1. Joined
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    16 Nov '06 03:35
    1. believe in God and youre right and you are saved.
    2. believe in God and youre wrong and nothing happens.
    3. dont believe in God, be wrong and be punished.

    i dont remember who came up with that, but what do you think?
  2. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
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    16 Nov '06 04:13
    Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
    1. believe in God and youre right and you are saved.
    2. believe in God and youre wrong and nothing happens.
    3. dont believe in God, be wrong and be punished.

    i dont remember who came up with that, but what do you think?
    It's know as 'Pascal's Wager', after Blaise Pascal.

    I don't think much of it. Very briefly, there are three problems with it:

    1. If that's the reason you believe in god, then I don't think he's going to be too impressed.
    2. If there is no god, then you haven't lost nothing, as you claim, but you've wasted your life believing in a falsehood.
    3. You are assuming that your god is the only one is question. It may be that there is a god, but that he's something other than what you imagine altogether. He could be a god who is so offended by you believing in a christian god that he will punish you severely.
  3. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
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    16 Nov '06 04:27
    Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
    1. believe in God and youre right and you are saved.
    2. believe in God and youre wrong and nothing happens.
    3. dont believe in God, be wrong and be punished.

    i dont remember who came up with that, but what do you think?
    Just throw this in, the devil believes in God and he is still going to
    Hell. Believing alone is not enough, it requires a right relationship
    with God on God's terms not ours.
    Kelly
  4. Joined
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    16 Nov '06 07:24
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It's know as 'Pascal's Wager', after Blaise Pascal.

    I don't think much of it. Very briefly, there are three problems with it:

    1. If that's the reason you believe in god, then I don't think he's going to be too impressed.
    2. If there is no god, then you haven't lost nothing, as you claim, but you've wasted your life believing in a falsehood.
    3. Yo ...[text shortened]... is so offended by you believing in a christian god that he will punish you severely.
    The third point is very good.
  5. Joined
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    16 Nov '06 07:26
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Believing alone is not enough, it requires a right relationship
    with God on God's terms not ours.
    and yet, we have free will, right?
  6. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
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    16 Nov '06 08:07
    Originally posted by ckoh1965
    and yet, we have free will, right?
    Yep, free will is there for all. You can do good choose life, or evil and
    death, choice is yours.
    Kelly
  7. Cape Town
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    16 Nov '06 08:26
    Originally posted by rwingett
    It's know as 'Pascal's Wager', after Blaise Pascal.

    I don't think much of it. Very briefly, there are three problems with it:

    1. If that's the reason you believe in god, then I don't think he's going to be too impressed.
    2. If there is no god, then you haven't lost nothing, as you claim, but you've wasted your life believing in a falsehood.
    3. Yo ...[text shortened]... is so offended by you believing in a christian god that he will punish you severely.
    I agree with all of rwingetts points.
    The initial 'Pascal's Wager' looks good if you are Christian, but if you then ask why not believe in the Flying spaghetti monster for exactly the same reasons then you start to see the holes.
    I believe that the initial wager however went further and claimed that since the benefit for believing was effectively infinite it canceled the chances of being wrong. Also a false conclusion. The size of the winnings in a lottery does not affect your chances of winning.
  8. Joined
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    16 Nov '06 08:53
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Yep, free will is there for all. You can do good choose life, or evil and
    death, choice is yours.
    Kelly
    In fact, what you are saying is that it's up to you to do as you please; BUT! not without consequences.

    You don't really have the freedom to do something and not be judged by your act. It's like when I say, Kelly, you can go ahead and do as you please; the choice is yours. But if I see you do something against my wishes, I will punish you! It is not the 'free will' as in doing whatever I like and then nobody cares about it.
  9. Joined
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    16 Nov '06 09:491 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I believe that the initial wager however went further and claimed that since the benefit for believing was effectively infinite it canceled the chances of being wrong. Also a false conclusion. The size of the winnings in a lottery does not affect your chances of winning.
    I would characterize this as a strawman. In the most oft-cited formulation, Pascal does not argue that the utility of the outcome {God exists, I wager for God} somehow affects the probability that God exists. His argument only stipulates that a rational person considers this probability to be finite positive and not infinitesimal. He also tries to make a connection between acting rationally and acting in accordance with maximum expected utility.

    So he does not argue that the size of the lottery has bearing on the probability of winning. But he does view the size of the lottery as infinite; and the probability of winning as finite positive, not infinitesimal; thus infinite expected utility for playing; and he does not allow for the possibility that any alternative actions possess infinite expected utility.

