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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Where is the negative in Pascal's Wager?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21067 points ) January 11th, 2014

If one takes Pascal’s Wager as it is presented by Wikipedia:

”It posts that humans all bet with their lives either that God exist or does not exist. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exists, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.).”

If the rational option is to believe God exists, then why are many not taking the Wager? What is so valuable or important that it becomes a negative to follow Pascal’s Wager because you have to give it up? Whatever ”it” is, is it worth losing your soul over?

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110 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Apparently, then, we should all pray to Shiva. Or is it Zoroaster or Zeus or Jupiter?

Rarebear's avatar

Because the concept of God makes no sense.

gailcalled's avatar

Are you referring to Blaise Pascal’s wager?

Seek's avatar

Which one of the 6,000+ deities in human history would you like me to hedge my bets on?

I got a C in statistics, but even I can tell those aren’t good gambling odds.

What exactly is the “soul” anyway? and what proof do we have that it exists after death?

whitenoise's avatar

If all the other Gods are half as vindictive and jealous as the Abrahamic God, then if you chose wrong, you will surely be focked.

If you stay neutral in the “who’s the best God” contest, then whoever ends up being God may forgive you, because you at least were a good person. (That is… if you were.)

Mind you… that is assuming that there is a (group of?) Gods that care… You may very well focus on the wrong period of time, if there isn’t any… (Your eternal period of being dead, that is.)

Believing in God or an external referee with future rewards may put you in a very vulnerable spot when it comes to valuing the life that you have.

You recently said that you could care less about dying since you’d go to paradise… Scary misconception if this would turn out to be the only life you have.

So for whatever it is worth… Blaise Pascal(!!!)‘s wager would for me be a good reason to not bet on any specific God… You (we) may have other reasons still, though.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Rarebear Because the concept of God makes no sense.
Elucidate please, what part of it makes no sense to you?

@gailcalled Is there another Pasquale’s Wager out there? Yes, it is that Pasquale’s Wager.

@Seek_Kolinahr Which one of the 6,000+ deities in human history would you like me to hedge my bets on?
Weeeeeeeell, let’s see. He was speaking of the Christian God (the Mighty I AM, Elohim), so I guess you can chuck all the others because they have no place in Pasquale’s Wager.

Now that you know which God, point out the negative in the Wager, if you can?

(edit)
You recently said that you could care less about dying since you’d go to paradise… Scary misconception if this would turn out to be the only life you have.
So you believe it is less scary to hedge there is not God an d find upon death there is? So what I have only one life, what am I losing in it betting on Elohim? What is there on this planet so great, or so marvelous that it risk betting there is no Elohim?

whitenoise's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

Now you are acting willfully ignorant… Why do you insist to use the wrong name for this person… You of all people seem to attach value to his wager.

You are doing this to frustrate the rest of us who actually heard of the man before?

glacial's avatar

Because the Christian God does not want to be anyone’s fallback position. He wants people to choose him. The wager is inherently pointless. It is not a substitution for faith.

Seek's avatar

Do you think the Christian God is stupid enough to be fooled by bet-hedging pseudo-believers?

ETpro's avatar

There is not one god to place your bet on. There are over 3000 that we know of form historic times. There are probably many more from before history was written. The men that created these gods claimed each was the one true creator God. If Pascal places his wager on the wrong one, he’s toast. Further, the Abrahamic God (Originally El; then Elohim; Yahweh; and God the Father, son and Holy Ghost) have laid out a long litany of completely contradictory requirements for Pascal’s Wager to succeed. Salvation is by works, except when it is by faith, or baptism, or acceptance of Jesus as your personal savior, or the baptism in the holy spirit, etc. It’s also aleged to be by this, that and the other combination thereof. What is never mentioned is casually saying, “I believe” just to hedge your bets.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@whitenoise Now you are acting willfully ignorant… Why do you insist to use the wrong name for this person..
I think you are speaking to the wrong guy when you make the claim of willful ignorance, try those who can’t figure out which God is being spoken of here, even with their near MENSA IQs they seem to need bread crumbs to lead them on this one. I went with the Pasquale as noted by Wikipedia, so how could I be calling the guy out of his name?

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Your quote comes from the Wikipedia article entitled, ”Pascal’s Wager” Nowhere is Signore Pasquale ever mentioned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager

“It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or does not exist…If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ETpro There is not one god to place your bet on. There are over 3000 that we know of form historic times. There are probably many more from before history was written.
Are you saying your negative for not following it, is because you can’t figure out which God Pasquale was speaking on? You can use a quantum physics algorithm on it, you may be able to figure it out then.

Rarebear's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central What makes no sense? The idea that there is an imaginary sky daddy that waves a magic wand and poofs the universe into existence. That makes no sense to me.

I’m not trying to pick an atheist-theist fight here. You did ask me, and I’m telling you honestly.

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central What are you talking about? No, I know very well which God Pasquale was referring to. He only considered the one he had been bred to believe was the one true God. If he had been born in India, it would have been Brahma. If in Ancient Greece, Zeus, If in the Norse cultures in the dark ages, Wotan. If in the Aztec civilization, Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl. I could ramble on, but I hope you can grasp what I am saying. It’s actually quite understandable.

What I am saying is that with 3000 + gods proposed by man, a wager on any one has, at the very best, a ⅓000 chance of being a bet on the right one. That’s assuming that at least one of them actually exists. If, as I suspect, none do; then the wager has a Zero chance of being a bet on the right one. Couple that with the fact that Christian Theologians are all over the map about how one must act to receive the Christian God’s blessings, and all are pretty clear on the idea that just saying, “Yeah, I believe.” because you think just that will get you eternal bliss for free, and Pascal’s wager is clearly a fool’s bet.

whitenoise's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

You’re kidding, right? Even the Italians do not refer to Blaise Pascal as Pasquale.

How come you complain – on another thread – about people being nasty and pointing out stupidity in a nasty way, wondering why people respond negatively to wrongly worded details in questions, while provoking them to do this so openly?

