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Old 10-25-2012, 13:08   #1
ArtificialGrape
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Pascal's Wager (yet again)

Given that I'm at the airport and my flight is delayed, why not yet another Pascal's Wager thread.

We still see people advancing the wager on a regular basis. Here are 2 examples from the past day or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scccdoc View Post
If I'm wrong, so what? I share the same fate after life as you. If I'm right, you pay a serious price. Now , I'm being logical and you are not..............
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBnTX View Post
You'd better hope so!
If I'm wrong I have nothing to lose, but if you're wrong...
In brief the wager is:

(1) God exists or does not exist.
(2) you must choose a side.
(3) if God exists and you bet against existence then everything is lost.
(4) if God does not exist and you bet on existence, then nothing is lost.

The problem with (1) is that it is a false dilemma -- it does not consider that there could be other non-Christian gods. What if the Greek or Norse or ... or Islamic god is real. Do you find the wager a compelling argument that you should give a shout out to the God of Islam while on your death bed? Or even Geko45's scenario with an unrevealed God of Critical Thinking who rewards those who reject all man made gods, and punishes those who believed in any god.

The problem with (4) is that it's obviously not true that nothing is lost (pardon the double negative). The observant Christian would have lost thousands (more likely many thousands) of dollars supporting the myth, as well as their valuable time. Then add to that the countless and long forgotten opportunities lost. For example our own Kingarthurhk has turned down a promotion that would have come with the expectation (or perhaps requirement) of working on the Sabbath.

Another often overlooked point is that if your rejection of the god hypothesis is based on critical thinking, it would not be easy to just decide to believe, and I think we can agree that one could not bluff their way past God. Even if strongly motivated do you think you could change what you truly believe out of fear? So if you were told that you have 30 seconds to truly believe that unicorns exist, or a horrible fate awaits your loved ones, could you make yourself believe?

-ArtificialGrape

Almost forgot, I fully concede point (3) in the case of the Christian God.

And a few more examples...

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Originally Posted by FCoulter View Post
Funny thing is if you are right all I have to lose is nothing, I lived a great peaceful life and then its over.

If what I believe is correct boy you have alot o look forward to and I will pray God will have mercy on you.
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Originally Posted by marcoh View Post
Try as I might, I'm not capable of the kind of faith described in Hebrews 11:1, that is, the knowledge of things unseen and the assurance of things hoped for (paraphrasing). At last I came across Pascal's Wager, and I've found great comfort in it. It isn't a substitute for faith, but it's the best I can do without feeling as if I'm lying to myself and others. Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager to read about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royo View Post
It is better to be a Christian and find out there is no God than to be an Atheist and find out there is......

Last edited by ArtificialGrape; 04-12-2013 at 10:40.. Reason: added another example
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Old 10-25-2012, 13:12   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtificialGrape View Post
Given that I'm at the airport and my flight is delayed, why not yet another Pascal's Wager thread.

We still see people advancing the wager on a regular basis. Here are 2 examples from the past day or so.





In brief the wager is:

(1) God exists or does not exist.
(2) you must choose a side.
(3) if God exists and you bet against existence then everything is lost.
(4) if God does not exist and you bet on existence, then nothing is lost.

The problem with (1) is that it is a false dilemma -- it does not consider that there could be other non-Christian gods. What if the Greek or Norse or ... or Islamic god is real. Do you find the wager a compelling argument that you should give a shout out to the God of Islam while on your death bed? Or even Geko45's scenario with an unrevealed God of Critical Thinking who rewards those who reject all man made gods, and punishes those who believed in any god.

The problem with (4) is that it's obviously not true that nothing is lost (pardon the double negative). The observant Christian would have lost thousands (more likely many thousands) of dollars supporting the myth, as well as their valuable time. Then add to that the countless and long forgotten opportunities lost. For example our own Kingarthurhk has turned down a promotion that would have come with the expectation (or perhaps requirement) of working on the Sabbath.

Another often overlooked point is that if your rejection of the god hypothesis is based on critical thinking, it would not be easy to just decide to believe, and I think we can agree that one could not bluff their way past God. Even if strongly motivated do you think you could change what you truly believe out of fear? So if you were told that you have 30 seconds to truly believe that unicorns exist, or a horrible fate awaits your loved ones, could you make yourself believe?

-ArtificialGrape

Almost forgot, I fully concede point (3) in the case of the Christian God.
I am so honored that you quoted me.
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Old 10-25-2012, 13:16   #3
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'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'

"'But,' says Man, 'the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'

"'Oh dear,' says God, 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
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Old 10-25-2012, 13:23   #4
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Whenever someone mentions Pascal's wager I often think of the Apostles who spent time with Jesus during his ministry being witnesses to what He could do. With the exception of a couple they were devout Jews who used their last dying breath proclaiming the Divinity of Christ. Something that would have been considered blasphemy at the time to a Jew. A sin that could condemn them in the afterlife.

