Why Pascal's Wager Sucks

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Why Pascal's Wager Sucks

A friend forwarded a message received from a xian attempting to use Pascal's Wager. The reply is classic.

 

The message:

Quote:

Someday, you'll understand. I feel sorry for you. Just promise me one thing, IF you were to hypothetically end up burning in hell or something, don't curse the religious for not saving you int time. Just consider that if my beliefs are wrong, so what, I'm worm food or whatever, no big loss. But if you're wrong, you're screwed. But you still have tons of chances to get it. Believe it or not, God loves you and when you meet your maker, you'll remember this and regret not taking it seriously. Good luck on your road of life, maybe our paths will cross someday.

My friend's reply:

Quote:


Hey, Bud! Thanks for your thoughts. When you sent your notice of pity, it would have been a lot more helpful had you mentioned which God I should avoid being screwed by.

There’s Allah whom the Muslim vehemently deny is triune; who say that Jesus is just a prophet, who say your Bible has been corrupted and so on. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

www.answering-christianity.com
www.muslim-responses.com
http://www.islam-guide.com

Or, how about the Jews. They say that Jesus at best was a good (if not problematic) Jewish Rabbi, but not the Messiah and certainly not God. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

www.jewsforjudaism.org
www.messiahtruth.com

Or, how about the Mormons who say that there are a multitude of gods and we can become one through acts like believing in their holy books and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

www.farms.byu.edu
www.fairlds.org

Or, how about the Jehovah’s witnesses who deny the trinity also. They say that Jesus was just a man and that the holy spirit is Jehovah’s active force. They say he is not omnipresent, that we are annihilated and not condemned to Hell and that Jesus has already come secretly. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

www.elihubooks.com
www.jehovah.to/index.htm

Even the Roman Catholic Church, who while saying they have the same God as you, say also that you can by God’s grace (through the sacraments and other good works) earn salvation. They believe such go to Purgatory when they die and one should do nearly every act of worship toward Mary that you do to Jesus, just don’t call it worship. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

www.catholic.com
www.catholicapologetics.org
www.envoymagazine.com

It seems partner that “god” has “left you without a witness.” Anyway you slice it, you are just as screwed as I am! But don’t worry! Look at these passages:

Deuteronomy 20:10-17 "When you draw near a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. And if its answer to you is peace and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labour for you and shall serve you. But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; and when the Lord your God gives it into your hand you shall put all its male to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the cattle, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemy, which the Lord God has given to you. Thus you shall do to all the cities which are far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. In the cities of these people that the Lord your God gives you an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amoriotes, the Canaanites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded."

Deuteronomy 7:2 "and when the Lord your God gives then [the enemies] over to you, and you defeat them; then you must utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, and show no mercy to them..."

Numbers 31:7, 17 They warred against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and slew every male…[Moses said to them] "... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man by lying with him..."

I Samuel 15:1-3 And Samuel said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore hearken to the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, `I will punish what Am'alek did to Israel in opposing them on the way, when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and smite Am'alek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.'"

II Kings 2:23-24 He [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, "Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!" And he turned around and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out from the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.

Looks like we didn’t have to worry about God being all that loving after all.

 

I hope that the Pascal Wagerer felt that bitch slap!

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Quote:  I don't agree

Quote:

 I don't agree that if Y was the only necessary condition for X, and Y obtained, then so would X. What you need is a sufficient condition and not merely a necessary condition.

But that was the implication his interlocutor gave him, ie that you had to be Christian to understand X and being Christian was sufficient condition for knowing X. If it was merely a necessary condition, then this is affirming the consequent:

You must be Christian to understand X (is a necessary condition)

You are Christian

THerefore, you understand X 

If it is the only necessary condition, then the expression can be tweaked to make sense:

The only necesssary condition to understanding X is Christianity

You are Christian

Therefore, you have the propensity to understand X

This can be tweaked using terms that are less vague, so as to say, for example:

The only necessary condition to understanding molecular biology is to understand biochemistry

You understand biochemistry

Therefore, you have the propensity to understanding molecular biology

I chose this example because I am a molecular biologist, and the first and most necessary condition to understanding it is to understand biochemistry. Once there, you have the propensity for understanding, but not the understanding, of molecular biology.

Whatever, this hair-splitting is pointless. The point is that his interlocutor made a special pleading fallacy. 

"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.

-Me

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Oh, btw, I grant that

Oh, btw, I grant that 'unless' is actually equivalent, firstly, to 'if not', and hence we have:

 

if youre not a xian, then you won't understand.

~p --> ~q

 

Watcher affirms 'p' or '~~p"and seems to act as if this obtains 'q' or '~~q'  This would be, as yo say, denying the antecedent and is the best way to go about it.

However, I could take ~p-->~q and infer its equivalent q-->p and have my affirmation of the consequent. 

 

Either way, I charge a logical fallacy.

 

 


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      Quote:

 

 

oh, btw, be careful not to confuse the only necessary condition with the only condition at all.

 

 

 

Quote:
If it is the only necessary condition, then the expression can be tweaked to make sense:

The only necesssary condition to understanding X is Christianity

You are Christian

Therefore, you have the propensity to understand X

Well, this is a whole lot weaker because it is not claiming that you understand christianity, but only the 'propensity' to.

 

I have no immediate problems with this, but it was simply not what I see in Watcher's post at all. 

 I still charge him with a logical fallacy.

 

Btw, 'propensity' is a poor word to use here.


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deludedgod wrote: The only

deludedgod wrote:

The only necessary condition to understanding molecular biology is to understand biochemistry

You understand biochemistry

Therefore, you have the propensity to understanding molecular biology

Is biochemistry substantially different from organic chemistry?

Do I need to get another book after I complete the organic chemistry book?

 

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Right. So, we are in

Right. So, we are in agreement. What are we arguing about?

"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.

-Me

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Mykey wrote: I have no

Mykey wrote:

I have no immediate problems with this, but it was simply not what I see in Watcher's post at all. 

 I still charge him with a logical fallacy.

I charge you with talking a lot of shit and not backing any of it up.

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Well, I think we are arguing

Well, I think we are arguing about whether or not a logical fallacy occured here. I still say it does and don't see any good reason to interpret anything about a mere 'propensity'.  the claim was simply ~p-->~q.  Watcher denied the antecedent.