I was speaking to you, when I said you were willfully acting ignorant.
It may be that I was a bit too optimistic, there, though.

ragingloli's avatar

Because the argument is bogus.
1. It assumes that if a god exists, only the christian god can. It discounts the possibility that any of the other 3000 gods could exist.
2. It assumes that you can trick god by pretending to believe, or that god would not send you straight for hell by believing only as a safety measure, not because you truly want to.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Rarebear I’m not trying to pick an atheist-theist fight here. You did ask me, and I’m telling you honestly. I’m not trying to pick an atheist-theist fight here. You did ask me, and I’m telling you honestly.
No, you made it quite clear where you stand:
The belief in nothing going ”poof” and becoming something, then for no reason this new something organized for no reason at all, then spawned life for no reason when some lightning bolt hit some primordial ooze, and this life eventually became man for no reason other than for men to kill themselves and attempt to send the planet back to the nothing it started as; yeah, if I believed in that redacted, I would not bet on God either, speculation is so much more reliable. I thank you for your honesty though.

The reason why you want to believe in conjecture so much, since it requires nothing of you, there must be something you figure you would have to stop doing if you dared to have the audacity to use Pasquale’s Wager; what is so important to you that you would risk your soul, or should I take some guesses?

@ETpro What I am saying is that with 3000 + gods proposed by man, a wager on any one has, at the very best, a ⅓000 chance of being a bet on the right one.
Ah. I get it, you are looking at it like a lotto, you can’t go with it, because one, you might have to give something up here on earth and you feel you woud be doing so for nothing. Millions play the lotto, if they didn’t figure to guess the right numbers or there was never a way to pick the right numbers, they would never play. Against all odds, the right number can be picked and many have won big. If the lotto of the universe happen to fall against you And this God you say could not exist actually did, what would you look back on that could not be sacrificed to save your soul? As with the other commenter, I could take some guesses and you can tell me if I hit the lotto.

ragingloli's avatar

“The belief in nothing going ”poof” and becoming something, then for no reason this new something organized for no reason at all, then spawned life for no reason when some lightning bolt hit some primordial ooze, and this life eventually became man for no reason other than for men to kill themselves and attempt to send the planet back to the nothing it started as; yeah, if I believed in that redacted, I would not bet on God either, speculation is so much more reliable. I thank you for your honesty though.”
The Wizard of Oz called. He wants his straw man back.

Thank you for demonstrating once more, that you know absolutely nothing about science.

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Millions do indeed play the lottery. They have something like a 1 in 175,000,000 chance of winning the jackpot, My analysis above of Pascal’s Wager shows I believe that the chance of winning that wager is near infinitely close to zero, even if there is a god and that god is Yahweh, which I think has a vanishingly small probability of being true. If there is a Creator God, it is beyond obvious Yahweh isn’t that deity. That’s why I do play the lottery and do not bet on Pascal’s Wager.

ragingloli's avatar

The difference between the lottery and Pascal (that is how it is spelt, you *#/+)‘s wager is that we see people win the lottery all the time.
We have not ever seen anyone win P’sW.

jerv's avatar

Pascal’s Wager is flawed as it is too simplistic.

What if God exists but not in the way you think he does, and your flawed attempt at worship displeases him such that you earn yourself an afterlife of eternal torment?

The four-states covered in the wager do not cover that possibility, so it’s possible to lose when you thought you were winning due to a flawed understanding of reality.

Pascal fails at Game Theory.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think there has to be a negative about Pascal’s Wager. I would say a lot of people believe in God, because it is a path of less resistance and there is more to lose by not believing if there really is a God.

I personally think if there is a God who cares about rules and sin and all those things, that He loves all of his creation and cares about our behavior with each other and not whether we worship Him. That seems the most logical to me. So, I don’t think believing or not is God’s real focus.

If God is all knowing, wouldn’t believing just in case the whole God thing is true be dishonest in a way and not really believing? Or, believing for the wrong reasons, and I am not sure it would count.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ragingloli Thank you for demonstrating once more, that you know absolutely nothing about science.
You mean the same way in which you have no clue how faith works, or anything else in the Bible yet you keep talking on it.

The difference between the lottery and Pascal (that is how it is spelt, you *#/+)‘s wager is that we see people win the lottery all the time.
We have not ever seen anyone win P’sW.
Oh, starting to cuss are we? LOL Are you spitting mad too? LOL.Don’t worry, at the rate you are going you won’t be a winner of Pascal’s Wager, you might win an eternal vacation with a bunch of malevolent spirits.

@JLeslie I personally think if there is a God who cares about rules and sin and all those things, that He loves all of his creation and cares about our behavior with each other and not whether we worship Him.
You were doing well until the end of it.

If God is all knowing, wouldn’t believing just in case the whole God thing is true be dishonest in a way and not really believing? Or, believing for the wrong reasons, and I am not sure it would count.
Yes, it would, and Christ addressed that. Mind thinking acceptance is vain worship. It is what is in the heart counts. You can have redacted walking around saying “hallelujah”, sitting in church, reading the Bible every day and not believe in Him, or that He exists. They might as well be worshipping an idol of stone, wood, or metal. Many do just that; trying to fake it until they make it, to try and get the ”fire insurance” without paying for it.

jerv's avatar

The way to fix Pascal’s Wager is to add a third variable; whether one is correct about the nature of God. Those with faith will always believe they are and thus not even consider acknowledging that 4 of the 8 possible states even exist. However, one of those possibilities lead to unknown and potentially adverse outcomes. Given my personal belief that, if God exists, that he isn’t as many think he is, I see a lot of people losing.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Well, that’s sounding like an Evangelical Christian if I ever heard it. When I think of God I don’t think only of the Christian (non Catholic, non Mormon, non whatever other Christian sect that does not count enough for some Protestants) God. I do assume the person means God of one of the Abrahamic religions, since in modern day the Greek Gods and similar are now considered to be myths. I don’t assume “Christian” God. Maybe because I am Jewish. You are talking about Christ, but in my religion Christ is not God, God is God. The same God of the Christians and Muslims in my opinion, just the details of the religion are different. If you want to talk about Christ then that has to be specified for me or my mind does not go there.

kess's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

Where have you been? Don’t you know that a bet on God is always a bet with your life…
I has never been different from day one.

Anyway that it a bet I have already won and quite a few others present and past I might add.

To the rest, why stumble at the place of indecision?
God will quite Obviously will always be always be ONE..

Does it really matter if you pick one of the 1000s or if you make up one of your own?

Be flippant if you so choose, considering it is a bet with your life.

