument.
What if my wife also had an invisible friend and she named her invisible friend Jesus? What if my wife talked to her Jesus about our decision? In all likelihood, her Jesus would give her a different answer than my Jesus. Too bad our Jesuses can’t come to us in the physical world and listen to us together. Basing our decision off of the advice provided by our invisible friends named Jesus is not a good way to go about making decisions.
Sometimes, invisible friends named Jesus provide good advice. President Bush’s invisible friend named Jesus told him to stop drinking. That’s good!
Sometimes, invisible friends named Jesus provide bad advice. President Bush’s invisible friend named Jesus told him to invade Iraq. That’s bad!
When it comes to the Gift of Reason, Wagerists realize the importance of their decisions and try as hard as possible to make good decisions™ that will provide the most benefit to the world around them, their families, and finally themselves. On really difficult decisions, sometimes Wagerists may find that they need to talk to their friends and family to help understand all aspects of the decisions they may need to make. Finally, Wagerists feel that consulting invisible friends does not help in the decision making process and instead provides a disingenuous rationalization for doing what they wanted to do in the first place.