How to debunk Pascal's wager
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18-12-2015, 11:18 AM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
In addition to what most other people said (along with the question of whether we can choose to believe absurd things, or whether incredulity in them is involuntary), I'd like to add that most Christians know that their arguments are crap, with one small exception. Their arguments are crap... except when they support their preconceived notion.

For example, take one of the ontological arguments -- the idea that a maximally great being would exist by simple necessary virtue of having every good quality, including existence. But if we imagine a being that is maximally deleterious to human happiness, then such a being must by the same logic exist, because its existence would be more deleterious than its non-existence. They know that this argument is crap the moment we apply it to anything OTHER than their god.

The same with Pascal's wager. You want to prove that it's wrong by logical means? You've already done that. Didn't work, because your brother's not being logical.

But if you want him to realize that this argument is crap? Turn it around to support ANYTHING YOUR BROTHER DOESN'T LIKE. Start pestering your brother to keep kosher. Even if it's not a requirement under most interpretations of Christianity, it's not like Christianity FORBIDS keeping kosher, and WHAT IF HE'S WRONG? Surely the safe bet is to keep kosher! And also not eat beef, because what if cows are sacred? It's not like the Christian god requires anyone to eat beef, so he should PLAY IT SAFE! Harangue him -- not because YOU believe, but because he apparently does -- to give up wearing mixed fabrics, having sex with anyone outside marriage (or, if he's married, he needs to force his wife to live outside in a tent when she's menstruating), and so on. After all, PASCAL'S WAGER SAYS SO.

The moment you're using this argument for something he doesn't want to do, he will realize that it is total bullshit. But keep rubbing his face in it anyway because that's what a good sibling does... and because knowing that presenting you a bad argument carries long-term-humiliation consequences will force him to think things through the next time rather than just running his mouth with the next idiotic thing he hears.
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18-12-2015, 11:35 AM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
Pascal's Wager simply offers a false dichotomy. That's enough to debunk it.

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18-12-2015, 12:14 PM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
(18-12-2015 11:35 AM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  Pascal's Wager simply offers a false dichotomy. That's enough to debunk it.

It's that special level of bad argument where even if you accept the premises it doesn't make sense.

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19-12-2015, 09:58 AM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
(17-12-2015 01:01 PM)Sylia Gray Wrote:  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?

you asked him how he knows he picked the right god, well he has no way of knowing how to tell which god is the one he should pick... and to add insult to injury he knows there's no way of doing it so he just avoided admitting it and just repeated what he said at the begining

this is just another example of classical dodging the issue, lets face it these people are so invested in their nonsense that they have psychologically conditioned themselves to never admit their wrong
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19-12-2015, 11:45 AM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
Pascal's Wager is debunked by any belief in an omniscient god.

If god knows all, pretending to believe will not fool him. If your brother is claiming that you pretend in order to skate the rules of heaven's entrance then he in fact has proven his own lack of belief. He obviously doesn't think god knows all and knows what's truly in your heart and mind or he wouldn't think lying to an omniscient god would work.

When he shoots this BS at you next time, I would turn it around and say, "You have no faith in your own god's ability to know everything. If he's is all powerful/all knowing then how could anyone get away with faking belief? Your god can't tell truth from lies?"

Puny god. Big Grin

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19-12-2015, 11:58 AM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
Here's what you say:

Did god create the universe and its laws?

"Yes"

Is god all knowing and all powerful?

"Yes"

Since he knows all, he would know if I were pretending to believe in him. If I told you the flying spaghetti monster existed, and that you needed to believe in him or face eternal damnation, are you REALLY going to be able to force yourself to believe? It's not a choice...

Now, since god knows all, he knew that I would be in this predicament even before he created the universe. He KNOWS that its not possible for me to believe without sufficient evidence. Since he's all powerful, he also has the power to supply me with the type of evidence I would need.

So, if he created this universe, and me, already knowing that he would be condemning me to hell someday, he's really just an asshole who wouldn't be worthy of worship anyway.

So yes, while it might be better to believe and be wrong, than disbelieve and be wrong, I don't really have a choice when it comes to belief, and he would see right through me if I lied. For this very reason, it would actually be a better bet to pick a god that isn't all knowing, and pretend to believe in that.
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20-12-2015, 01:55 AM
RE: How to debunk Pascal's wager
You had the correct response logically. Just sounds like your brother is a typical Christ-tard. "My anser is more right than your answer because I said so and God."
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