In the end even to remain in indecision is a choice and is a decision you bet your Life upon.

filmfann's avatar

I think that Pascals wager is legit, but that is not why I believe in God.
It is sad for me to think about those who don’t believe. I don’t force my views on others, but some here seem to think it’s okay to berate anyone with faith, as if that isn’t forcing their views on us.
I hope you all find and accept the grace I found.

flutherother's avatar

If someone were to tell you you would get a million dollars if you stood on your head in a corner of the room for 5 minutes would you do it?

kritiper's avatar

Pascal’s Wager suggests that it is better to believe in God in case he does exist, rather than not believe and go to hell. A lame excuse to believe, if you ask me.

kritiper's avatar

The way Pascal’s Wager was put to me was like this:

If God exists and you believe, you will be saved.
If you don’t believe in God and he exists, you will go to hell.
If you believe and he doesn’t exist, you lose nothing.
If you don’t believe and he doesn’t exist, it doesn’t matter.

So it would be better to believe in case he does exist, according to Pascal..

kritiper's avatar

And the “soul” you ask about doesn’t exist.

Kropotkin's avatar

Pascal’s wager is simply a type of decision matrix.

It’s main failure is that it is incomplete and laden with assumptions.

It makes assumptions about the nature of god. It assumes that a particular Christian conception of a god is the only possibly true god. It assumes god necessarily rewards belief in its existence and punishes non-belief.

For a more complete matrix, we’d have to include different types of gods with different outcomes for belief and non-belief, and then somehow assign a probability for every outcome—which can’t be done objectively.

We’d have to include worshipping the wrong god. (Perhaps Zeus is the true god? Perhaps there are many gods?)

Perhaps Jehovah/Yahweh/Elohim is real, but he punishes the believers and rewards the atheists and agnostics.

Maybe god uses Christianity and other religions as a way of filtering out the credulous and irrational, and allows only the atheists and agnostics (who had the courage of conviction to resist and question religious indoctrination, its superstitions, irrational beliefs and rituals, and “faith”) into heaven.

Maybe Cthulhu is the real god, and we’re all doomed no matter what we do—except to maybe get eaten first.

Coloma's avatar

IF there is a “God”, said “God” is, clearly, an alien entity not some magical old man in the sky.
Worshiping said “God” is akin to worshiping the flying spaghetti monster or any other fictitious deity.
I believe that life as we know it in our universe and on earth originated from random biological manifestation not some omnipotent being.
Therefore I do not see myself or any other human as any more or less superior or significant that any other life form.

My existence could have just as easily been manifested as a lizard or an apple tree or a trout. Random roll of the biological dice not some miracle created in the image of an alien. lol

josie's avatar

Because as soon as you make that exception, your epistemological standard is gone. You have taken one step toward moral corruption.
It is one thing to do it by accident, and another all together to do it on purpose.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

“Live as though God exists.” That depends on who your god is, and what he requires of you. The Mormon god won’t let you drink coffee or tea, then there is the Jewish god that doesn’t want you to eat pork. Or the Islam god that wants you to kill all infidels. Most gods want you to follow their admonitions, and you are damned if you follow some other god’s, so you can’t really live like god exists without picking one. And if you pick poorly, you will loose your soul anyway.

Like @kropotkin said.

Rarebear's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central An edited response

“The belief in nothing going ”poof” and becoming something, then for no reason this new something organized for no reason at all, then spawned life for no reason when some lightning bolt hit some primordial ooze, and this life eventually became man for no reason…”

That’s not how evolution (or even abiogenesis) is theorized to work. And yes, life evolved to man for no reason. We’re here completely by evolutionary accident.

“The reason why you want to believe in conjecture so much, since it requires nothing of you…”

Yes it does. It required that I abandon critical thinking. That’s a big deal.

“what is so important to you that you would risk your soul, or should I take some guesses?”

There is no such thing as a soul. It’s a made up construct by humans who want to artificially place themselves at a higher moral plane of existence than other living beings.

SavoirFaire's avatar

A picture is worth 1,000 words, so here are two pictures for you. They are basically visual restatements of arguments that have already been made, but perhaps they will be helpful nonetheless.

The first reminds us that Pascal has based his argument on a false dilemma. The second lays out the logical consequences of reformulating the argument without employing that fallacy.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@SavoirFaire I was really interested in seeing the two pictures, but when I click on the link, nothing happens.

jerv's avatar

@Rarebear The blatant, intentional misunderstanding of Evolution is why I rarely waste my time with closed-minded True Believers like @Hypocrisy_Central unless I am truly bored.

Rarebear's avatar

@jerv I was bored.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Here are the direct links. See if that works:

http://i.imgur.com/HuAdc9z.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ISiXrKe.jpg

If not, then the hosting site might be having problems.

Seek's avatar

They’re working for me. Firewall issue, @Skaggfacemutt ?

Rarebear's avatar

@SavoirFaire I have issue with the second one. “Judaism” is spelled wrong. And Jews don’t have a concept of Hell.

glacial's avatar

@Rarebear Heavens! They didn’t even spell “Jehova” right.

“Jehova! Jehova!”

El_Cadejo's avatar

I prefer the Agnostic-Atheist Wager.

“Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe, when there is a significant lack of evidence of any one god’s existence.”

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Rarebear Duly noted. Though it’s only partially a serious image. See the Satanism column, for instance. The point is just the same one made in the first image writ slightly larger. Pascal’s wager is predicated on an assumption that there are only two possibilities (the Christian God or atheism). Once we acknowledge the diversity of orthodoxies in the world, we see that believing in the Christian God no longer dominates the decision matrix. And, of course, the wager assumes in the first place that God would not be able to see through such an unscrupulous motivation.*

Ultimately, I am with @uberbatman on the dialectical superiority of the atheist’s wager. Only a malevolent God would sentence His creations to an eternity in Hell, particularly for something as petty as not believing in Him. And a malevolent God is not one worth worshipping.

——————————

* This particular failing is more pronounced in contemporary portrayals of the wager than it is in Pascal’s original argument. These days, the wager is presented as a straightforward problem of game theory with an obvious solution. Pascal, on the other hand, believed that the real point was to get you to join the church, trusting in the power of God to make you a true believer in time.

kritiper's avatar

@SavoirFaire – I think the wager applies to any and all gods, not just the Christian God. Otherwise it would imply that some may believe in some certain god or gods and not any others, which would be incorrect for true Atheists. Pascal may have meant specifically one god, his god, but it applies accurately to any and all concepts of a god whether he meant it to or not.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@kritiper I’m not sure what you are trying to say. In any case, the wager is formulated in very absolute terms: either God exists, or He does not. If God does not exist, you gain nothing and lose little by believing in Him. If God does exist, you gain everything and lose nothing by believing in him. Therefore, the argument concludes, everyone should believe in God.

