Dealing with Pascal's Wager
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07-02-2018, 09:25 AM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
I like how they deal with it here. It's not terribly long but to the point.




"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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07-02-2018, 12:40 PM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
(06-02-2018 06:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  This is currently the argument that certain religious family members like to use against my atheism. I've explained the flaws in it, but they keep using it.

How do y'all combat it? Because I've gotten to point of just saying, "Google the flaws in Pascal's Wager if you want to understand."

Cthulhu's corollary to Pascal's Wager: How do you pick the RIGHT god to lie to?

Because that's what you have to do, make that god think you believe in them. This means you have to lie to them, and they have to not be able to know you're lying.
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07-02-2018, 01:10 PM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
I'll give you a different angle which is my take.

If I assume that I can believe - that I am choosing not to believe, and that I can switch that choice... (that's a big assumption right off the bat in the first place, and one that I hold to be untrue, but I'm suspending reality for a sec here)...

So then should I choose to believe in Christian God? The whole of Pascal's wager rests on the idea that it doesn't matter if God exists or not, it's safer to bet that he does.

I'm gonna take my null hypothesis that Christian God does not exist and atheism is the truth, i.e. no other Gods to worry about than the Christian one.

*Allegedly* there's no consequence for belief, but that's not true.

If God does exist and will be fooled by this ridiculous charade, that's one thing.

What if he doesn't though? Then I have *wasted* the one life I've got kowtowing to the woo-mongers. What a pathetic waste. And indeed, St Paul points it out in the New Testament himself - "If the resurrection didn't happen, then we are of all men most miserable". Because believing a lie is worthless.

So you can give them the inverse Pascal's wager a la St Paul - backed by scripture and everything. "Aren't you guys taking a big risk believing in something that may not be true? If it's not true then your life is being wasted, right here, right now."

Good to see you back here KC, please stick around. You're sane and sane people are in short supply. Personal question if I may. Is Queenschosen still Christian? 'Cos that might be quite hard to deal with...

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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07-02-2018, 02:13 PM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
Another aspect I didn't mention in my last post (although it looks like other touched on it, regarding "pretend belief"): can you make yourself believe in something you don't?

I submit you cannot, at least, not easily. I spent probably the first year-and-a-half of my two-year deconversion trying to get myself to believe again. It was not something I was ready for, but ultimately, no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn't. Throwing Pascal's Wager on top of that would have just added guilt, not faith.

So, giving that I couldn't make myself believe when I wanted to... I can't see believing to appease some infinity math and a nonfalsifiable threat being any more fruitful.


(07-02-2018 01:10 PM)morondog Wrote:  Queenschosen still Christian? 'Cos that might be quite hard to deal with...

It was a pain for me. It took my wife years to come to terms with it.
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07-02-2018, 08:35 PM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
Ask them how eternal paradise is possible if you aren't there.

Heaven is an ill-conceived and incoherent prize for a bet that you can fool a very stupid god.

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07-02-2018, 11:23 PM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
(06-02-2018 06:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  This is currently the argument that certain religious family members like to use against my atheism. I've explained the flaws in it, but they keep using it.

How do y'all combat it? Because I've gotten to point of just saying, "Google the flaws in Pascal's Wager if you want to understand."

I ask what good it would do me to go to heaven if I must give up my mind to get there. That's what Pascal's wager asks us to do. Also I tell them that I consider anyone who takes Pascal's wager to be immoral since they are abdicating their responsibility to think. It tells us a lot about their character. When the going gets tough, give up on your mind and take the cowards way. No thanks.

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The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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08-02-2018, 03:15 AM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
(06-02-2018 06:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  This is currently the argument that certain religious family members like to use against my atheism. I've explained the flaws in it, but they keep using it.

How do y'all combat it? Because I've gotten to point of just saying, "Google the flaws in Pascal's Wager if you want to understand."

I don't think I can help ya much, I'm not afraid to just out and out piss people off and when I title the debate Pascal's Wager: How To Get Into Heaven By Being a Big Giant Pussy the debate generally don't get much further.

Pascal's Wager is a cowards argument and I can't stand it because of that.

Kneel mortal before Whiskey I, Lord of Dalmore, Duke of Jameson, Defender of the Sloshed, and God-Emperor of Holy Terra.
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11-02-2018, 11:26 PM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
(07-02-2018 01:10 PM)morondog Wrote:  I'll give you a different angle which is my take.

If I assume that I can believe - that I am choosing not to believe, and that I can switch that choice... (that's a big assumption right off the bat in the first place, and one that I hold to be untrue, but I'm suspending reality for a sec here)...

So then should I choose to believe in Christian God? The whole of Pascal's wager rests on the idea that it doesn't matter if God exists or not, it's safer to bet that he does.

I'm gonna take my null hypothesis that Christian God does not exist and atheism is the truth, i.e. no other Gods to worry about than the Christian one.

*Allegedly* there's no consequence for belief, but that's not true.

If God does exist and will be fooled by this ridiculous charade, that's one thing.

What if he doesn't though? Then I have *wasted* the one life I've got kowtowing to the woo-mongers. What a pathetic waste. And indeed, St Paul points it out in the New Testament himself - "If the resurrection didn't happen, then we are of all men most miserable". Because believing a lie is worthless.

So you can give them the inverse Pascal's wager a la St Paul - backed by scripture and everything. "Aren't you guys taking a big risk believing in something that may not be true? If it's not true then your life is being wasted, right here, right now."

Good to see you back here KC, please stick around. You're sane and sane people are in short supply. Personal question if I may. Is Queenschosen still Christian? 'Cos that might be quite hard to deal with...

She is. It's been a strain and hard for her to accept.

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11-02-2018, 11:42 PM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
(11-02-2018 11:26 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  She is. It's been a strain and hard for her to accept.

Undecided It's rough dude.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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12-02-2018, 12:10 AM
RE: Dealing with Pascal's Wager
(06-02-2018 06:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  This is currently the argument that certain religious family members like to use against my atheism. I've explained the flaws in it, but they keep using it.

How do y'all combat it? Because I've gotten to point of just saying, "Google the flaws in Pascal's Wager if you want to understand."
Here are my thoughts on Pascal's Wager.

Hedging your bets on religion is just plain silly. If that is what is driving your belief then really, try atheism.

Atheism frees you from living your life under the oppressive ideals of a fairy tale deity and a fairy tale book created and written by humans.

Let evidence based thinking and decisions drive the direction of your life. When you accomplish something, take credit and thank those around you (real people) who supported you and helped you along the way.

Stop worrying about what happens to you after you die, and understand that this life is your one shot, there will not be another.
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