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Quote: Is biochemistry

Quote:

Is biochemistry substantially different from organic chemistry?

Do I need to get another book after I complete the organic chemistry book?

Organic chemistry is almost exclusively concerned with carbon compounds and their classifications, eg, alkanes, alkenes, benzenes, pyrimidines, purines etc. Biochemistry is more specific to biology and more complex. It covers more things such as Enthalpy changes, enzyme kinetics, catalysis, hydrolysis, allostery, metabolic pathways (eg glycolysis and the Krebs cycle) and is much more interesting. You need to understand organic chemistry first to understand biochemistry.

 

"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.

-Me

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Quote: I charge you with

Quote:

I charge you with talking a lot of shit and not backing any of it up.

Careful. This time he did back it up. And he is correct.  

"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.

-Me

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Mykey wrote:Well, I think

Mykey wrote:
Well, I think we are arguing about whether or not a logical fallacy occured here. I still say it does and don't see any good reason to interpret anything about a mere 'propensity'.  the claim was simply ~p-->~q.  Watcher denied the antecedent.

Ahem.  Since I am the only person engaged in this thread that was actually in the other thread on another forum that I mentioned, maybe I should point something out.

The person arguing for christianity was saying that being a christian was like having the "golden ticket" to understanding christianity.

Not that you had to first A) be a christian before you could potentially B) understand christianity.

That A=A.  Being a christian and understanding christianity was the one and the same.

That's why I pulled out the BS card on him.

That person did not imply in the slightest that A was a precondition of B, but that A was B.

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deludedgod

deludedgod wrote:

 

Organic chemistry is almost exclusively concerned with carbon compounds and their classifications, eg, alkanes, alkenes, benzenes, pyrimidines, purines etc. Biochemistry is more specific to biology and more complex. It covers more things such as Enthalpy changes, enzyme kinetics, catalysis, hydrolysis, allostery, metabolic pathways (eg glycolysis and the Krebs cycle) and is much more interesting. You need to understand organic chemistry first to understand biochemistry.

Well fucking shit!  This is going to take forever!

LOL

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What book do you have?

What book do you have?

"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.

-Me

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deludedgod

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

I charge you with talking a lot of shit and not backing any of it up.

Careful. This time he did back it up. And he is correct.  

 

Thank you for that defense.  It appears we are not in a disagreement at all--my mistake.

 

I ask that you both trust me when  say that I will post a defense of the Wager in the upcoming weeks.  It is relevant to the debate topic in another forum and hence I'll write a little about it.

However, do note that while I do believe the defenses of the Wager and similar arguments have gotten far more sophisticated, it is not the case that I believe them to be sound.  I just think they are defendable.

What I think is sound, and I will argue in conjunction with the Wager is basically belief in God as rational because the belief simply makes the believer happy. Notably, this does not apply to all people, but some people.

 I'm out for the night and off to get laid.

 

Take care.


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deludedgod

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

I charge you with talking a lot of shit and not backing any of it up.

Careful. This time he did back it up. And he is correct.  

His accusations are based on limited knowledge of the debate in discussion and are not related to any other accusations he has put forth on any other point.  He's still a shit talker.

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deludedgod wrote: What book

deludedgod wrote:
What book do you have?

Organic Chemistry Demystified.  ISBN:0-07-145920-0


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Watcher wrote: Mykey

Watcher wrote:

Mykey wrote:
Well, I think we are arguing about whether or not a logical fallacy occured here. I still say it does and don't see any good reason to interpret anything about a mere 'propensity'.  the claim was simply ~p-->~q.  Watcher denied the antecedent.

Ahem.  Since I am the only person engaged in this thread that was actually in the other thread on another forum that I mentioned, maybe I should point something out.

The person arguing for christianity was saying that being a christian was like having the "golden ticket" to understanding christianity.

Not that you had to first A) be a christian before you could potentially B) understand christianity.

That A=A.  Being a christian and understanding christianity was the one and the same.

That's why I pulled out the BS card on him.

That person did not imply in the slightest that A was a precondition of B, but that A was B.

Well, this totally changes the logic of what you originally said.  This is not a refutation of my charge, but a reformulation of your claim.

 

with that, i'm off.


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That book will cover basic

That book will cover basic chemistry topics such as valency, orbitals, atomic theory, carbon compounds, electronegativity, bond angles and polarity, periodicity and changes of state.

However, once you begin with biochemistry, you are entering the foray of biology, since any biochemistry instruction will presume that you already know what I just mentioned. Once you understand that then you have the sufficient knowledge to grasp molecular biology. Trust me, the critical step is biochemistry. Once you understand biochemistry and the topics I mentioned in the previous post, everything in molecular biology simply becomes a matter of content, not concept. Every single control system, every cell cycle division, every genetic switch, every organogenesis function, every incidence of RNA transcription, every protein complex, every ribonucleoprotein, every cell junction, every membrane, every synapse, every integrated signal, every replication, every synthesis, everything from the simplest single protein domain to the largest, most massive genetic signal integrating operon control region, is an immensely complex system that follows simple rules that you learn about in biochemistry.

Once you do know the biochemistry, everything in molecular biology is potentially within your grasp, provided you study the content. Unlike, for example, Relativity or Quantum Mechanics, Molecular Biology is conceptually very easy to grasp. The real problem is that molecular biological systems are so complicated that there is simply so much content to learn and memorize. It is not conceptually difficult to understand any of the forty or so ways the cell regulates gene expression, but it is hard to remember all forty of them at the same time. For that reason, it is one of the most finely specialized topics in all of science. Some scientists spend their entire lives, and win Nobel prizes for, singular events and systems in molecular biology. Roger Kornberg got the Nobel prize for his work in the initiation of RNA transcription in Eukaryota. His work was dedicated to a singular event, albeit one of the most important, in the vast array of cellular processes, the point at which the cell initiates transcription of DNA. 

"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.

-Me

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deludedgod wrote: That

deludedgod wrote:

That book will cover basic chemistry topics such as valency, orbitals, atomic theory, carbon compounds, electronegativity, bond angles and polarity, periodicity and changes of state.