So yes, the argument assumes that there are only two options (God or no God). And it also assumes a Christian (or Muslim) understanding of God (since not all gods condemn those who don’t believe in them to Hell). If you are trying to say that members of any religion might pose a similar problem to non-believers, then that is certainly true. But as my second image points out, they’re all in the same position here. And indeed, the fact that the same argument could be used in defense of a variety of mutually incompatible gods just highlights what is wrong with the wager.

gailcalled's avatar

Milo here; Let’s keep it simple. I am the only God that matters. (You better believe it.)

SavoirFaire's avatar

Well, at least I’ve seen Milo.

What’s the difference between God and Bigfoot? Bigfoot has been spotted.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Milo here again: Are you sure? That may have been my shadow on the cave wall.

kritiper's avatar

@SavoirFaire You made it sound as though only the Christian God could or could not exist to Atheists, and that Atheists might believe in some god, just not the Christian one.
Yes, the wager means the god Pascal favors, but now it can and does apply to all others whether expressed or not.
People use variations of the wager all the time without even knowing anything about it.
And yes, the wager is flawed because Pascal, being a believer, biased it with his theism. He must’ve had one big chip on his shoulder after making his wager known!

Rarebear's avatar

@kritiper Where is there an atheist that believes in a non-Christian god?

Seek's avatar

I want to hedge my bets with Huitzilopochtli, so I can get a religious exemption from the law in order to practice human sacrifice. We have to keep that sun rising every day!

ETpro's avatar

If anyone really accpeted Pascal’s Wager, they would have to bet on all 3,000 gods when most of the 3000 said you have to devote every fiber of your being to me only. Sorry, @Hypocrisy_Central, but as smart as Blaise Pascal was, his wager is incredibly stupid.

kritiper's avatar

@Rarebear I don’t know of any. Ask @SavoirFaire .

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Rarebear That’s not how evolution (or even abiogenesis) is theorized to work. And yes, life evolved to man for no reason. We’re here completely by evolutionary accident.
Then how can you or anyone who believes that position say killing your neighbor if he poses a threat, or plundering his goods if you can pull it off, is wrong, neither enslaving someone if you had the ability if by doing so, you get a benefit? Please don’t come with that generic fallback position that society had to learn how to get along for survival so they did. Come with something stronger than some dishwater weak talking points. If man is a mistake then survival of self or one’s clan or group is all that matters; and even those in your group is not safe if they pose a threat to you, logic would be eliminate the threats or flee from them.

ragingloli's avatar

How can you, who believes in the buybull, say that genocide or slavery is wrong, when your satanic god endorses, commands, and even perpetrates them?

Seek's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central It’s that whole prefrontal cortex thing again.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ragingloli 001001 0011010 1110100 000 001 100001 101 100001 101 101 11101 10 10101 00 01 10 01010100 1001 10101 01 00010 101 1 101 11 1 1 1010101010 0

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central If you don’t already know the answer to that then I believe that you are utterly incapable of understanding the answer. Your own personal beliefs have created a huge intellectual blind spot akin to my own blind spot regarding how any human can be as big a zealot as you. That’s not an insult, merely pointing out a difference between you and I.

I would almost suspect that you hate Christ and Christians as you’re going to great lengths to make them look insane. If you truly are a person of faith then please, stop embarrassing yourself and all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Calling people immoral, stupid, and wrong won’t convert anybody, and is actually the reason many leave Christianity for Wicca, Satanism, Atheism, and anything else that isn’t Christian.

AdamF's avatar

@Hypocrisy Central The problems with Pascal’s wager are numerous and repeatedly pointed out on multiple websites.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pascal's_wager
http://infidels.org/library/modern/theism/wager.html
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Pascal's_Wager

That said, for me personally the negatives would be:

1) I’d shift from believing things for good reasons, to believing things out of fear. That’s an unacceptable cost to my reason and integrity.

2) I’d presumably thereby shift from basing my morality on empathy, reason and evidence, to a morality based on unjustified interpretations of what a supposed god may or may not want. That’s an unacceptable cost to my humanity.

Furthermore, I’d not just be believing in something that was into torturing people for eternity for thought crimes, but presumably having to worship it. Such a being (if it existed), would actually be deserving of contempt.

I could also mention the waste of time spent in prayer, the devaluation of this life relative to the promise of an eternal afterlife, the questionable diversion of funds to religious institutions, etc…

In short, the negatives of taking up Pascal’s wager are insurmountable, for both intellectual and moral reasons. For me to take the wager is to arguably become a worse person, not a better one.

Frankly, Pascal’s wager provides a perfect lesson for remembering that just because someone is arguably brilliant, doesn’t mean that all their ideas get out of the ballpark of stupid.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jerv I would almost suspect that you hate Christ and Christians as you’re going to great lengths to make them look insane.
Really, really, that is the best you can come up with? I love people, that is why I attempt, other than the Devil’s playground, to show people the bridge is out even if they don’t believe. I could say to make those who think they are the captain of their own destiny how ungodliness will be like a brain surgeon trying to operate on himself.

If you truly are a person of faith then please, stop embarrassing yourself and all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
If you are truly an ungodly person don’t embarrasses yourself and the rest who are ungodly (and you can’t say you are not, you said you don’t believe so that leaves you without a God, not even any gods as well) by following something you don’t even know where it came from.

Calling people immoral, stupid, and wrong won’t convert anybody, and is actually the reason many leave Christianity for Wicca, Satanism, Atheism, and anything else that isn’t Christian.
I think you got it switched around on who is doing the mudslinging. However, if you want to live your life for you and no one else, I hope you win the wager, because of you don’t it will be all bad, and you will know it, for that I pray for you. You don’t have to believe it, you can join the others and quip away, it won’t take away my salvation, it may even assure i.

@AdamF 2) I’d presumably thereby shift from basing my morality on empathy, reason and evidence, to a morality based on unjustified interpretations of what a supposed god may or may not want. That’s an unacceptable cost to my humanity.
So what just interpretation did your morality come from and who ordained or sanctioned it? I bet that is an answer you don’t have.

