Interesting counter to Pascal's Wager
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06-02-2016, 10:05 PM
RE: Interesting counter to Pascal's Wager
(06-02-2016 07:53 PM)Abdul Alhazred Wrote:  In its original form, Pascal's wager was a bit more sophisticated.

Pascal narrowed it down to five possibilities:

That's less sophisticated, precisely because he narrowed it down to five arbitrary things.

The whole point of Pascal's Wager is that the theist cannot prove their god claim. If they could, they'd prove their god, and that'd be that. Pascal's Wager tries to fill this void by pulling the whole "what if you're wrong?" line of reasoning. It's an argument from force/argument from adverse consequences to try and scare people into accepting a nonfalsifiable theory. Again, if they could prove it right, this would be redundant.

Because it's not falsifiable, this could be applied to an infinite number of possible god claims. The fact that he narrowed it down to the five he liked or felt like dealing with makes it look even less honest and sophisticated.
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07-02-2016, 01:01 AM
RE: Interesting counter to Pascal's Wager
(06-02-2016 07:53 PM)Abdul Alhazred Wrote:  In its original form, Pascal's wager was a bit more sophisticated.

Pascal narrowed it down to five possibilities:

Classical Paganism
Judaism (as practiced in the Christian era)
Islam
"Philosophy" (not atheism as such)
Christianity

He disposes of the first three by intricate arguments, but admits he cannot absolutely disprove "philosophy" (Epicureanism etc).

It still doesn't cover all the bases of course, but it's not so simple minded as the usual formulation these days.

I see no sophistication in this. It's just primitive believe or else...

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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07-02-2016, 10:44 AM
RE: Interesting counter to Pascal's Wager
When you think about it, this is what every doubting Christian reasons to himself as he's trying desperately to shove all the rational thoughts out of his head.

He mutter to themselves:

"Dammit, I know this all sounds so fucking illogical, BUT, I'm better off, in the long run (ie after life), shutting off my mind to rational thoughts (which pertain to religion) and keep attending church so I can be further convinced of these asinine ideas."

What makes Christians so enamored with Pascal's Wager, is that an intelligent 17th century mathematician came up with the same clever idea!

"Why hast thou forsaken me, o deity whose existence I doubt..." - Dr. Sheldon Cooper
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07-02-2016, 12:49 PM
RE: Interesting counter to Pascal's Wager
The part that really gets me is that business of, if you're not made so you can believe, go through the motions until faith comes to you.

I keep noticing this. Why do so many Christians seem to prefer that we would be fake Christians rather than honest atheists? It's not like false belief would actually make us Christians, so... lying is a worse sin than being out and honest? Huh?
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07-02-2016, 07:37 PM
RE: Interesting counter to Pascal's Wager
The point is he really tried to cover all possibilities.

Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is a very important science.
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08-02-2016, 08:40 AM
RE: Interesting counter to Pascal's Wager
Its rather unscoped abd limited how dif he ignore Hinduism/Buddhism? Pagan naturalistic beliefs? The fact that God may punish those attempting to believe based on wilful manipulation...

The very idea god will reward one for believing Is unjustified itself. This god may actually punish those who believe in him and rewards the ones who don't. It's just as good of a set of odds.

Maybe his information base on the far East was limited but he really started far top exclusive and assumption based.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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08-02-2016, 11:00 AM
RE: Interesting counter to Pascal's Wager
I stopped sleeping just in case Freddy Cruger is real. I'm still alive so I must be right.
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08-02-2016, 12:02 PM
RE: Interesting counter to Pascal's Wager
(07-02-2016 07:37 PM)Abdul Alhazred Wrote:  The point is he really tried to cover all possibilities.

Five out of infinity?

What about
  • Buddhism?
  • Hinduism?
  • Zoroastrianism (might as well go for the other one of the two parent religions)?
  • Some religion I just made up where the God (Steve) punishes blind faith and rewards rational thinking?
He didn't even come close to addressing all of the possibilities. Functionally speaking, in the grand scheme of religions, Christianity and Islam are identical (both reward adherence and punish deviation).

Pascal's Wager is indeterminant because taking everything into consideration makes it impossible to come up with a coherent conclusion. The answer to the wager that "makes sense" only works because one artificially and arbitrarily limits the inputs.

It's crap.
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