I don't think they believed it to be a gamble at all. To them, I think they knew what they were proclaiming.
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Old 10-25-2012, 13:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roering View Post
Whenever someone mentions Pascal's wager I often think of the Apostles who spent time with Jesus during his ministry being witnesses to what He could do. With the exception of a couple they were devout Jews who used their last dying breath proclaiming the Divinity of Christ. Something that would have been considered blasphemy at the time to a Jew. A sin that could condemn them in the afterlife.

I don't think they believed it to be a gamble at all. To them, I think they knew what they were proclaiming.
Setting aside the fact that we don't have authentic testimony from any of the Apostles who accompanied Christ, one has to wonder why if Jeuss/God were willing to provide such proof of His/Their existence at that time, why they don't do so now.
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Old 10-25-2012, 13:41   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Animal Mother View Post
one has to wonder why if Jeuss/God were willing to provide such proof of His/Their existence at that time, why they don't do so now.
Exactly, if I had a time machine and only one chance to use it, I would go to the sermon on the mount and find out for certain if jesus was what he claimed to be. If I could witness those alleged events first hand then I wouldn't call it a gamble either.
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Old 10-25-2012, 14:13   #7
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Quote:
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Exactly, if I had a time machine and only one chance to use it, I would go to the sermon on the mount and find out for certain if jesus was what he claimed to be. If I could witness those alleged events first hand then I wouldn't call it a gamble either.
No, you'd call him the predecessor to David Copperfield!

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Old 10-25-2012, 14:15   #8
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No, you'd call him the predecessor to David Copperfield!
Actually, I'd ask him who I am and where I was from. If he knew I was a time traveler from the future (as god incarnate should) that would settle the matter for me.
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JBnTX: "Freedom of religion doesn't mean you can worship any God, anyway you see fit or not even worship any God if you so choose. [...] Christianity should be the only religion protected under the constitution, and congress shall make no law restricting its practice."
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Old 10-25-2012, 14:20   #9
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Actually, I'd ask him who I am and where I was from. If he knew I was a time traveler from the future (as god incarnate should) that would settle the matter for me.
It makes me happy that it would, maybe you'll have an opportunity in the future to get verification.

It's much better to discuss our beliefs in a civil way, thank you Geko

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Old 10-25-2012, 15:05   #10
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Actually, I'd ask him who I am and where I was from. If he knew I was a time traveler from the future (as god incarnate should) that would settle the matter for me.
You wonder if a time traveling sniper got him how history would have been different. I wonder sometimes. Would it have been better? The Dark Ages would have been different... but not necessarily any less Dark. I guess the bible would still have gone on... just without the new testament. More than likely Judaism and Islam would have slugged it out.
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Old 10-25-2012, 15:10   #11
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To non-believers:

John 6:64and65

But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believe not, and who should betray him. And he said, therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

The Acts 10:41and42
Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Luke 12:8
Also I say unto you,whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:



Molly



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Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
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Old 10-25-2012, 15:14   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roering View Post
Whenever someone mentions Pascal's wager I often think of the Apostles who spent time with Jesus during his ministry being witnesses to what He could do. With the exception of a couple they were devout Jews who used their last dying breath proclaiming the Divinity of Christ. Something that would have been considered blasphemy at the time to a Jew. A sin that could condemn them in the afterlife.

I don't think they believed it to be a gamble at all. To them, I think they knew what they were proclaiming.
You could say the same about the devotion of the followers of Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Adolph Hitler, David Koresh and countless others. In fact, we can cite many more recent and better documented examples of even more fanatical followers of many people who none of us believe to be anything special - in numerous cases, follwoers who would give up their lives believing in the divinity of the people they follwoed; Koresh and Jones being quick examples.

I have to stamp that argument:
Religious Issues
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Old 10-25-2012, 15:18   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geko45 View Post
Exactly, if I had a time machine and only one chance to use it, I would go to the sermon on the mount and find out for certain if jesus was what he claimed to be. If I could witness those alleged events first hand then I wouldn't call it a gamble either.
Really? I'd go to 1955 and buy McDonald's stock.

I could go back farther and get a painting from Van Gogh and hide it away, but 1955 seems a lot easier and they had toilet paper and America and maybe I could bring back a cool guitar.

You'd just end up wasting your shot at time travel.
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Old 10-25-2012, 18:56   #14
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What makes no. 3 correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtificialGrape View Post
Given that I'm at the airport and my flight is delayed, why not yet another Pascal's Wager thread.

We still see people advancing the wager on a regular basis. Here are 2 examples from the past day or so.





In brief the wager is:

(1) God exists or does not exist.
(2) you must choose a side.
(3) if God exists and you bet against existence then everything is lost.
(4) if God does not exist and you bet on existence, then nothing is lost.

The problem with (1) is that it is a false dilemma -- it does not consider that there could be other non-Christian gods. What if the Greek or Norse or ... or Islamic god is real. Do you find the wager a compelling argument that you should give a shout out to the God of Islam while on your death bed? Or even Geko45's scenario with an unrevealed God of Critical Thinking who rewards those who reject all man made gods, and punishes those who believed in any god.