However, once you begin with biochemistry, you are entering the foray of biology, since any biochemistry instruction will presume that you already know what I just mentioned. Once you understand that then you have the sufficient knowledge to grasp molecular biology. Trust me, the critical step is biochemistry. Once you understand biochemistry and the topics I mentioned in the previous post, everything in molecular biology simply becomes a matter of content, not concept. Every single control system, every cell cycle division, every genetic switch, every organogenesis function, every incidence of RNA transcription, every protein complex, every ribonucleoprotein, every cell junction, every membrane, every synapse, every integrated signal, every replication, every synthesis, everything from the simplest single protein domain to the largest, most massive genetic signal integrating operon control region, is an immensely complex system that follows simple rules that you learn about in biochemistry.

Once you do know the biochemistry, everything in molecular biology is potentially within your grasp, provided you study the content. Unlike, for example, Relativity or Quantum Mechanics, Molecular Biology is conceptually very easy to grasp. The real problem is that molecular biological systems are so complicated that there is simply so much content to learn and memorize. It is not conceptually difficult to understand any of the forty or so ways the cell regulates gene expression, but it is hard to remember all forty of them at the same time. For that reason, it is one of the most finely specialized topics in all of science. Some scientists spend their entire lives, and win Nobel prizes for, singular events and systems in molecular biology. Roger Kornberg got the Nobel prize for his work in the initiation of RNA transcription in Eukaryota. His work was dedicated to a singular event, albeit one of the most important, in the vast array of cellular processes, the point at which the cell initiates transcription of DNA. 

Ok, I'll add biochemistry to the list.  Thanks, DG.

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Mykey wrote: Well, this

Mykey wrote:
Well, this totally changes the logic of what you originally said.  This is not a refutation of my charge, but a reformulation of your claim.

 

with that, i'm off.

It's not a reformulation but a refinement of what I originally said.  But same end result for tonight at least.

I'm off too.

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Susan wrote: A friend

Susan wrote:

A friend forwarded a message received from a xian attempting to use Pascal's Wager. The reply is classic.

 

The message:

(...)

Looks like we didn’t have to worry about God being all that loving after all.

I lol'd hard Laughing it is classic indeed.

However I tried it many times, it won't change anything. I used similar arguments with different quotas and my post was called the most venomous thing they ever read. And I had totally agree with them, because most quotas were from Bible.

Religious people are so logic-resistant.

Ecrasez l'infame!


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One thing I will say about

One thing I will say about Pascal's Wager is that it does favor Christianity and Islam over the rest of the world's major religions.

 If you buy the logic of Pascal's Wager, then the criteria you will apply in evaluating the world's religions will be:  1) the evidence in support of a particular religion and 2) the consequences of belief and disbelief.

The Dharmic religions have less serious consequences for disbelief.  The unbeliever might have to undergo reincarnation again and again and might even be condemned to one or more of the hell realms for a while, but liberation from samsara is still possible eventually, even if it takes aeons and aeons.  Besides that, a good Christian or Muslim would likely experience favorable rebirth as a human or a god.   Further, the Dharmic religions tend to have poor historical evidence in their favor, with the exception of Sikhism.  For instance, I've read before that the Buddhist scriptures were transmitted orally for hundreds of years before being committed to writing, so we have no way of gauging how much the tradition was corrupted over time before being written down.

Christianity and Islam have RELATIVELY decent historical evidence (relative, that is, to other religions, even if we atheists consider it rather poor).  They are also the only two major world religions with definitive teachings promulgating ETERNAL torment for unbelievers.  Judaism would have to be placed in a different category because it has a less definitive idea of what awaits us in the afterlife and because it took longer for the Jewish scriptures to be committed to writing.   

Indigenous religions, lacking written scriptures, have far less evidence in their favor.  

I think that even within Christianity, it's possible to narrow the field a bit.  Protestant and Restorationist Christianity are relatively modern movements.  Moreover, they lack an appeal to authority.  Any person who wants to develop his own theology and start his own denomination is free to do so.  Catholics and Eastern Orthodox can at least claim that their religion can be traced back to the first few centuries of Christianity.  They also have the concept of the apostolic succession backing them, i.e. that the apostles appointed their successors, who became the first bishops, and these bishops in turn appointed the next generation of bishops and so on.  Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy (and Oriental Orthodoxy and the Church of the East) are also very similar to one another, and I can imagine they tend to see one another as being genuine Christians, so I'm not sure it would be necessary to narrow the field further.  

So you can see that it is possible to apply Pascal's Wager to all of the world's religions and narrow ourselves down to a very small number of religions from which to pick.  By no means am I convinced of the validity of either Christianity or Islam, but I think it's erroneous to argue that Pascal's Wager would favor no one religion in particular.  I don't believe for a moment that all religions have an equal chance of being true, or that all religions offer the same benefts and are beset with the same costs. 

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Didymos wrote:One thing I

Didymos wrote:

One thing I will say about Pascal's Wager is that it does favor Christianity and Islam over the rest of the world's major religions.

If you buy the logic of Pascal's Wager, then the criteria you will apply in evaluating the world's religions will be: 1) the evidence in support of a particular religion and 2) the consequences of belief and disbelief.

The Dharmic religions have less serious consequences for disbelief. The unbeliever might have to undergo reincarnation again and again and might even be condemned to one or more of the hell realms for a while, but liberation from samsara is still possible eventually, even if it takes aeons and aeons. Besides that, a good Christian or Muslim would likely experience favorable rebirth as a human or a god. Further, the Dharmic religions tend to have poor historical evidence in their favor, with the exception of Sikhism. For instance, I've read before that the Buddhist scriptures were transmitted orally for hundreds of years before being committed to writing, so we have no way of gauging how much the tradition was corrupted over time before being written down.

Christianity and Islam have RELATIVELY decent historical evidence (relative, that is, to other religions, even if we atheists consider it rather poor). They are also the only two major world religions with definitive teachings promulgating ETERNAL torment for unbelievers. Judaism would have to be placed in a different category because it has a less definitive idea of what awaits us in the afterlife and because it took longer for the Jewish scriptures to be committed to writing.

Indigenous religions, lacking written scriptures, have far less evidence in their favor.

