1. omnipresent
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    03 Jan '06 18:33
    A friend of mine told me this, and while I am still far from becoming a believer, I thought it was brilliant. On the other hand, I'm always more easily impressed by mathematics than by moral arguments...
    Anyway, assume a person believes in God and adheres to His rules.
    -If he's wrong and God doesn't exist, he loses nothing.
    -If he's right and God does exist, he wins everything
    Now the other side, if a person does not believe in God:
    -If he's right, he loses nothing.
    -If he's wrong, he loses everything.
    Mathematically, it makes sense... that way, if you believe, your average gain (I'm using the rules taught when learning the probability stuff) is infinite (as infinity/2 is still infinity, right?), whereas if you don't believe, your average gain is negatively infinite.

    ... I still adhere to my belief though. From the way I understand it, the aim of Christianity is to make people do the right thing. The aim of philosophy is the same though, just that you're only responsible to yourself and the people whom your behavious affects instead of an external deity. So... if I take the philosophical path and the outcome is the same, then the end should justify the means, and getting into heaven (assuming it exists) shouldn't be a problem. And if it isn't the case, and good deeds alone are not enough to get into heaven because you also have to believe in God... well then I don't want to be part of that system anyway.

    Does anybody agree with me on this?

    Angie
  2. Joined
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    03 Jan '06 18:44
    Originally posted by angie88
    A friend of mine told me this, and while I am still far from becoming a believer, I thought it was brilliant. On the other hand, I'm always more easily impressed by mathematics than by moral arguments...
    Anyway, assume a person believes in God and adheres to His rules.
    -If he's wrong and God doesn't exist, he loses nothing.
    -If he's right and God does exi ...[text shortened]... nt to be part of that system anyway.

    Does anybody agree with me on this?

    Angie
    Sure.

    The reason punishing religions (like christianity) is so popular could very well be caused by the fact that people has calculated this and come to the conclusion that it's best to join the religion so as to safeguard themselves.

    But then, true believers would say that you really have to believe. So, it won't really work. Might as well just stay out of religions like that, embrace life and enjoy it while you still got it. What happens afterward (if anything) will happen - no doubt - whatever you do.

    Good post, by the way. 🙂
  3. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    03 Jan '06 18:463 edits
    Originally posted by angie88

    Does anybody agree with me on this?
    Suppose I posit the possible and equally likely existence of both the Christian God and an Anti-Christian God, where the latter offers you infinite reward for rejecting the former and infinite suffering for accepting the former. Then you have a zero expectation for any belief choice you make. This is one of several fundamental flaws of Pascal's Wager, which is the common name for the analysis you described.
  4. omnipresent
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    03 Jan '06 21:25
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Suppose I posit the possible and equally likely existence of both the Christian God and an Anti-Christian God, where the latter offers you infinite reward for rejecting the former and infinite suffering for accepting the former. Then you have a zero expectation for any belief choice you make. This is one of several fundamental flaws of Pascal's Wager, which is the common name for the analysis you described.
    Yes, but that would be like Schrödinger's cat then (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dingers_Cat), which is both dead and alive until you open the box. Both Gods would exist until you die. In this case, it does not matter which one you choose, as both are (as you pointed out) equally likely.
    *** HERE COMES THE CONCLUSION***
    So... that leaves you to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong without having a diety to tell you-it forces you to act in the way you see as best.
    That's the main principle of philosophy 😀
  5. Joined
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    03 Jan '06 21:333 edits
    Originally posted by angie88
    A friend of mine told me this, and while I am still far from becoming a believer, I thought it was brilliant. On the other hand, I'm always more easily impressed by mathematics than by moral arguments...
    Anyway, assume a person believes in God and adheres to His rules.
    -If he's wrong and God doesn't exist, he loses nothing.
    -If he's right and God does exi nt to be part of that system anyway.

    Does anybody agree with me on this?

    Angie
    [EDIT] Sorry, Dr S, did not see your post.
  6. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    03 Jan '06 21:43
    Originally posted by angie88
    A friend of mine told me this, and while I am still far from becoming a believer, I thought it was brilliant. On the other hand, I'm always more easily impressed by mathematics than by moral arguments...
    Anyway, assume a person believes in God and adheres to His rules.
    -If he's wrong and God doesn't exist, he loses nothing.
    -If he's right and God does exi ...[text shortened]... nt to be part of that system anyway.

    Does anybody agree with me on this?

    Angie
    Was your friend named Blaise Pascal?
  7. Standard memberXanthosNZ
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    04 Jan '06 00:47
    Originally posted by angie88
    A friend of mine told me this, and while I am still far from becoming a believer, I thought it was brilliant. On the other hand, I'm always more easily impressed by mathematics than by moral arguments...
    Anyway, assume a person believes in God and adheres to His rules.
    -If he's wrong and God doesn't exist, he loses nothing.
    -If he's right and God does exi ...[text shortened]... nt to be part of that system anyway.

    Does anybody agree with me on this?

    Angie
    This is Pascal's Wager (as Frogstomp mentioned). It's a stupid reason to believe anything. If someone claimed to believe in God and then used Pascal's Wager to justify their belief then they don't understand it.
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    04 Jan '06 04:01
    Originally posted by angie88
    From the way I understand it, the aim of Christianity is to make people do the right thing.

    Angie
    I'm afraid you mis-understand Christianity, Angie.
    The point of Christianity is to get people into a relationship with God. He created us for that very purpose.
    Now, once one understands what God has already done for them, they will try to please God by doing what He asks, thus "doing the right thing." But make no mistake, Jesus does not lead by coersion or guilt, He leads with love. Man-made religions can lead by coersion or guilt, but God never does.

