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Pascal's Wager

Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by Kingarthurhk, Mar 3, 2012.


  1. Kingarthurhk

    Kingarthurhk
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    Isaiah 53:4-9

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dnt5dqQFznE&feature=related"]Pascal`s Wager - David Asscherick - YouTube[/ame]
     

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  2. ArtificialGrape

    ArtificialGrape
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    While I'm not compelled to watch nearly 4 hours of videos that you've posted today, could you answer me this...

    Were you being truthful when you previously reported that you had not pursued a promotion in the past (I apologize that I don't recall the rank/position) because of the work on the Sabbath that would have been expected?

    -ArtificialGrape
     

  3. Kingarthurhk

    Kingarthurhk
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    Isaiah 53:4-9

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    Yes, I did. I was asked if I would apply. I said, "No." I have declined two opportunities to apply for a supervisory position at my office. All supervisors are required by rotate working a Sabbath. I knew that in advance, and have not applied, even though it would be a substantial pay raise. Money is definately not everything.
     
    #3 Kingarthurhk, Mar 3, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  4. ArtificialGrape

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    No, money is not everything, but a core premise of the wager (that believers lose nothing if there is no God) is obviously false. You will have lost out on (at a minimum)
    • money that you donated to feed the machine of religion
    • your time (possibly more valuable)
    • advancement in your career
    On top of that Pascal created a false dichotomy between the Christian God and no god. What if one of the thousands of other gods that man has worshiped were the true god? Or if the Jews are right and by worshiping Jesus you've been worshiping a false god?

    -ArtificialGrape
     
  5. Paul7

    Paul7
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    New Guy

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    Thanks for posting. The gist of it is that Jesus promised that our life on earth as Christians would be 100 times more fulfilling than without Christ (I'll vouch for that, as does the speaker), and in the age to come, we will have eternal life. Just on the basis of our earthly result from that testable statement, we would be foolish to not side with Christ.

    Here is some evidence for more earthly satisfaction from sociologist Brad Wilcox:

    "Based on my earlier research, evangelical women tend to be happier in their marriages than other women, particularly when both the wife and the husband attend church on a regular basis. This idea that Christians are just as likely to divorce as secular folks is not correct if we factor church attendance into our thinking. Churchgoing evangelical Protestants, churchgoing Catholics, and churchgoing mainline Protestants are all significantly less likely to divorce. . . . between 35 and 50 percent less likely than Americans who attend church just nominally, just once or twice a year, or who don't attend church at all. It is true that people who say they've had a born-again experience are about as likely to divorce as people who are completely secular. But if you look at this through the lens of church attendance, you see a very different story."
     
    #5 Paul7, Mar 3, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  6. Paul7

    Paul7
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    So you're saying that donating to philanthropic causes makes you miserable? That certainly explain why the secular give less to charity.

    If another god is the true one, than that would count on the Christian losing side of the wager.
     
  7. Kingarthurhk

    Kingarthurhk
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    Isaiah 53:4-9

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    Matthew 6;19-24, "<sup>19</sup> “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. <sup id="en-NIV-23303" class="versenum">20</sup> But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. <sup id="en-NIV-23304" class="versenum">21</sup> For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    <sup id="en-NIV-23305" class="versenum">22</sup> “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,<sup class="footnote" value='[c]'>[c]</sup> your whole body will be full of light. <sup id="en-NIV-23306" class="versenum">23</sup> But if your eyes are unhealthy,<sup class="footnote" value='[d]'>[d]</sup> your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! <sup id="en-NIV-23307" class="versenum">24</sup> “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

    I am confident in my decision. Heaven is cheap enough.
     
  8. ArtificialGrape

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    I never mentioned misery nor does Pascal's Wager -- why are you introducing misery?

    Actually the scenario of another god being the true God is not covered by the wager. The wager sets up the scenario of God exists, or He does not exist. And on the "does not exist" side of the wager the conclusion is that nothing is lost (because there is no god). However, if you wagered on the wrong god, the real God may not be all too pleased. That is not a scenario covered by the wager.

    -ArtificialGrape
     
  9. Kingarthurhk

    Kingarthurhk
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    Isaiah 53:4-9

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    Watch the OP video and get back with us with your imput. I would be curious to see what you would say regarding the material.

    In the mean time, my personal modus operendi is pretty well defined this song:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN6kXO7BOCY"]Paul Baloche - My reward - YouTube[/ame]
     
  10. ArtificialGrape

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    Alright, I'll try to make some time for it this evening -- or at least up to my threshold -- but I don't suppose you could provide a specific time that I could jump to for what you found the most compelling, could you?

    -ArtificialGrape
     
  11. Altaris

    Altaris
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    This is one of the answers I always like in regards to Pascal's Wager.

    [ame="www.youtube.com/watch?v=37-RugZIvr4"]Christopher Hitchens on Blaise Pascal&#39;s wager. - YouTube[/ame]
     
  12. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver
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    the wrong hands

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  13. ArtificialGrape

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    He hit on a good point that I've mentioned before, but didn't this time -- while you can undoubtedly fake your way into fooling family, friends and constituents into believing that you're Christian, it's kind of silly to think that you can bluff your way past God into heaven.