Furthermore, I’d not just be believing in something that was into torturing people for eternity for thought crimes, but presumably having to worship it. Such a being (if it existed), would actually be deserving of contempt.
Holy smokes Bullwinkle, an answer boarding on truth! You want to get to paradise but don’t want to have to do anything to get there or give credit to the person who purchased your ticket. It is better you go the way you are, to try to believe just to get the fire insurance is worse than if you just lived an ungodly life. If you die and know you are dead…..SNAP, it will be too late, but heck, you had fun here. All I can do is pray you get in on the 11th hour.

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central The reason I bring that up is partly my cynicism, and partly because going over-the-top the way you do actually does more to discredit your cause than a overt attack would. Were it not for the fact that I’ve seen you around for a few years, I actually would suspect that you were using the same sort of tactics to discredit Christianity as Stephen Colbert does to make political Conservatives the butt of a joke. So consider my advising you to tone it down a notch or three to be akin to taking the car keys away from someone who has had too much to drink. You’re harming your own reputation, and causing a bit of harm to others by offending them to the point where they are getting a little nasty.

There is a difference between ungodly and non-godly. Therefore, your second paragraph doesn’t apply to anybody in this thread… except for those that your words have turned indifference towards God into actual animosity.

Your last paragraph directed towards me personally utterly proves that your faith forbids you from contemmplating anything beyond the four-possibilty world of the wager as-written. Given how many mutually exclusive sets of beliefs fall under the umbrella of Christianity, I see it as statristically probable that many of the devout will actually lose and, I feel, undeservedly so unless God is different (and more liberal/generous/forgiving) than most of them portray, in which case the original wager is still flawed.

Kropotkin's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I noticed you challenged one or two atheists here about where they think morality comes from. Would you care to answer the same question? Where do you think morality comes from?

AdamF's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

“So what just interpretation did your morality come from and who ordained or sanctioned it? I bet that is an answer you don’t have.”

My answer is as written above. But in case you missed it; empathy, reason and evidence.

Are you suggesting that humans aren’t capable on their own of determining what is morally good or bad?

“You want to get to paradise but don’t want to have to do anything to get there or give credit to the person who purchased your ticket.”

I said nothing of the sort. If you want me to respond, try to avoid the straw man games. I’m simply not interested.

ragingloli's avatar

Like all the communists, socialists and social democrats that Hitler murdered in the concentration camps.
They could have just obeyed Hitler and joined the Nazi Party, but nooo, they had to rebel, so they were justly gassed.

in case this is not clear enough for you: I am equating your god to Hitler

Seek's avatar

In case you’re wondering, @jerv could be talking about me.

When I was a crackpot Fundamentalist, @Hypocrisy_Central and I were friends on Answerbag.

Now, well… I think “animosity” is a nicer word than I would choose.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I really like @uberbatman ‘s post. I guess the people who don’t feel the need to have a god are those that don’t need the threat of punishment in hell or the promise of gaining a reward in heaven to want to be good people.

filmfann's avatar

@ragingloli You will notice @Hypocrisy_Central gave you an answer with just 2 digits.

I can give you an answer with just one. The middle one.

@Skaggfacemutt So, it is your position that Atheists are more moral than Christians? I know I would agree with that in isolated cases, but not in general.

ragingloli's avatar

@filmfann
You know where you can shove that one.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I think they are just as moral, and they might have less ulterior motives.

Bill1939's avatar

Can pretending to oneself to believe in a God (any of the 3,000 or more) eventually result in one really believing? I would love to choose to believe in the Trinitarian God of my childhood. I once believed in each of Them, but no longer do. At some mental (spiritual?) evolutionary level, the idea of an Uber Vaterfigur was no longer believable. His Son, however, still seems credible, with reservations. I have no doubt the man existed, though those who wrote about his existence did so long after he died; writers of commentaries on those authors largely argue from their conclusions. That leaves the third person in the Holy Trinity, Spirit. Here, I am a believer, though a clearly stated concise definition of the term is required.

Seek's avatar

@filmfann He doesn’t even know how to fake binary correctly.

Rarebear's avatar

“Then how can you or anyone who believes that position say killing your neighbor if he poses a threat, or plundering his goods if you can pull it off, is wrong, neither enslaving someone if you had the ability if by doing so, you get a benefit?”

I don’t see what this has to do with Pascal’s Wager.

gailcalled's avatar

@Rarebear; The same way that this example of many….“Holy smokes Bullwinkle, an answer boarding on truth!” relates to clear and sensible writing. (bordering on the truth, perhaps?)

kritiper's avatar

@Bill1939 – Ah, there’s a good point! The existence of an actual Jesus Christ and his actually being the “son of God.”
Horse hockey!
There are some people who are so brilliantly exceptional that they stand out as Jesus Christ might have. (Charles Manson, for one.) Very intelligent. Or very intelligently insane. Jesus Christ might have been one of these exceptionally intelligent theist fruitcakes that had a message that so many were eager to hear. And boy did he deliver!

jerv's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr 01001001 00100000 01100100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01100110 01100001 01101011 01100101 00100000 01101001 01110100 00111011 00100000 01001001 00100000 01110101 01110011 01100101 00100000 01001100 01100101 01100101 01110100 00101101 01101011 01100101 01111001 00101110

Bill1939's avatar

@kritiper, we have a different understanding of whom Jesus was when he was alive and what he was doing. Set aside the myths of miracles ascribed to him, and you still have a reflective and thoughtful human being. He was probably too bright simply to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a carpenter. Fortunately it is likely that he had brothers, some of whom kept the family business in business. Instead of marrying, this young educated man explored other countries, its people and their culture, looking for knowledge not adventure.

He returned with a broader understanding of the spiritual and the mundane and tried to share this with whomsoever cared to listen. Many listened, though few really heard. For most, parables paraphrased and filtered by the ear fit follower’s anticipations. However, esoteric aspects of his perspective have survived two millennia of human massaging.

I doubt Jesus intended to start a religion, though as an ex-Roman Catholic I am familiar with Peter’s rock. The Christian religions that have proliferated since still preach ‘God is Love’ though their actions often fail to reflect this belief. That which came from his lips and exists today was and is carried by Spirit. Aligning one’s spirit with this Spirit, when having been born with one’s spirit focused upon their self, is no easy task. It cannot be accomplished without conscious intent and freedom of thought.

kritiper's avatar

@Bill1939 Correct. But none of that means that he was actually the “son of God.” If he existed, he was just a man.

Bill1939's avatar

Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The message remains the same, only the unwillingness to accept it at face value, without an authority’s deceleration, creates ambiguity. Please note that the message is not the Bible. It is in the ideas he is alleged to have expressed. These ideas existed before him, and people today are discovering them on their own. Does universal equate to God?