    Daniel
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    04 Jan '06 04:15
    Originally posted by stocken
    The reason punishing religions (like christianity) is so popular could very well be caused by the fact that people has calculated this and come to the conclusion that it's best to join the religion so as to safeguard themselves.
    Christianity doesn't punish people any more than mechanics destroy your engine.
    Mechanics tell you to change your oil every 3000 miles because it benefits your engine (gives it longer life). You don't have to. Nothing is compelling you to. But if you do, you'll reap the associated rewards.
    Christianity is similar. God tells us what will benefit us. We don't have to follow His commands, but if we do we reap the associated rewards. It's that simple.
    The punishment you're mentioning is simply the knowledge of what will happen if we don't do as God instructs, much like what will happen to our engine if we don't change the oil. Hell isn't a punishment, it's simply what will happen to us if we lead an evil life. God has given us a way to avoid hell, a spritual oil change, if you will, through Jesus. Nothing compells us to accept God's offer, but the knowledge of what will happen to us if we don't should at least get us to give it serious look-see.

    Daniel
  10. Standard membertelerion
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    04 Jan '06 04:30
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Suppose I posit the possible and equally likely existence of both the Christian God and an Anti-Christian God, where the latter offers you infinite reward for rejecting the former and infinite suffering for accepting the former. Then you have a zero expectation for any belief choice you make. This is one of several fundamental flaws of Pascal's Wager, which is the common name for the analysis you described.
    Scribs is exactly right. There is no reason to think that Pascal has spanned the entire space of possible deities. Moreover since there is no justifiable method by which to assign probabilities to these events the expected value of any given belief action is undefined.

    In defense of Pascal, they didn't know too much about probability and statistics when he came up with this doosy.
  11. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    04 Jan '06 05:31
    Originally posted by angie88
    Yes, but that would be like Schrödinger's cat then (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dingers_Cat), which is both dead and alive until you open the box.
    While there actually is no connection between Pascal's expectation-based analysis and quantum phenomena, the idea of God as a quantum phenomenon interests me. Does anyone have further thoughts on the matter?
  12. Subscribersonhouse
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    04 Jan '06 05:57
    Originally posted by angie88
    A friend of mine told me this, and while I am still far from becoming a believer, I thought it was brilliant. On the other hand, I'm always more easily impressed by mathematics than by moral arguments...
    Anyway, assume a person believes in God and adheres to His rules.
    -If he's wrong and God doesn't exist, he loses nothing.
    -If he's right and God does exi ...[text shortened]... nt to be part of that system anyway.

    Does anybody agree with me on this?

    Angie
    Well the crux of it is this is anthropomorphising how we think
    a god SHOULD act. The truth is more likely to lie in the idea if there
    is a god, whether you believe or not would make no differance.
    A real god would not NEED your belief to further its own ends
    and everything that would happen would happen whatever we believe.
    Thats where that argument falls flat.
  13. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    04 Jan '06 06:38
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    While there actually is no connection between Pascal's expectation-based analysis and quantum phenomena, the idea of God as a quantum phenomenon interests me. Does anyone have further thoughts on the matter?
    The Universe has infinite dimensions and is permeated everywhere with a gauge-field . This gauge-field , which is flat, does have localized curvatures. These curvatures act like human synapses making the Universe into a giant brain ( for want of a better word), this is what god is.
    Matter is created by a sharp curving of this field and that sharp delineation makes it difficult for the field to keep in contact with it.
    The loss of contact is what causes local parts of the field to act independent of the larger whole. We are sort of a disjointed section of the god field. This imperfect connection is what Valentinus was refering to in the Gospel of Truth.
    In the absence of a physical organ to receive the thoughts of the field, we make due with the more or less incomplete messages that our holy-men can derive through meditation.
  14. Unknown Territories
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    04 Jan '06 07:09
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Well the crux of it is this is anthropomorphising how we think
    a god SHOULD act. The truth is more likely to lie in the idea if there
    is a god, whether you believe or not would make no differance.
    A real god would not NEED your belief to further its own ends
    and everything that would happen would happen whatever we believe.
    Thats where that argument falls flat.
    So, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

    Your first line killed the rest of your post.
    Erasing that, however, the Living God does not need anyone's belief to further anything He has done. You are imposing on the issue within Christianity, a type of 'do you believe in the tooth fairy' mentality, which the Bible does not claim for the same.

    The issue in salvation is appropriating for one's self the saving work of Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. Do not try to reduce it to a question of historical veracity, for that is not the issue.

    The spiritual questions are first class conditionals.
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    04 Jan '06 09:38
    Originally posted by DanielPasono
    Christianity doesn't punish people any more than mechanics destroy your engine.
    Mechanics tell you to change your oil every 3000 miles because it benefits your engine (gives it longer life). You don't have to. Nothing is compelling you to. But if you do, you'll reap the associated rewards.
    Christianity is similar. God tells us what will benefit us. W ...[text shortened]... ppen to us if we don't should at least get us to give it serious look-see.

    Daniel
    I beg to differ. Christianity, Islam, Judism and all of those religions is what I call punishing religions. I know there's a better word for it, but I can't find it. What I mean is that those religions has set up a bunch of principles which basically says don't this and don't that. Breaking any of those rules will have you punished by the almighty himself.

    Now, some of the rules make sense. Like some of the ten commandments. But some rules seem to me to have been designed by mere people trying to control the masses. Like what they're supposed to say or do twentyfour hours a day.
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