I think that even within Christianity, it's possible to narrow the field a bit. Protestant and Restorationist Christianity are relatively modern movements. Moreover, they lack an appeal to authority. Any person who wants to develop his own theology and start his own denomination is free to do so. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox can at least claim that their religion can be traced back to the first few centuries of Christianity. They also have the concept of the apostolic succession backing them, i.e. that the apostles appointed their successors, who became the first bishops, and these bishops in turn appointed the next generation of bishops and so on. Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy (and Oriental Orthodoxy and the Church of the East) are also very similar to one another, and I can imagine they tend to see one another as being genuine Christians, so I'm not sure it would be necessary to narrow the field further.

So you can see that it is possible to apply Pascal's Wager to all of the world's religions and narrow ourselves down to a very small number of religions from which to pick. By no means am I convinced of the validity of either Christianity or Islam, but I think it's erroneous to argue that Pascal's Wager would favor no one religion in particular. I don't believe for a moment that all religions have an equal chance of being true, or that all religions offer the same benefts and are beset with the same costs.

Actually, I think the only religion that Pascal's Wager would favor would be one where you could genuinely be part it merely because you're afraid of the repercussions of not being part of it.

In my opinion, I think only an 'evil' religion would permit that; maybe some twisted religion where the deity doesn't care why you accept him as long as you do.


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Christianity is a slap in

  Christianity is a slap in the face to gnostic atheistic Jesus, a Buddhist mind set in Jew territory .....  J  basically equals  B ..... obviously most ancient bible writers were stupid and superstitious .....so Paul's voodoo Jesus won, Thomas's simple Jesus lost ..... and didn't make the bible cannon edit. 


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I don't know if this has

I don't know if this has been brought up in this thread but has anyone touched on how Pascal's Wager isn't based on true faith?

 

 


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Ralavik wrote:I don't know

Ralavik wrote:

I don't know if this has been brought up in this thread but has anyone touched on how Pascal's Wager isn't based on true faith?

 

 

 

It's been discussed at length elsewhere. I think this fact demonstrates that "believers" don't really believe. You can't believe or love out of fear. It's like you're afraid of being poor so you just "believe" you have a million dollars in the bank. I'd don't think you can force yourself to believe or fool and omniscient god. So "believers" are actually liars. Religion is just wish thinking.

 

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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote: 

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

  Christianity is a slap in the face to gnostic atheistic Jesus, a Buddhist mind set in Jew territory .....  J  basically equals  B ..... obviously most ancient bible writers were stupid and superstitious .....so Paul's voodoo Jesus won, Thomas's simple Jesus lost ..... and didn't make the bible cannon edit. 

IAM, I don't often have cause to say you're wrong, but here, you're wrong.

The 'simple Jesus' of Thomas being excluded from the 'canon' book-set wasn't about the authors being stupid or superstitious. It was about control. The final volume was assembled by entrenched clergy who'd gotten to positions of authority based on traditions that held the priest as the interlocutor between the masses and a deity who deigned only to give them orders... orders that conveniently fit the needs of the priesthood. The decision to maintain that control, and even tighten it, as the Roman church did, wasn't about being stupid at all, and the superstitions being played on were those of the masses, not the guys making the decision.

But we both know you knew that. Eye-wink

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Yeah BMcD, "contol", thanks

Yeah BMcD, "contol", thanks for that. My use of the S words was a broad sweeping generalization. Like saying, All war is stupidy, or Smart bombs are dumb! I'm a bit undecided as to just "how" superstitious the cannon writers "generally" were. I've never thought that they believed in the wild story miracles they wrote, but they believed in a supernatural god creator thingy and  good vs evil "spirit(s)", as many do today.
     Even Plato it seems, was a kind of pantheist. (for lack of a better word ?)  The controlers of course were firstly "bent" on keeping power and control to the point of being murderous, and what I call crazy, which I also call "stupid".

All of this is obviously my vauge evolving history opinion of language babel .... Rook and all you RRS fans have definatlely expanded my interest in ancient history and our future destiny.

Anyhow, as you know, my "god" message is simple - all is one, all is gawed, therefore there is no to god to worship. "Religion is blasphemy"

"Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen." Michel de Montaigne ( 1533-1592)

 And well so there,  I've said basically nothing again ..... 

     This atheist, Bill Ross isn't much scholarly but "amusing" ....                          

"Plato's god vs Jehovah"  http://bibleshockers.blogspot.com/2007/10/calvinism-versus-bible-platos-god.html
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=bible+shockers&spell=1
 
BMcD ??? Just curious.   http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=BMcD&btnG=Google+Search

 


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Nope. None of those search

Nope. None of those search results was me. Eye-wink I try to keep a small digital footprint (or rather, much like successful stealth technology, scatter mine to keep it from being completely assembled).

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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BMcD    Don't be holding

BMcD    Don't be holding out on us simple farmers ....  


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What about the religions of the past?

The biggest problem with Pascal's wager is not that there are god's other than the Xtian god that will send you to hell but there are god's who demand acts of worship and appeasement that are condemned by other gods and performing them will send you to hell. There are many many gods like the Aztex god Huitzilopochtli who demand human sacrifice or else all movement in the universe will cease which runs contrary to the commandment "Thou Shalt not Kill". The Norse God Odin required frequent human sacrifice. So your choice in that case is human sacrifice and risk hell or no human sacrifice and risk destroying the universe. Or if you are Hawaiin you can ignore making human sacrifices to Ku at the risk of having him destroy every man woman and child on the island by erupting the local volcano. There ae gods that require sexual rituals, cannibalism, infanticide, and many other acts that run contrary to Xtianity and most modern religions. Belief alone and living a good life is not enough for these gods. They want blood. In order for Pascal's wager to work you'd have to be able to satisfy all gods that have any sort of hell or destruction associated with not worshipping them which will inevitably lead to major conflicts. Of course you could sacrifice humans to one God and then pray to Jesus for forgiveness if you are a Xtian but then you'd still go to hell for worshipping other gods according to the Jewish and Muslim religions. Pascal's wager, in the end, is a fool's wager.

 

 

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion."
- Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize-winning physicist


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Cool big WrathJW.      I

Cool big WrathJW.   

  I AM one with the infinite eternal ( G awe D , Awe la )  If I AM wrong it is god of abe's problem. Either way I AM off the hook for not knowing and therefore any judgment ..... Can I fool god, my very self?   Dumb ass, Pascal Wagner inverted ! .... (yeah, me dumb too, but not that dumb ! Me just crazy !        


