How many non sequiturs can you count in Pascal's Wager?
The biggest problem I always had with Pascal's wager was that the reasoning chain was incredibly flawed in that each step was a absurdem quod non sequiter , out of the various fallacies in this form, Pascal makes the mistake that in the typical triple-set of logical reasoning, step #1 will always be fallacious. The form of argument is technically valid (it is a Modus ponens) but that is only true until you realize that every first assertion of each step is a fallacy (If P then Q. P. Therefore Q).
I was trying to decide just how many non sequiters there are in Pascal's Wager. Here is what I have come up with so far
God might exist (assertion, but no fallacy)
God might be sentient (AQNS)
God might be triple-omni (AQNS)
God might be judging and vindicative (AQNS
God has anthropomorphic qualities such as wants and demands (AQNS)
God wants you to believe in him (AQNS)
There might be a soul if God exists (AQNS)
There might be an afterlife if God exists (AQNS)
There might be eternity if God exists (AQNS)
There might be eternal punishment if God exists (AQNS)
The God which has all these characteristics might be the Christian God (False dichotomy and AQNS)
Therefore, wager that a sentient, judging Christian God exists. Furthermore, wager that the afterlife exists, and that if there is an afterlife and a judging Christian God, you should also wager that there might be eternal damnation.
After all, if you are wrong...
You can see why we cannot take this seriously. It is nonsense. If we affix assertion X with a definite truth value, as the Non sequiters pile up, the truth value of X times Y times Z etc etc continues to exponentially diminish to the point where the probability function is so low that living your life based on such a wager is wholly nonsensical.
Above, I counted ten non sequiter absurdems attached the wager. That would mean that if we affix a 50/50 probability to each assertion X,Y,Z etc then the absolutely very best probability degrades to 0.00002, which must be multiplied by infinity to account for the false dichotomy which has been set up, as there are any number of theoretical deities that could be inserted into the fallacy. Thus the probability, if we were to draw it on a graph, falls to an infinitesimal limit along an asymptote to the point where it is so nonsensical that it can be fully shrugged off.
If there are any more non sequiters that you can think of which are incorporated into the wager, you can let me know.
The rule I live by is that an ontology can only establish X=X and that X exists. It cannot establish that X=Y or X=Z or that Y=Z like some theists attempt to extrapolate with astoundingly poor reasoning.
This is prevalent throughout the whole of religion and the arguments for God...
The Cosmological argument is the worst. Ontologically, it can establish that there is a first cause. Does the a posteriori establish that this cause is God? No? Does it establish that this God has any properties given to it by religion and all the mythological babble surrounding it? No. Does it offer any proof of the supernatural or of a sentient entity which Aquinas called God, no? Unless your logic is wholly based on non-sequiters. I do not know what the reasoning process is but it must go like this.
There is a first cause
Therefore, God exists
Therefore, God is sentient
Therefore, God is anthropomorphic, and has human emotions like love and vengenace
Therefore there is an afterlife
Therefore God cares about humans
Therefore, God judges people when they die
Only slightly better ontologically is the Design argument. Because Design would imply a designer. Nonetheless, it is a) factually incorrect and b) answers almost none of the above AQNS.
Furthermore, from a scientific inductivity standpoint, Design is absurd, and wholly fails Occam's Razor (Not the simplest explanation, but the one with the less presuppositions). So if the design proponent is sat down and asked a set of standard, rigorous scientific questions, it would go like this:
The Universe has a Designer
How is this possible?
This Designer exists outside of space and time?
Who Designed the designer?
He was always there?
How is this possible when "always" is a function of time which depends on space and time, which you admitted him to be outside of?
He is God, he can do what he wants
How is this possible?
It just is.
How did this entity ever come into being?
It was always there?
Can you verify this?
And the torture goes on...
"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.