The problem with (4) is that it's obviously not true that nothing is lost (pardon the double negative). The observant Christian would have lost thousands (more likely many thousands) of dollars supporting the myth, as well as their valuable time. Then add to that the countless and long forgotten opportunities lost. For example our own Kingarthurhk has turned down a promotion that would have come with the expectation (or perhaps requirement) of working on the Sabbath.

Another often overlooked point is that if your rejection of the god hypothesis is based on critical thinking, it would not be easy to just decide to believe, and I think we can agree that one could not bluff their way past God. Even if strongly motivated do you think you could change what you truly believe out of fear? So if you were told that you have 30 seconds to truly believe that unicorns exist, or a horrible fate awaits your loved ones, could you make yourself believe?

-ArtificialGrape

Almost forgot, I fully concede point (3) in the case of the Christian God.
I don't endorse that at all, and I am a Christian.
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Old 10-25-2012, 19:29   #15
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Originally Posted by SCmasterblaster View Post
I don't endorse that at all, and I am a Christian.
Glad to hear it, and I'm certainly not claiming or suggesting that all Christians make Pascal's Wager, but we do see it regularly.

-ArtificialGrape
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Old 10-25-2012, 20:19   #16
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who's this Pascal guy and why is he always betting on things?
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Old 10-25-2012, 20:26   #17
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I don't endorse that at all, and I am a Christian.
Sorry, I missed your question in the title, so my previous reply probably missed the mark.

As far as why I accept (3), I would probably say John 14:6 combined with that whole eternal/unquenchable/lake of fire thing. I recognize that others portray hell as complete destruction rather than eternal torment, but even in the destruction scenario the non-believer would miss out on the opportunity of eternal life.

-ArtificialGrape
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Old 10-25-2012, 22:26   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neon View Post
...
quotes from bible
...
What good is it that you think this does. Quoting a religious text to atheists makes about as much sense as pascals wager. (that is none btw) If I quote some Greek mythology, will that make you believe in Zeus?
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...
The constitution is not, nor was it meant to be absolutely literal.
...
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:46   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roering View Post
Whenever someone mentions Pascal's wager I often think of the Apostles who spent time with Jesus during his ministry being witnesses to what He could do. With the exception of a couple they were devout Jews who used their last dying breath proclaiming the Divinity of Christ. Something that would have been considered blasphemy at the time to a Jew. A sin that could condemn them in the afterlife.

I don't think they believed it to be a gamble at all. To them, I think they knew what they were proclaiming.
Well I suppose if I had been in the mans presence and watched him raise the dead or produce an everlasting basket of fish I may see things differently. Unfortunately all I have is a book of suspect origion used throughout history to control the masses and not a single shred of evidence anywhere. Not so much as a letter written by a contemporary saying " I was traveling through the valley with the caravan and saw this guy Jesus giving a speech". Nothing, anywhere.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:51   #20
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Certainly more members than the 2 quoted in the opening post have advanced Pascal's Wager. Where are the defenders of the wager?

-ArtificialGrape
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:09   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtificialGrape View Post
Certainly more members than the 2 quoted in the opening post have advanced Pascal's Wager. Where are the defenders of the wager?

-ArtificialGrape
I think some of them do it without even thinking about it, and not realizing what they are saying.
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...
The constitution is not, nor was it meant to be absolutely literal.
...
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:09   #22
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You could say the same about the devotion of the followers of Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Adolph Hitler, David Koresh and countless others. In fact, we can cite many more recent and better documented examples of even more fanatical followers of many people who none of us believe to be anything special - in numerous cases, follwoers who would give up their lives believing in the divinity of the people they follwoed; Koresh and Jones being quick examples.

I have to stamp that argument:
Religious Issues
Bren,

Your reading comprehension is lacking. I was not making an argument. I was giving my perspective.
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Old 10-26-2012, 13:17   #23
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Bren,

Your reading comprehension is lacking. I was not making an argument. I was giving my perspective.
Oh, that's different...

A statement in support of one position or the other is an argument. Not even sure what you're trying to say about it.
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Old 10-26-2012, 13:35   #24
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Originally Posted by Animal Mother View Post
Setting aside the fact that we don't have authentic testimony from any of the Apostles who accompanied Christ, one has to wonder why if Jeuss/God were willing to provide such proof of His/Their existence at that time, why they don't do so now.
I could never figure out why, if Jesus's message was so all-fired important to all of mankind, why did he not write it down himself?

Or was the demigod illiterate?



Same with Mohammed.

If his message was so all-fired, Allah-inspired, important, why did he leave it other others to write the Quaran after his death?



Scam, scam, scam. Religion is nothing but scam after scam.

Day after week after month after year after century after millenia.

Just one scam replacing another, time after time, after time.
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Old 10-26-2012, 15:20   #25
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I could never figure out why, if Jesus's message was so all-fired important to all of mankind, why did he not write it down himself?
...
In the case of Jesus, there are some hints that he was literate. His philosophy, though, was that the world was coming to an end soon, so there wasn't any need to write it out. He was wrong, of course, leaving it to others to figure out how to make a living without him.

In the case of Mohammed, I think I heard he was illiterate.
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