Muddying the waters more, I think that he was reported to have said something like “he was in God and God was in him, as the disciples were in him.” The core of one’s existence (soul?) is God. It is the compass one finds when they enter their hridayam.

kritiper's avatar

@Bill1939 The question was about Pascal’s wager and God’s existence, not Jesus or his message/teachings. It doesn’t matter if Jesus was an exceptional person or not. Any attempt to say that God does exist because Jesus was indeed his son is not an acceptable argument, which seemed to me to be what you were trying to say.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@AdamF My answer is as written above. But in case you missed it; empathy, reason and evidence. My answer is as written above. But in case you missed it; empathy, reason and evidence.
No I did not, I read that, however, by logic it cannot be proven. Unless you have some clinical study that shows a substantial group of humans without much prompting from adult humans around them developed traits like honesty, selflessness, empathy, sympathy, benevolence. I sure haven’t, I have been around enough babies to know you ha e to tell them to share with their siblings, cousins, etc. You have to tell them not to hit their siblings for not sharing with them, while at the same time they are hording toys from those they want to strike for doing the same thing. Babies don’t reason, their thoughts and emotions are in the basic raw human form; me first, and what I want.

Are you suggesting that humans aren’t capable on their own of determining what is morally good or bad?
We have cops, prisons and laws don’t we, why do we need so many cops if most people are so moral? This is prevalent even to those who do not believe there is a God, if humans were able to do that, those who do crimes or unfavorable things against others would be an anomaly rather than a standard. If kindness, empathy etc. is the default human emotion or trait, them mankind without any God is a failure, so not having any God was not a plus in any measure.

@Seek_Kolinahr When I was a crackpot Fundamentalist, @Hypocrisy_Central and I were friends on Answerbag.
Now, well… I think “animosity” is a nicer word than I would choose.
Sorry that thought is one-sided. I certainly respect and have empathy for you and your situations you have shared, and I pray for restitution and resolution in them. I cannot stop you from having animosity towards me, but it will not cause me to have animosity towards you. I will continue to give you all respect due. If I am a crackpot, zealot, bigot, or wehatever to you, oh well, I guess it is what it is, but as much as I value a friendly existence with you, I value one with my God more; I will be spending eternity with Him, would love to see you there, but you don’t want to be there because you don’t believe ”there” is even there. God bless, you friendly neighborhood crackpot. ;-)

@Rarebear “Then how can you or anyone who believes that position say killing your neighbor if he poses a threat, or plundering his goods if you can pull it off, is wrong, neither enslaving someone if you had the ability if by doing so, you get a benefit?”
I don’t see what this has to do with Pascal’s Wager.
You think? If there is no God, then doing any of that would have no consequence. Your soul would not be in peril for no one would have dominion over your soul once you died. The only possible consequence would be if there were men or some man who was stronger than you and decided to punish you for it. Castro and Stalin pretty much did what they pleased in their own nation, kill people, torture them, enslave them in prison or gulags, they believe it was right an moral, if there is no God, then it was, for them if nothing else, regardless of what is thought in New York, Denver, Sydney, Queensland, etc.

Bill1939's avatar

Pascal’s point was that odds of having a happy afterlife are better if one is a Christian. The assumption is that believing is a choice, which I dispute. I apologize for having digressed replying to @kritiper‘s ” the “son of God.” If he existed, he was just a man.”

If there is a Spirit of God, a flow that guides otherwise inanimate objects into becoming living beings, the Christian personification of that Spirit into a Holy Father and Son reflects the limits many have when dealing with abstractions. Pascal’s Catholic perspective, while not false, is merely a crude approximation. If no such spirit exists then Pascal’s wager is moot.

Seek's avatar

Cheers. But I have a hard time considering friendship with someone with your bigoted, hypocritical, haughty worldviews.

kritiper's avatar

@Bill1939 But Pascal never mentions Jesus in his wager and a Christian is a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ, not a believer in God specifically. So Jesus isn’t a factor in the wager. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say “Pascal’s point was that odds of having a happy afterlife are better if one is a” theist?

Seek's avatar

No, the odds of having a happy afterlife are based entirely on whether there is actually an afterlife, and if so, which afterlife it is, and whether the beings in charge of that afterlife were accepting of the religious views you chose during your corporeal existence.

For example, it doesn’t matter how “good” you are in life, because you only go to Valhalla if you die in battle. So believing in God doesn’t help you get to Valhalla.

And everyone goes to the same place according to the Greek mythos. You rot in a river of souls. Period.

But then, some religions want works more than faith, and your afterlife is another shot at corporeal life based on what you did in life, instead of how you believed. So hedging your bets on Yahweh or Allah won’t help you ascend to Nirvana, if you weren’t a good person.

And all of this is moot, if there’s no afterlife at all.

jerv's avatar

Hail Eris!

AdamF's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central The answer I gave was in regards to your inquiring what I base my moral decisions on (as least I thought that was what you asked). Nothing more.

Nevertheless, your views regarding babies don’t appear to be supported by the available evidence

http://www.amazon.com/Just-Babies-Origins-Good-Evil/dp/0307886840

Secondly, the basis for morality (reciprocity, empathy) is observed in other species as pointed out in this talk by Frans de Waal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_Lm49XVkGQ

Just to pre-empt, I am not claiming that our understanding of human morality is complete (how could I) or why any given individual comes to a particular set of moral conclusions given a particular set of conditions. I expect there is a complex interplay between reason, empathy, evolutionary history, individual genetics and mental development, culture, experience, and situation. People in desperate violent circumstances, with upbringings that encouraged an us versus them mentality, aren’t likely to win any awards for altruism. And people with perfectly happy upbringings, but who happen to lack empathy for others due to mental illness, are potentially capable of all sorts of horrors (there’s a reason we have words like “sociopath” or “psychopath”, because most of us aren’t).

The point being, I never said that all people would be good in all circumstances. What I would say is that we as an intelligent social primate would never have remained extant if the ancestral groups to which we belonged over hundreds of thousands/millions of years, didn’t have individuals following rules of behavior that favoured some level of cooperation, fairness and empathy, at least among members of the in-group. That to me seems to be the basis of morality, if that was what you were asking my views on.

That said, there’s still lots to learn. But the only way to fill the large remaining gaps in our understanding is with evidence, not unsubstantiated claims.