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2 Cent's Worth (and Praise for an Atheist) from an Xian

The following post that I made to Carl Marychurch's site debunking Kent Hovind (www.kent-hovind.com) doesn't treat Pascal's wager specifically, but is related.
 



Many discussions with Hovind supporters in this guest book follow a characteristic trajectory. The Supporter’s initial post says that Hovind is a godly man whose materials prove evolution wrong. Usually, this is accompanied by an appeal for his Detractors to open their minds to the Truth before it’s too late. The Detractors reply that Hovind’s materials prove nothing because they are simply not credible--even Creationist organizations like Answers in Genesis consider them factually inaccurate.

What is more, AiG considers Hovind less than honest. I (who worked as a scientist, but am now a faith missionary of 6 years service) usually add that Hovind has been confronted repeatedly about his lying by other Christians, and remains defiantly unrepentant. Therefore, according to both Jesus and Paul (Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 5:11), we should not only stop saying that Hovind is godly, but expel him from our midst until such time as he repents.

Hovind Supporters then respond in different ways, but sooner or later come around to this: that everyone is sinful, and that no Christian should ever judge another, speak badly about him in front of nonbelievers, or ex-pel him, for any reason. This is a very odd response for two reasons.

First, Supporters add nothing to Hovind’s credibility —or their own– by implying that they, themselves, would keep mum about Hovind’s wrongdoing were they aware of it. Second, it presents the Good News as a cynical bargain: “You will spend eternity in Hell for your sins unless you accept Jesus. However, having accepted Him, you may continue sinning as you wish without fear of correction by other Christians. The catch is, you must never tell a nonbeliever about a believer’s wrongdoing, no matter what.” An offer that any honorable person would reject with contempt.


The professing atheists who post here typically come much closer to the spirit of the Gospel [than Hovind’s followers do], such as in this quote from a post that an atheist made several months ago regarding morality:



I see morality ... in terms of a choice. I choose to believe that the lives and well being of others have value. I try to act and believe in a way that respects the lives and well being of others not because a higher power tells me to, or because of any desire for reward or fear of punishment, but because I choose to.

 

Here speaks a person who wants to know and do what is right out of love for others, because he knows that to do otherwise would harm them. Such a person simply isn’t interested in an offer of Divine permission to do wrong even if it comes bundled with eternal life, and especially if comes at the price of having to shut up about the wrongdoing of fellow believers.




I've always thought Pascal's wager was beneath contempt. I thought so back when I was an atheist, and even more so now. You can read excerpts from related posts of mine at
 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13976?page=10#comment-172288

.


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I dont know what to say...

As a believer, I am truly disappointed that other believers use pascals wager at all....as was mentioned previously, theres no way that fear produces true faith....I can imagine the wager was brought up in conversation from one believer to another believer who had doubts at times. But in no way is it remotely convincing to attempt to use it to "reason" a person to God. It just shows how stupid we are as believers not applying any type of rigor or questioning to our beliefs. There is no way to trust anyone who uses that argument.


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JustAnotherBeliever wrote:As

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

As a believer, I am truly disappointed that other believers use pascals wager at all....as was mentioned previously, theres no way that fear produces true faith....I can imagine the wager was brought up in conversation from one believer to another believer who had doubts at times. But in no way is it remotely convincing to attempt to use it to "reason" a person to God. It just shows how stupid we are as believers not applying any type of rigor or questioning to our beliefs. There is no way to trust anyone who uses that argument.

Then why does the OT talk of the "fear of the Lord" and why does Jesus speak of hell?

America's leading evengilical pastor uses it. Doesn't it prove that even he doesn't believe the Buybull?



Rick Warren wrote:

I believe in both faith and reason. The more we learn about God, the more we understand how magnificent this universe is. There is no contradiction to it. When I look at history, I would disagree with Sam: Christianity has done far more good than bad. Altruism comes out of knowing there is more than this life, that there is a sovereign God, that I am not God. We're both betting. He's betting his life that he's right. I'm betting my life that Jesus was not a liar. When we die, if he's right, I've lost nothing. If I'm right, he's lost everything. I'm not willing to make that gamble.
 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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There's nothing wrong

with a healthy fear of the awesomeness of God. Its 90% reverance and 10% fear that just because I'm a believer doesnt mean Gods not going to let bad things happen to me.  He might have to use me for some "teaching parables" like Jobs family.

If you are saying, hell was invented as a type of pascals wager argument to the nonbeliever, I never really thought about it that way. Scaring people does the opposite of attracting them. It would be better to not tell people about hell so you dont push them into a false faith. And then tell them afterward, "by the way, look what you got got saved from...and you didnt even know it"

But I would not argue that "the church" hasnt used the doctrine of hell to manipulate people for their own monetary gains. They absolutely have. Its just more evidence that ALL people will whatever they can if they can get away with it.

I'm all for never mentioning hell again!!! I wont bring it up, if you dont...

 It rarely leads people to true faith which stems from the love of God. God loves you even if you choose not to serve him and prefer to "rule in hell". Some say thats the metaphorical "fire in hell" - knowing God loved you the whole time but you just want to do your own thing. I dont think Gods trying to rub it in though. Whatever your choice is. Its just that there will be evil in heaven. If I dont want to give up my sins, I'll have to go somewhere else. Thats what we call hell.

 

 


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Quote:as was mentioned

Quote:
as was mentioned previously, theres no way that fear produces true faith....

So, you know that faith is non-contingent, right?  So, here's a problem.  In every instance that science or philosophy has discovered, non-contingent belief turns out to be completely unreliable.  Will you please describe in detail how and why non-contingent faith arises, and the philosophical justification for its validity, only in the case of one deity in the history of humanity?

 

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EXC wrote:Then why does the

EXC wrote:

Then why does the OT talk of the "fear of the Lord" and why does Jesus speak of hell?

America's leading evengilical pastor uses it. Doesn't it prove that even he doesn't believe the Buybull?

Because the ancient atheistic Buddha like "Jesus philosophy" says: The "Devil" in us all (meaning wrong thinking), creates the undiserable "Hell ish" conditions we ourselves create and live under in this life. That story Jesus said "This is the Kingdom/Heaven of God NOW" ..... and "I am god as you as everything is God" .....

