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Old 02-02-2009, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
3,595 posts, read 2,740,452 times
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Default 'What if you're wrong?'

How do you personally respond to theists when they use Pascal's wager?

 
Old 02-02-2009, 06:00 PM
 
Location: An absurd world.
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If I have the time, I'll point out the flaws in Pascal's Wager. If I'm in a hurry to get somewhere, I'll just ask them the same question (with emphasis on the word you're).
 
Old 02-02-2009, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
How do you personally respond to theists when they use Pascal's wager?
Actually I’ve never had anyone ask that to me in person.

But this would be my answer:

I will not worship a god who has allowed and condoned such atrocities that have happened and are still happening in this world.

And if I’m wrong and there really is a kind and benevolent Satin.
Well, I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

stay calm, be cool ,Peace brothers and sisters.
Aeroman

Last edited by Aeroman; 02-02-2009 at 06:48 PM.. Reason: I think god could use some counseling from June.
 
Old 02-02-2009, 07:05 PM
 
4,196 posts, read 3,244,369 times
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If you are talking about general philosophy then it is a valid question just trying to make you see that there are two or more points of view equally as valid as each other when there is no proof to show otherwise. If you are talking purely about Christianity all you have to do is point out a little of their history and the history of the book they hold so dear to show that there is proof contrary to what they are saying so you are justified in believing that they are wrong. Even if they won't accept it as proof.
 
Old 02-02-2009, 07:05 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
How do you personally respond to theists when they use Pascal's wager?
I'd hate to admit that the best reason I could come up with for believing in anything is that "it is the lesser of the two evils".
 
Old 02-02-2009, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,593 posts, read 21,763,947 times
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I don't know what to call myself but let me explain, I have yet to see anything I can call proof that god or jesus or the Christian god exists. If I'm wrong then I'm wrong. I have been wrong before and I can't imagine that won't happen again.

It seems that some groups feel the need to have all the answers or believe they have all the answers. I just don't feel that way.
 
Old 02-02-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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Pascal is great mathematician that I respect. But, I don't think one can simplify things using some neat probabilities on religious myths.

The biggest problem I can see is with his pay-off table (if you are not familiar with the so-called "Pascal's Wager", you can not discuss):

1). What God, do what? There are many versions of Gods, and according to different followers, Gods said different things. How do you come up with neat table of pay-offs? If that's not clear, think about this: Muslim's God said man shall not eat pork, but if you are Christian you probably did eat sausages and bacon even if you are being faithful to Christian's God. So where do you fall in his table? You could get both infinite loss and infinite gains according to his table.

2). What is infinite gain, infinite loss? In other words, what do I have to gain, what do I have to loose for different bets? That is important, because he later calculated expected values for different bets. What's so good that qualifies infinite gains? What's so bad that qualifies infinite loss?

He laid out a neat little 2x2 table and made some assumptions for religious practices, can one do that in a clear way?
 
Old 02-02-2009, 08:02 PM
 
140 posts, read 121,528 times
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This thing has being brought up many time by theists for the argument's sake as trumpet card -- let me demonstrate to you, even theists do not believe this:

Next time you hear this, ask that theist: if you believe you have been faithful to your God so far, would you end your life now for the infinite gains in the afterlife?

Here's the real bet: he would not, unless he is delusional fanatic like Mohamed Atta.
 
Old 02-02-2009, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Michissippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
How do you personally respond to theists when they use Pascal's wager?
I would point out that you don't deserve to be tortured for eternity unless you've committed mass murder or child molestation, etc. I would point out that their conception of an intolerant God is not that of a good, benevolent being, but rather that of a psychotic, sadistic monster--a God that is an Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, or Joseph Stalin--a God that wants to torture people not because they have committed any actual crimes worthy of a commensurate punishment--but because they merely committed the "crime" of philosophical disagreement--they committed the "crime" of independent thought. The people who worship an evil monster version of God may subconsciously oppose freedom of thought and hope for outright divine dictatorship.
 
Old 02-02-2009, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Michissippi
2,785 posts, read 4,455,904 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haaziq View Post
If I have the time, I'll point out the flaws in Pascal's Wager. If I'm in a hurry to get somewhere, I'll just ask them the same question (with emphasis on the word you're).
You might also note that it's possible that Pascal's Wager could work in reverse. What if God thinks humans are morons for believing in him and sends the non-believers to heaven and punishes the believers?
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