With regards to my second point “Are you suggesting that humans aren’t capable on their own of determining what is morally good or bad?”, I was asking whether you thought we needed something outside of humanity to determine what was good or bad. So pointing out that we have police forces and prisons systems does nothing to negate the question.

“We have cops, prisons and laws don’t we, why do we need so many cops if most people are so moral?”

Are most people you know in trouble with the law? I don’t know any criminals. Regardless, once again, when did I ever say all people were always good? Most people are good most of the time in my experience.

”...those who do crimes or unfavorable things against others would be an anomaly rather than a standard.”

Once again, what horrible part of the world do you live in where criminality is the standard rather than the exception?

“If kindness, empathy etc. is the default human emotion or trait, them mankind without any God is a failure, so not having any God was not a plus in any measure.”

I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you’re suggesting humans need to believe in god to be good, the statistics don’t support the claim.

http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf

SavoirFaire's avatar

@kritiper Please take the time to actually read what I have written. I did not say that only the Christian God could or could not exist to atheists (though there are, in fact, many people who reject religion in toto solely based on arguments against Christianity). What I said was that Pascal mistakenly assumed that “Christian God” or “no gods at all” were the only options. Pascal was not an atheist, so I am clearly not attributing this false dilemma to atheists.

As for your claim about it applying to all others, you still haven’t explained what you’re on about. Like I said previously, it is unclear what you are trying to say. If you mean that we can run the same scenario with Krishna or anyone else, I’ve already agreed to that.

Finally, I’m not sure how fair it is to say that people use variations on the wager all the time. People use game theoretic reasoning, that is true. But that is not itself enough to say people are using variations on the wager. For one thing, most uses are not as patently invalid as Pascal’s.

Bill1939's avatar

@kritiper, I imagine that Pascal believed in the Trinity, as defined by the Roman Catholic Church, and was not merely a follower of Christ (as I like to think that I am). I doubt that he would have considered theism not to include the Son and the Holy Ghost with the Father.

The link about morality and infants that @AdamF provided would not work, but a search of “Just-Babies-Origins-Good-Evil” provides several articles about this book. One should not be surprised by the idea that pre-toddlers appear altruistic, as altruism in animals has long been observed. Ecosystems are common in nature, from which a predilection to form psyche-systems exists.

I conjecture that by nature, genetic predilections, except for infrequent instances one initially experiences life through a moral perspective. Experience may or not reinforce expectations morally derived. Sufficient experiences will alter that perspective, reflecting the real life contingencies, the community’s moral conduct.

Where is God in all of this? For me, Spirit is in all. This is the God that I am conscious of.

AdamF's avatar

Strange. I just tried a new copied link, and that failed as well.. Anyways thanks Bill!

Rarebear's avatar

“You think? If there is no God, then doing any of that would have no consequence.”
Sure there would. It’s called “jail”.

“Your soul would not be in peril for no one would have dominion over your soul once you died.”
There can be no peril for something that does not exist.

“The only possible consequence would be if there were men or some man who was stronger than you and decided to punish you for it.”
Well that’s a very sexist statement, isn’t it?

“Castro and Stalin pretty much did what they pleased in their own nation, kill people, torture them, enslave them in prison or gulags, they believe it was right an moral, if there is no God,”
Sure, but that had nothing to do with God. There have been many God-fearing individuals who have done evil stuff.

kritiper's avatar

@SavoirFaire – By only mentioning a Christian God, where Pascal did not, you could be saying that he only applied his wager to this “Christian” god, and no others. So then other gods could exist, and other people might believe in these other gods but that Pascal didn’t mean for his wager to apply to these other gods (and he does not specify WHICH god or gods he means!). So if (Christian) God did not exist (by logic of the wager,) other (non-Christian) gods could, and that is what you could be saying. You make it sound as though all other gods are exempt from the wager. Does that explain where I’m coming from?? ALL gods apply in the wager, not just the “Christian” one, and although Pascal may have only meant HIS god, it DOES apply to all others. And as intelligent as he was, he surely would have specified.
@Bill1939 _ Again, Pascal did not specify. He says “God.” Not Jesus, not the Holy Ghost, nothing about the Trinity. And the notion of God in his wager would apply to the Trinity as well. Any and ALL gods, and any similarities. But since God would be the head honcho, superior to the others, he, Pascal, need only mention the one, devoid of the additional label of “Christian.”

kritiper's avatar

@SavoirFaire – I think we are in agreement. Sorry if I didn’t catch that.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@kritiper Pascal did mention the Christian God. He’s very explicit about it. Read it for yourself. As for the rest, I think we agree.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@AdamF Secondly, the basis for morality (reciprocity, empathy) is observed in other species as pointed out in this talk by Frans de Waal.
Well, that is one opinion, hardly the ultimate authority.

With regards to my second point “Are you suggesting that humans aren’t capable on their own of determining what is morally good or bad?”, I was asking whether you thought we needed something outside of humanity to determine what was good or bad. So pointing out that we have police forces and prisons systems does nothing to negate the question.
Then, in order for me not to give you a ”Fluther” answer, I will say it this way:
Man is corrupt and debased from his very nature. Any sympathy, empathy, etc. did not come from man. The byproduct of such is violent behavior towards each other, prisons, jails, wars and the likes.

Most people are good most of the time in my experience.
You might be surprised what they do at home out of your eyesight. People act “good” because of immediate negative actions they may activate by being who they might be if those checks were not in place. For example if you thought your boss was acting terrible to you or belittling you in front of your coworkers, you may want to tear him/her a new one either verbally or physically, but you know that would get you fired at least and arrested for assault at worst.

Once again, what horrible part of the world do you live in where criminality is the standard rather than the exception?
I don’t, but it is because cops are on the job, not because people decided on their own various crimes were just awful to do.

I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you’re suggesting humans need to believe in god to be good, the statistics don’t support the claim.
Let me simplify it, the world + no God + crime = failure of natural goodness of man. KI was looking at it from the perspective that there was no God, and that fact means that man’s wickedness his totally owned by him and not of warfare in the heavenly realm. If violence and crime exist in a world with no God, then evolution (for lack of a better word) was a total failure when it comes to man being a natural gentle soul.

@Rarebear “You think? If there is no God, then doing any of that would have no consequence.” Sure there would. It’s called “jail”.
Jail only scares those who are afraid to get caught. If you:
• Are the law.
• Somewhere where there is no law, or the system of law has broken down.
• Or for whatever, the law cannot be enforced against you.
• There is no law against what they did to others
then doing something to someone would have no consequence to deter one from doing it.