The Buddha message is, "Hell" is the "unnecessary suffering" we create. 

    DIRT SIMPLE .....

    That "paster" IS, as most of them, the enemy - wrong thinking ..... ( the devil, the hell makers )

 


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JustAnotherBeliever

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

But I would not argue that "the church" hasnt used the doctrine of hell to manipulate people for their own monetary gains. They absolutely have. Its just more evidence that ALL people will whatever they can if they can get away with it.

I'm all for never mentioning hell again!!! I wont bring it up, if you dont...

 

So we can agree just to toss out the whole Buybull and Koran as old myths that used the fear of hell to manipulate people?

Exactly what version of Theism do you recommend we believe in then? Why?

What does your Theist believe stand on, just what you feel? The bybull was written to be the gold standard for Theist belief, otherwise you Theists just pick and choose whatever beliefs fell good to you, and reject the ones you don't like.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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wow

wow, thats a tough one...I'm going to have to think about that for a while...like the rest of my life.

Some things I can say are that I dont claim any one noncontingent belief to be totally reliable, trustworthy, valid, justified. But if you put several together and try to get some internal consistency you can get a working mental model in practice that needs constant updating but can achieve a poor but reasonable working approximation of "the truth". I think there are several "partial truths" in a lot of religions that people like to latch on to. I think if one has a faith, it should attempt to try to explain other faiths instead of just saying theyre all wrong and Im right. We need mental models with explanatory and predictive power. We can do thought experiments even though there are no physical experiments. Science will never prove faith is justified.

I believe in one deity because the definition of God is pure being. Whatever that means to each person subjectively, even though technically irrational, meaningless, noncontingent, etc., there is just one - that which has always existed. I dont think there is any philosphical or scientific justification for this. It is "revealed knowledge" from God alone though technically not knowledge just belief.  In practice, we can "test" what we believe by comparing scripture with our conscience and by asking the holy spirit for interpretation. Where these three things converge, we can get an approximation of the truth. But we often dont know what we dont know and are just wrong sometimes. Our consciences are warped. We dont listen to the holy spirit. We deceive ourselves a lot of the time. Its tough.

Would faith arise in religions if there was no God? You might say faith is evidence against God because its irrational. Others would say faith is evidence for God. People put faith in a lot of things that arent true and they will continue to do so forever. I think that you cant get faith by reason so you shouldnt be able to lose faith by reason. Beliefs that are proven wrong you can get rid of. Beliefs that are technically meaningless are harder to get rid of. You can always question what the meaning is or isnt.

I'll keep thinking about it.


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Quote:wow, thats a tough

Quote:
wow, thats a tough one...I'm going to have to think about that for a while...like the rest of my life.

You could just admit the obvious.

Quote:
Some things I can say are that I dont claim any one noncontingent belief to be totally reliable, trustworthy, valid, justified.

This doesn't get you off the hook.  You're claiming that one is at least reliable enough to base your entire life philosophy on.  You must justify this.  (Well, you don't have to, but if you want to be a grown up and take responsibility for your own beliefs, you really ought to.)

Quote:
But if you put several together and try to get some internal consistency you can get a working mental model in practice that needs constant updating but can achieve a poor but reasonable working approximation of "the truth".

No, you can't.  Unreliability exponentially multiplies against itself.  In other words, if I have ten items, and one of them is unreliable, I have a low percentage chance that all ten are reliable -- unreliable doesn't mean false, just unreliable.  Therefore, if I'm 99% sure of nine items, and 0% sure of one, there's still a low chance, based on 9 of 10 being reliable, that it's still 10/10.  However, if I add a second unreliable item into the mix, you have a real problem.

Suppose that our unreliable item has 5 possibilities.  The odds are 1:5 that it's correct, regardless of whether we know anything about it.  That's not bad.  However, if two items are 1:5, then we need both of them to be correct, and the odds of that are 5 squared, or 1:25.  For the third item, it's 5 cubed, and so on.

So, with noncontingent faith, if we have 10 items, all of which are unreliable, and all of which have 5 possibilities, the odds of all ten of them being true are 5^9.  And that's only with a VERY limited number of possibilities.

Quote:
I think there are several "partial truths" in a lot of religions that people like to latch on to.

Evolutionary psychology predicts this, of course.   Human nature is somewhat pliable, but some things are innate.  It should be no surprise that there would be similarities across cultures.  We're all people, after all.

Quote:
I think if one has a faith, it should attempt to try to explain other faiths instead of just saying theyre all wrong and Im right.

You mean except for that hell thing you were harping about earlier?  That's exactly right, isn't it?  Or, are you really just playing a Pascal's Wager?

Quote:
We need mental models with explanatory and predictive power. We can do thought experiments even though there are no physical experiments.

Right.  Science provides the methodology to do this.  In fact, we can probably say with certainty that this is one of the most rudimentary and basic forms of scientific inquiry.

Quote:
Science will never prove faith is justified.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

Sorry... that's really comical.  Of course it won't!  That's because faith is completely invalid as an ontological method.  Were science to prove faith then all of science would be invalidated.  You know what that means by now, right?  Faith would necessarily be invalid because the thing that validated it was invalid.

Gee, it's another paradox.  You seem to believe in a lot of those.

Quote:
I believe in one deity because the definition of God is pure being.

Horseshit.  There are hundreds of definitions of god.  You just picked out the one you grew up with as the correct one.

Quote:
Whatever that means to each person subjectively, even though technically irrational, meaningless, noncontingent, etc., there is just one - that which has always existed

So everyone is right, so long as they agree with you about the one thing, which you're objectively right about, even though faith is subjective, and faith is how you know your particular god is the right one?

Gee... another paradox.

Quote:
I dont think there is any philosphical or scientific justification for this.

There isn't.

Quote:
It is "revealed knowledge" from God alone though technically not knowledge just belief.

You mean to say that the one god that you know for certain is the right god because you have faith, but all those other people in the rest of the world who know that their god is the right one, and all those other ones for the thousands of years before anyone had heard of Yahweh... their faith wasn't right because it wasn't your faith, because faith is subjective, as long as they believe what you believe?