    -ArtificialGrape
     
  14. Guss

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    If you follow the path of Pascal's wager, shouldn't you follow the god who paints the best picture of an afterlife? You wouldn't want to miss anything would you?
     
  15. ArtificialGrape

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    Or perhaps follow the god with the most objectionable hell.
     
  16. frank4570

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    That would most probably put a person on the Jewish path. Good people get close to god, bad people don't.
    Christians are worshiping a person in violation of gods law, the worst crime there is.
    Pascals wager would most probably make a person Jewish or monotheistic pagan.
     
  17. Kingarthurhk

    Kingarthurhk
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    Isaiah 53:4-9

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    I know, let's all speculate on the OP's material; but not actually watch it before formulating an opinion. Exactly, how does that fit in with the intellectualism touted toward Christianity as if we are sophomoric bafoons?
     
    #17 Kingarthurhk, Mar 3, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  18. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver
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    the wrong hands

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    It's Pascals wager. We've all heard it before and it's flawed logic. This is an hour long video so why don't you break it down for us and explain how he makes it make sense?
     
  19. ArtificialGrape

    ArtificialGrape
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    I found Pastor David Asscherick to be an engaging enough of a pastor/speaker, but as I suspected before I wasted 52 minutes watching (BTW, you could have told me to skip the first 16 minutes), he did nothing to change the flaws that have already been pointed out. It was completely on track to speculate without having watched the video -- Pascal's Wager just isn't that complex.

    The basic premise presented was that when you consider a wager you take into account 3 factors:
    1. size of prize
    2. size of risk
    3. probability of winning

    This was not new to me since I'm a project manager, and I spend a significant amount of time dealing with risk management (though without the "prize" factor). I always think of risk in terms of likelihood (probability) and consequence.

    After running through a lottery ticket example he laid out the case for belief in God:
    1. size of prize -- infinitely large (everlasting life; John 3:16)
    2. size of risk -- non-existent
    3. probability of winning -- 100% if you accept Jesus (John 3:16)

    So the same issues that have been raised independent of watching the sermon still exist:

    1. Can you just flip a switch and decide to truly believe something that your intellect does not believe -- not go through the motions, but truly believe? Pardon the horrible example, but the life of your wife/child/sibling/parent is in the hands of an evil doer, and they tell you that unless you believe in the existence of Santa your loved one will be killed. With your current understanding of the world, could you just flip a switch and truly believe (not just fake it well enough to deceive the evil doer)? That brings us to problem:

    2. As mentioned before, you could certainly feign being saved and fool your family and friends, but do you think God would be fooled by your new church attendance, bible study and praying over meals?

    3. It is well trodden ground that the risk (cost) is not nothing. You've given up your money, your more precious time, in your case the opportunity for career growth, and who knows what else.

    4. The wager is also based on a false dichotomy between the Christian God and no god which would mean that if you bet on the Christian God and were wrong, then there is no god, and nothing would be lost. However, as regularly pointed out, if some other (non-Christian) god turns out to be the true God, then he may not have taken all to well to your worshiping a false god. It could even be that an atheist who worshiped no god at all would be in better standing.

    I'll end with a great quote from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:

    Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."

    "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
    --Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Personally I'm an Alice, but there are a lot of queens about.

    Cheers and good night,
    -ArtificialGrape

    BTW, you now owe me 52 minutes that I get to assign. :cool:
     
  20. Kingarthurhk

    Kingarthurhk
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    Isaiah 53:4-9

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    I am glad you took the time to review the material.

    I would contend with you on your conclusion, however.

    I have studied the world's religions. I cannot conceive of a god that would condemn you for accepting the God of the Bible.

    So, I think we can put that arguendum aside.

    Next, you tell me that you would stand to lose your time, (as you have stated at the end of your post).

    Can you sincerely tell me that you have used every moment of your existance to date in the utmost efficiency?

    Next, you tell me that you stand to lose finances. I can only assume you mean 10 percent of your income to tithe?

    Can you honestly tell me that you have never used any of your income frivolously since your first earned income to this very day?

    So, the argument against pursuing God that you have given me are the following:

    1. You believe that you might be following a false God.

    I have two things to counter that thought pattern. Firstly, I cannot conceive of any god out there in the world's religions that I have studied that would condemn you for pursuing the God of the Bible.

    Next, I firmly believe if you honestly pray to God, to allow Him to show you the way to salvation-you will receive knowledge of Him and the way to salvation.

    2. You tell me that you stand to lose your time. I would tell you that you already are sacrificing part of your time to religion; otherwise you would not be in this forum.

    Further, given the finite time you have to exist on this earth, compared to an eternity of living to be gained-the trade off is obvious.

    3. You tell me you stand to lose some finances in pursuit of God.

    Again, what does the money in this life compare to the next where there will be eternal life and treasures laid up for us in heaven?

    I would implore you to give it a chance. I would say to you, if you honestly and sincerely pray to God (an act that costs you nothing but some time), and ask Him to show you the way to salvation, you will not be denied.

    Honestly, call upon the name of the Lord and tell Him about your doubts, concerns, and need to understand Him better. You will not be rejected.
     
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