“The only possible consequence would be if there were men or some man who was stronger than you and decided to punish you for it.”
Well that’s a very sexist statement, isn’t it?
No it isn’t, I meant men and women in mankind.

“Castro and Stalin pretty much did what they pleased in their own nation, kill people, torture them, enslave them in prison or gulags, they believe it was right an moral, if there is no God,” Sure, but that had nothing to do with God.
No it doesn’t, but everything to do with the flawed concept people have about morality to justify their own self-interest behavior.

Rarebear's avatar

You can have a perfectly intact moral compass and be an atheist. It’s called being a “humanist”.

jerv's avatar

@Rarebear You can also have a messed up moral compass and be a theist of any denomination. There are too many different types of those to list.

AdamF's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

The one person we know best is ourselves. So reading your responses I’m seriously starting to think that you don’t actually feel compassion or empathy for others. Is that true? That the only reason you don’t act on your “corrupt and debased” nature (and you don’t assault you boss, or neighbour), is because of your own fear of god, or fear of the cops?

I’m presuming that’s the case, as that’s what someone could conclude about humanity if that’s all they ever saw in themselves.

Regardless of the reasons, your worldview is disturbing at best.

I’m glad to say I don’t share it. I see no evidence for god(s), and no basis for believing there is anything external to ourselves that dictates our good or bad actions. We’re responsible. We know that as a species we are capable of wonderful things and horrible things, and we can examine what circumstances and societal alternatives can help take us towards the best of our nature versus the worst.

See this book for the evidence.

http://stevenpinker.com/publications/better-angels-our-nature

That simple fact that things are getting better, tells me at least, that not only can humans create better lives for each other, but many of us are driven to do so, some exceptionally.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_R0rlNiNzk

It’s a shame you’re unwilling or incapable of seeing that side of humanity.

kritiper's avatar

@SavoirFaire – I’m glad he mentions the Christian God. My version doesn’t have it. But we agree that his wager could apply to any and all gods that offer something after death and not just the one?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@kritiper Indeed, and that’s part of the problem. If it applies equally well to any god promising something after the death of our bodies, then it doesn’t offer us a way to choose among those gods and their associated religions.

kritiper's avatar

For the general interest – Here is the version I have.

Pascal’s Wager – 17th century Blaise Pascal formulated his infamous argument FOR belief in God in Pense’es.
“If you erroneously believe in God, you lose nothing (assuming death is the absolute end.), whereas if you correctly believe in God, you gain everything (eternal bliss). But if you correctly disbelieve in God, you gain nothing (death ends all), whereas if you erroneously disbelieve in God, you lose everything (?) (eternal damnation).”

How should you bet? Regardless of any evidence for or against the existence of God, Pascal argued that failure to accept God’s existence risks losing everything with no payoff on any count. The best bet, then, is to accept the existence of God. There have been several objections to the wager: that a person cannot simply will himself to believe something that is evidently false to him; that the wager would apply as much to belief in the wrong God as it would to the disbelief in all gods, leaving the believer in any particular god in the same situation as the Atheist or Agnostic; that God would not reward belief in him based solely on hedging one’s bets; and so on.
-Keith Augustine

kritiper's avatar

A bit more for the general interest -
Blaise Pascal – French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist. – 1623–1662
In 1633 Galileo was home imprisoned for his religious vs. scientific views.
In 1650, the King James version (English translation) was completed.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@AdamF That the only reason you don’t act on your “corrupt and debased” nature (and you don’t assault you boss, or neighbour), is because of your own fear of god, or fear of the cops?
When I was lost I did not assault people just to do it, etc. was because the morals I have instilled in me were that of my mother, and those she got from Christ. If I think I am smarter than the law, (as many criminals think), cops don’t scare you. If you are scared of losing your liberty and freedom, then cops do scare you. I can admit it, even with the teaching my mother gave me, not applied if you had something and I wanted it, and could get it, you’d come up short. Anyone who says they are totally 100% law abiding even if there were no threat of arrest fools themselves; if we had a society like that most cities would not need to try to put on the ballot measures to garner more money for more cops.

It’s a shame you’re unwilling or incapable of seeing that side of humanity.
I can say it is a shame you willing to let Satan bamboozle you into remaining in darkness instead of coming into the Marvelous Light. But, you do what you believe my friend, and I will do mine, at the end one of us will be correct, however, if it is you, no one will ever know it. If I am correct, many people will know it, but it will be to late for them. From here out, say what you want, lurve each other with “atta boys” (doesn’t necessarily make one right) you all have made it quite clear how you are betting.

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central We are betting on sanity. We are betting on respecting the feelings of our fellow humans. In fact, I would almost be willing to make a side wager that even those here who do follow Christ are betting that you are wrong.

Seriously, HC, you’ve turned more people away from Christ than any recruitment efforts by Pagans and Atheists possibly could. About the only thing you could really do to make things worst is actually murder a room full of children and claim it was in Jesus’ name.

I’m asking again, in the name of decency, for you to put down the shovel and stop digging. At this point, there are really two possible outcomes;

1) You make yourself look like a bigger tool than you already appear to be
or
2) You post enough flamebait to get the mods involved, and at this point, pretty much everything you’ve said has come close enough to that line that I can’t really see how it’s possible that you are not doing this to incite unrest, hatred, and discontent.

Paradox25's avatar

I think you had brought this issue up before. I think most posters on here already have demonstrated the problems of determining which ‘God’ would be the most likely one to exist and follow.

The above aren’t even my main reasons for agreeing with the foolish wager though. One of reasons is that in my opinion moral standards would be much lower in a world already filled with enough people who agree with you, where actions would not mean squat, but rather faith instead. This is not the type of world I want to live in, nor the types of people I want to be around, and for so many reasons that my fingers would be hurting typing them all so I won’t go there. Even if faith was not a factor with God, but instead it was our behaviors and actions towards others, I still find the idea of doing good just to obtain a heavenly reward, or to avoid punishment rather lame. This would be like a faux type of morality to me so to speak.

Even the above aren’t my main reasons for rejecting your wager though. My biggest problem with it is that why would I want to worship a God/god/gods that would punish me and others simply for not believing in it? Also, could I honestly enjoy myself in heaven knowing that others whom I care about are suffering in hell at that moment? My question is how could anyone short of being a heartless selfish monster find this wager sensible?

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