Quote:
In practice, we can "test" what we believe by comparing scripture with our conscience and by asking the holy spirit for interpretation.

In the real world, a book cannot be evidence for itself.  In the real world, the scripture is so drastically and fatally inconsistent that only people who are very gullible can possibly believe it's divinely inspired.  Even discounting its internal contradictions, you still will have to explain why this particular holy book, out of all the holy books ever written, is the correct one, and how you know it through your subjective faith, which is subjective, so long as everybody agrees with you, and wants to go to hell

Quote:
Where these three things converge, we can get an approximation of the truth.

No, we get a collection of paradoxes that unindoctrinated seven year olds can see through.  No kidding.  A friend of mine's daughter went to church for the first time at seven years old, and when he asked her what she thought, she said, "That's stupid.  Why do people believe that?  It doesn't make any sense.  You can't fit all the animals in the world on a boat!"

Quote:
But we often dont know what we dont know and are just wrong sometimes.

Dick Cheney would be proud of you.

Quote:
Our consciences are warped.

I'm still waiting to find out if you have any idea what the human conscience is, how it formed, and how it works.  I know because I study science.  Do you know?

Quote:
You might say faith is evidence against God because its irrational.

Or, you could say that people have believed irrational things en masse for at least as long as they've been painting buffalo on cave walls.  As we've progressed scientifically, we've ditched most of our irrational beliefs.  Religion hangs on because it is deeply emotional, and has built in unfalsifiable claims that resist reason.

Quote:
Others would say faith is evidence for God.

If they said that, it would prove that they don't know what counts as evidence, or how to think critically.

Quote:
People put faith in a lot of things that arent true and they will continue to do so forever.

Probably so.  It is built into our nature.  Luckily, we have the power to individually rise above our tendency to be swayed by emotion instead of reason.  Lots of people have done it.  But, you're right.  The masses tend to be much less rational than those who have taken the time to learn how to think critically.

Quote:
I think that you cant get faith by reason so you shouldnt be able to lose faith by reason.

Well, that might be a new one for me.  I don't think I've encountered anyone foolish enough to suggest this before.  Let's examine this for a moment, ok?

Do you know what reason is?  It's the application of logic.  Do you know what logic is?  It's the codification of the empirically verifiable means by which knowledge is attained.  Man didn't invent it.  It exists, and man can either use it correctly or not.  When something is logically valid, that means IF the premises are true THEN the conclusion will be true.

Logic leads us to science.  Science is the codification of the empirically verifiable means by which anything that exists is described.  The first principle of science is that the only thing that counts is something we can falsify, demonstrate, and repeat.  Since faith, by definition, is the non-application of science, it's a two step argument:

1) Science, derived from logic, derived from axioms, is the only way to obtain reliable information.

2) Faith is not science.

3) Therefore, faith cannot obtain reliable information.

Done.

Quote:
Beliefs that are technically meaningless are harder to get rid of.

You think your faith is meaningless?

 

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Please please you in awe ,

Please please you in awe ,  requiring a religious kind of explanation .... Read the "Jesus" etc interpretations of our eastern sisters and brothers. The Buddhists, Hindus, and the free thinking mystical Islamists called "Sulfism" (I think?) 

Hey cool bad boy, Allan Watts knew / knows ...... The basic "truth" is more than dirt simple ..... All is "ONE" ..... as every atom is of equal importance .....  !    


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Faith in Reality? OUCH!!

Regarding the following, I think I can speak for all of us Scientific Realists when I say, "OUCH!" It's one of the things I quote about quantum mechanics in the post http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13976?page=13#comment-173719

… A realist may be convinced that there is an independent reality “out there” which is probed through observation and experiment. [A positivist notes that we] have no means of acquiring knowledge of the physical world except through observation and experiment, so the reality we probe is, of necessity, dependent on the observer for its existence. The positivist argues that, since we cannot verify the existence of an observer-independent reality, such a reality is metaphysical and therefore quite without meaning. The logical contradiction implied in the realist’s view is side-stepped only by an appeal to the emotions or to faith.

 

A modern scientist might typically adopt the [empirical and logical] methods of the positivist but the outlook of the realist. If this position seems a little confusing and ill thought out, it is perhaps because scientists rarely spend time working out where they stand on these philosophical issues. Indeed, a pragmatic scientist might have little time for what seems like a kind of philosophical nit-picking. However, it is very difficult to avoid these issues in quantum theory.

 

[For example,] a quantum particle exhibits properties we associate with waves and particles. Its behavior appears to be determined by the kind of instrument we use to probe its properties. … All we can know is the EMPIRICAL reality —here the quantum particle is a wave, here it is a particle. Is it therefore meaningful to speculate about what the quantum particle IS?

 

It bears repeating: the logical contradiction implied in the realist’s view is side-stepped only by an appeal to the emotions or to faith. I think I speak for all of us scientific realists when I say, “OUCH!”

 


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JustAnotherBeliever

JustAnotherBeliever wrote:

 It is "revealed knowledge" from God alone though technically not knowledge just belief.  In practice, we can "test" what we believe by comparing scripture with our conscience and by asking the holy spirit for interpretation.

 

I'll keep thinking about it.

 

Please do. Isn't your "revealed knowledge" essentially just a feeling or delusion you got one time. It's not really knowledge because knowledge requires facts. You just pick and choose what to believe based upon how the belief makes you feel. You don't like how Hell makes you feel so this doctrine must be false. So isn't your knowledge just a good feeling you got since religion is after all a drug? You believe what you believe cause it makes you feel good?

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Pascal Wager

While I do think you should not force yourself to believe something just because you are afraid of hell-I do think Pascal's wager is a bit valid. The question is who presents the most valid evidence.

There’s Allah whom the Muslim vehemently deny is triune; who say that Jesus is just a prophet, who say your Bible has been corrupted and so on. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

Muslims always flounder when trying to explain the origins of early Christianity and the clears sources we have showing Jesus did claim to be divine and die on the croos.There isn't an inkling of evidence for the inspiration of the Quran either. P.S. Some of the sites you quoted use scary-bad scholarship (Kearsey Greaves bad)

Or, how about the Jews. They say that Jesus at best was a good (if not problematic) Jewish Rabbi, but not the Messiah and certainly not God. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

Judaism has to wrestle with a chronolugy of Daniel that places the messiah before the coming of the second temple.And i don't see any convincing evidence to support the Tanakh either.JewsforJudaism are mean people too.The throw around those old canards that have long been disproven.(their site also cites Kearsey Greaves)

Or, how about the Mormons who say that there are a multitude of gods and we can become one through acts like believing in their holy books and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

The Mormons have to twist the biblical text to make it fit their polytheism.Archeological and genetic evidence contradicts the book of Mormon.