    Regardless, I think there are a number of crushing objections to Pascal's line of thought.
  10. Cape Town
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    16 Nov '06 10:13
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    So he does not argue that the size of the lottery has bearing on the probability of winning. But he does view the size of the lottery as infinite; and the probability of winning as finite positive, not infinitesimal; thus infinite expected utility for playing; and he does not allow for the possibility that any alternative actions possess infinite expected utility.
    It is a false conclusion that possible infinite winnings in a lottery gives you an infinite benefit for playing.
  11. Joined
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    16 Nov '06 10:27
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It is a false conclusion that possible infinite winnings in a lottery gives you an infinite benefit for playing.
    That's not what Pascal is claiming, either.

    This site goes over his argument in some detail:
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/

    But, yeah, I agree in this example that there is no analytic connection between lottery winnings and utility, if that's what you're getting at.
  12. SubscriberAThousandYoung
    West Coast Rioter
    tinyurl.com/y7loem9q
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    16 Nov '06 12:46
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It is a false conclusion that possible infinite winnings in a lottery gives you an infinite benefit for playing.
    Infinite potential winnings x finite possibility of winning = the odds are infinitely in your favor.
  13. Cape Town
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    16 Nov '06 12:541 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Infinite potential winnings x finite possibility of winning = the odds are infinitely in your favor.
    The odds of winning have nothing to do with the size of the winnings.

    [edit] if you have a 1 in 10 chance of winning a US$10 prize and the prise is increased to US$1,000,000 you still have a 1 in 10 chance. An infinite prize does not guarantee a win.
  14. Unknown Territories
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    16 Nov '06 14:04
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The odds of winning have nothing to do with the size of the winnings.

    [edit] if you have a 1 in 10 chance of winning a US$10 prize and the prise is increased to US$1,000,000 you still have a 1 in 10 chance. An infinite prize does not guarantee a win.
    You're mixing the two concepts. It is not the odds of winning, but the odds of favor. In the pass/fail system (which this clearly is), one either pulls the lever or refuses to pull the lever.

    The one who pulls the lever is now faced with two possibilities: that which was promised is real and becomes his reward; or, that which was promised is false and he has nothing.

    The one who refuses to pull the lever has two possibilities available to him, as well. With pass/fail, the odds are 50/50 for the one who pulls the lever--- 50% chance that he receives the reward or 50% chance that he doesn't. The one who refuses to pull the lever has a 100% chance of missing out on the eternal reward. But, he also has a 50/50 proposition put to him.

    The one who refuses to pull the lever has a 50% chance that absolutely nothing happens upon death. The other side of the coin, however, gives him Hell.

    Thus favor is where the distinction becomes most profound. The one who pulls the lever has a 50% chance to receive an eternity which far outstrips the effort he placed into pulling the lever. He is the homeless vagrant who inherits a ready-made universal paradise simply because he sat in the right chair.

    Back to the one who refuses to pull the lever. Although he is guaranteed to not be qualified for at least a 50% shot at the universal paradise, his best case scenario is to receive absolutely nothing! Moreover, there is another twist. The one who refuses to pull the lever has that 50% chance to spend an eternity in a fiery place of torment.

    Both people have but one vote, and both face the same odds. The distinction is the favor related to the odds. While the one who pulls the lever has a best case of receiving an eternal paradise (and a worst case of receiving nothing), the one who refuses to pull the lever has a best case of receiving nothing (and a worst case of receiving an eternal hell).
  15. Joined
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    16 Nov '06 14:42
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    You're mixing the two concepts. It is not the odds of winning, but the odds of favor. In the pass/fail system (which this clearly is), one either pulls the lever or refuses to pull the lever.

    The one who pulls the lever is now faced with two possibilities: that which was promised is real and becomes his reward; or, that which was promised is false a ...[text shortened]... he lever has a best case of receiving nothing (and a worst case of receiving an eternal hell).
    FreakyKBH. I've been looking up on the many debates on here for quite a while now. Each time I found that you're defensive and gave illogical responses. But this particular post I find that your argument is sensible. At least something for a change!

    Very interesting argument and makes a lot of sense. But let's leave the lottery and coin toss for a moment and come back to God and paradise.

    Now assuming that God does really exist, the first dillemma is of course how do we choose which one is the true one? As you know the Christians would claim that their god is the true one based on 'evidence' found in the bible; the Muslims would claim that their god is the true one on the 'evidence' found in the Koran. And of course there are so many other religions in this world... and all of them are worshipping the true god without doubt.

    So let's say we decide that the christian god is the most believeable one. So we devote our entire lives worshipping him. Then when we die, it turns out that it's the Muslim god that is the true one. But because we've been worshipping the false god all this while, the true god will punish us severely. This is the third scenario given by rwingett above. Therefore we are no longer faced with a 50%-50% situation now. We might be faced with 1% probability of 'winning' and 99% chance of 'losing', assuming that there are exactly 100 religions in this world. But who is to say that god will punish a non-believer harsher than a believer of a false god? Or do they both end up having the same sin; and therefore same punishment? So which lever should we pull?
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