My brother once showed me a piece of quartz that contained, he said, some trapped water older than all the seas in our world. He held it up to my ear. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘life and no escape.’
Let’s say that I want to believe that there is a diamond buried somewhere in my yard that is the size of a refrigerator. It is true that it would feel uncommonly good to believe this. But do I have any reason to believe that there is actually a diamond in my yard that is thousands of times larger than any yet discovered? No. Here we can see why Pascal’s wager, Kierkegaard’s leap of faith, and other epistemological ponzi schemes won’t do.