Or, how about the Jehovah’s witnesses who deny the trinity also. They say that Jesus was just a man and that the holy spirit is Jehovah’s active force. They say he is not omnipresent, that we are annihilated and not condemned to Hell and that Jesus has already come secretly. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

Jehovah's witness end up faceplanting themselves int the wall of background Jewish literature and Wisdom/Logos/Memra theology when they try to debate the trinity.Their account of Jesus' "spiritual ressurection" and "spiritual return" is also highly inconsistent with the historical facts.

Even the Roman Catholic Church, who while saying they have the same God as you, say also that you can by God’s grace (through the sacraments and other good works) earn salvation. They believe such go to Purgatory when they die and one should do nearly every act of worship toward Mary that you do to Jesus, just don’t call it worship. They give evidence from ancient history, science, archeology, Greek and Hebrew, Christian scholars, the early church fathers and the Bible itself to support their claim.

I usually don't have much problem with the catholic church but when a doctrine of their cannot be reliably traced back to the apostles or early Christians-I tend to reject on insufficient evidence.I'm not a fan of papal authority either. And I guess I would add in atheism.I haven'tseen any convincing evidence for atheism -and atheism is terrible at answering basic philosophical questions like "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Looks like we didn’t have to worry about God being all that loving after all. God is loving but god has to assist his people when they are attcked and punish the sinners. No contradiction. The single most convincing peice of evidence i find that supports biblical Christianity is the historical evidence for the resurrection. See the facts here http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=28FCD30D012B1A67 It all comes down to who argues with the best evidence.Choose wisely

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.


latincanuck
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of course pascals wager is a bit valid

If you ignore buddhism, hinduism, various other pagen believes, mayan, shinto and all the other religious beliefs that are not included under the abrahamic god. Forget the fact that the abrahamic god is up to debate amoungst three major religions, and too many sects to name from those three religion on the matter of interpretation of their own holy books. Oh and the jews don't use the bible to support their claims, they use the torah which is the OLD testament they do not use the New Testament which is the christian revision of god and bringing the messiah into it all, which both together the OT and the NT are considered to be the bible. The torah is the OT only. However the Torah is not the bible of the christian faith.


Dante_Inferno
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Pascal's Wager in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

I am reading a summary of Pascal's Wager right now in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Great resource. Some major philosophers think the argument is valid.

My simple minded understanding of this is that Pascal is not arguing that God exists; but that even if god has a very small probability of existence, and god will give you everlasting happiness, then it does no harm to wager on God, and it might do you a great deal of good.

Now you might ask how do you know how to make this wager? Well suppose for a moment that there is a one in a trillion chance that you will worship the right god or gods in the right way. I suppose that a rational person would say well it does not hurt to worship the best way I am capable. I might choose Catholicism and it could be wrong. But it has a chance of being right too. Or I could choose Islam, or Hinduism, or Buddhism or Satanism (My personal choice actually. If I was forced to believe in a deity it would be that all the stuff about Satan is a lie and that he is a fun guy and hell is a non-stop party where guys like me get to have sex with supermodels, drink and do drugs without any medical problems. And of course I will tall, dark, handsome, well muscled and have a humongous....). Any one of them could be right.

But that leaves open the possibility that being an atheist is what is rewarded, does it not?  I will not give up my atheism, my not believing in the unknown. But I will do a little Satan worship now and then just in case. He seems the sort of person that would tolerate inconsistencey. What is it they say in those NY Lottery adds? You never know.


I AM GOD AS YOU
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I say to Pascal Wagner, I AM

I say to Pascal Wagner, I AM GOD .... it is impossible I am not.  Your bet is one of ignorance, superstition and fear, or just plain silly. 

WTF are we ? How can we NOT be god ? Wanna bet ? Shezzzzzz. Okay , all I AM.


Meccamputechture
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Pascal wager

latincanuck wrote:

If you ignore buddhism, hinduism, various other pagen believes, mayan, shinto and all the other religious beliefs that are not included under the abrahamic god. Forget the fact that the abrahamic god is up to debate amoungst three major religions, and too many sects to name from those three religion on the matter of interpretation of their own holy books. Oh and the jews don't use the bible to support their claims, they use the torah which is the OLD testament they do not use the New Testament which is the christian revision of god and bringing the messiah into it all, which both together the OT and the NT are considered to be the bible. The torah is the OT only. However the Torah is not the bible of the christian faith.

If you present some sort of evidence for the pagan religions I swould be glad to see.So far i have seen none.

And you atheists are silly.Just because some people dispute a fact does not mean it is not the truth. You examine the facts and see how they are supported by history and evidence and come to the best conclusion.

The Jews call their scripture the Hebrew bible or Tanakh (Christians can call it the Old testament).

The Torah is the 5 books of Moses.

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.


MattShizzle
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Meccamputechture wrote:If

Meccamputechture wrote:

If you present some sort of evidence for the pagan religions I swould be glad to see.So far i have seen none.

And you atheists are silly.Just because some people dispute a fact does not mean it is not the truth. You examine the facts and see how they are supported by history and evidence and come to the best conclusion.

The Jews call their scripture the Hebrew bible or Tanakh (Christians can call it the Old testament).

The Torah is the 5 books of Moses.

 

Do you have any evidence for the Christarded religion? Any evidence Jesus ever actually existed that hasn't already been thoroughly discredited here?

You Christians are just silly. Just because something is written in a book doesn't make it true.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


LoveThyNeighbour
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If the theist is right, the

If the theist is right, the theist goes to heaven and the atheist to hell.

If the Atheist is right, both the theist and the atheist cease to exist, regardless of what you believe.

 

Atheists have no rational answer to this argument.

I'm an agnostic atheist who thinks you should love your neughbour.