How to debunk Pascal's wager
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17-12-2015, 01:01 PM
How to debunk Pascal's wager
I have a Christian brother who tried to debunk my atheism with Pascal's wager by saying that atheist are screwed whether we are right or wrong about God's existence and that its better to believe in God and be wrong.

I tried to debunk him back by asking him if there was a God, you would have to believe in the right God to be in some kind of paradisical afterlife so how do you know which god is the right god? Because if you believe in god but its the wrong god, you would still go to Hell.

And then my brother said something like it doesn't matter. It's still better to believe and be wrong because what if you disbelieved and you were wrong?

Apparently, he doesn't see the weakness in his argument and the whole Pascal's wager. It seems like it doesn't get through to him

Is there something wrong with how I debunked it to him?

Heart War Angel Sylia
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17-12-2015, 01:14 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
You did debunk it. Just seems like your brother doesn't care because it doesn't suit his belief.
It's the basic christian mentality.

https://youtu.be/v9WRG4e6m2s?t=51s
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17-12-2015, 01:16 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
No, you responded properly.

If he said it doesn't matter. Then all you would have to say is "If it doesn't matter then, Why should I care? If your willing to throw your belief at anything and take a crap shoot and hope you get it right. Then you obviously don't care what a "true god" would think. You must think whatever god exist is a complete moron. Not being able to distinguish a lie from a truth. How do you know Odin isn't the true god? Maybe he's pissed off that your ignoring him and not fighting any wars in his name? Your welcome to live a lie if it makes you happy but I'll choose honesty over that any day."

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17-12-2015, 01:17 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
There are countless solid points against that argument. A lot of it is based on the concept of it presuming so much. The which god are you to believe in is one case that is valid, but I think there are more stronger ones.

The concept of, if you can adjust your capacity to simply believe is one, and a god that cares of this might not take ones "attempting" to believe in earnest. You could also be putting a worse punishment on yourself since some religious claims view believing other religions as more punishable than just non-belief against it.

A major one I don't often see even brought up. It assumes this God wants you believe in it. What if the god actually is seeking to reward those who don't believe in it? There's no evidence of the case that there is an actual god that wants to punish/reward the thought either way.

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17-12-2015, 01:17 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
Have you told him that believing in God doesn't guaranty an eternal paradisiac afterlife. God existing doesn't make the afterlife a necessity or even more probable. These are two completely unrelated beliefs. What is a the root of afterlife, isn't a god, it's the existence of the immortal soul in all of us. You could have an afterlife and no god. Eternal life might be miserable for all of us too. All in all, it's a wager with so much unknown variable that it present more risk to take than ignore it. Nobody knows if there is an afterlife, but everybody knows there is a life. Sacrificing something you have for something that nobody has ever acquired for sure, is the very definition of a stupid gamble.

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17-12-2015, 01:22 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
In addition to the standard reply, you could remind him that you can't just change what you believe without evidence and if your belief was merely superficial that any god worth his salt would know your true thoughts and would still send you to eternal lake fire.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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17-12-2015, 01:23 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
(17-12-2015 01:17 PM)epronovost Wrote:  Have you told him that believing in God doesn't guaranty an eternal paradisiac afterlife. God existing doesn't make the afterlife a necessity or even more probable. These are two completely unrelated beliefs. What is a the root of afterlife, isn't a god, it's the existence of the immortal soul in all of us. You could have an afterlife and no god. Eternal life might be miserable for all of us too. All in all, it's a wager with so much unknown variable that it present more risk to take than ignore it. Nobody knows if there is an afterlife, but everybody knows there is a life. Sacrificing something you have for something that nobody has ever acquired for sure, is the very definition of a stupid gamble.

I should have asked him how is he certain that the bible is right that Jesus is the only way into heaven which is what he believes? If there was a god, what if he's wrong and that the Hindus had it right?

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17-12-2015, 01:23 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
Your counter-argument is a good response to Pascal's Wager.

Have you listened to this episode of TTA?
Counter Apologetics Pt.1

They spend a lot of time on Pascal. They do mention the response you gave, in addition to several others. One possible response is that you would be open to belief if presented with the appropriate proofs and evidences.

Your brother's response of better to believe than disbelieve is not logical. If a person fosters a false belief then they are preventing themselves from learning the truth. Is it better to believe a lie or wait for the truth?

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17-12-2015, 01:26 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
(17-12-2015 01:23 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Your counter-argument is a good response to Pascal's Wager.

Have you listened to this episode of TTA?
Counter Apologetics Pt.1

They spend a lot of time on Pascal. They do mention the response you gave, in addition to several others. One possible response is that you would be open to belief if presented with the appropriate proofs and evidences.

Your brother's response of better to believe than disbelieve is not logical. If a person fosters a false belief then they are preventing themselves from learning the truth. Is it better to believe a lie or wait for the truth?

I thought I've listened to all TTA episodes but I don't remember that one. I'll have a listen to it. thanks!

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17-12-2015, 01:29 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
NOTE: To be honest, I don't remember verbatim exactly how my brother responded to my counter argument. What I wrote above as his response was just something along the lines of what I do remember him saying.

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