Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
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03-02-2014, 10:36 PM
Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a man. He was a shrewd and selfish businessman who used to think of making profit (monetary or otherwise) out of any given situation. His own benefit was the only driving force he had. Nothing else.

One day he was talking to his friend about the existence of god. As always the businessman thought about his benefit and said that he believes in god. Here are the justifications he offered.

"If I don't believe in god and god is non existent then I gain nothing and lose nothing as there's no god."

"If I don't believe in god and god exists then I stand to lose since there's lesser possibility of him rewarding a non believer"

"If I believe in god and god is non existent then I stand even as his non existence means my belief is wrong but I don't lose anything because of that."

"If I believe in god and he exists then there's a greater possibility of him rewarding me as a follower or believer and I stand to gain"

With this he concluded that its actually beneficial for him to believe in god and that's why he is a believer.

Your thoughts?

Note: I know that the premise of his justification is flawed and he assumes that god is "good" and he will reward (or whatever) based on believer and non believer categories. But I think its not wrong to assume that since most of the religions make you believe "god will reward his followers". So comments disregarding the basics are welcome but it is advised that your opinion with regard to this assumption shall also be given.

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03-02-2014, 10:41 PM
RE: Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
Look, everyone! I found someone who has no idea Pascal's Wager exists!

/sarcasm

Check out my atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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03-02-2014, 10:44 PM
Re: RE: Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
(03-02-2014 10:41 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  Look, everyone! I found someone who has no idea Pascal's Wager exists!

/sarcasm

Hahahaha..

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03-02-2014, 10:49 PM
RE: Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
Utilitarianism is a slippery slope. Take a Philosophy course.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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03-02-2014, 11:00 PM
RE: Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
Well... I was going to point out Pascal's wager, but the first poster did that.

Um...so I'd add that there is more than one flaw in the premise...Not only is said example of man relying on the god figure being 'nice' as well as that they have the right god figure......they are presuming the god figure existing at all....

Unless, you're saying said god figure does exist in this particular hypothetical?

Very much cheers to all.
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04-02-2014, 12:42 PM
RE: Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
If one bases their morality on reason instead of faith, it would be better because reason doesn't include terrifying outdated texts that promote violations of human rights.
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06-02-2014, 10:40 AM
RE: Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
I actually thought about this concept as a kid, long before I had even heard of Pascal's Wager.

My basic feeling was, that if god is an all knowing god, he knows your faking it for gain. That is to say, I feel like pretending to believe even though I can't get myself to do so logically, because I stand to lose more by not believing. God should be able to see right through that facade.

That is why when I hear people use the argument "well, you better start praying and believing or you're going to hell", it always seemed so bizarre to me, as if belief is like a light switch one can turn on.

However, I would obviously refer anybody interested in this concept to read about Pascal's Wager.
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06-02-2014, 10:46 AM
RE: Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
(03-02-2014 10:41 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  Look, everyone! I found someone who has no idea Pascal's Wager exists!

/sarcasm

Glad to see this as the first post after the OP, thanks for the laugh. Thumbsup

(more sarcasm) Yeah and none of us in here ever heard of it either..... Dodgy
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11-02-2014, 01:27 PM
RE: Is it actually beneficial to believe in god?
The Hungry Kid, in order for the business man's view to be more fitting with the rest of the world, he must then account for other, mutually exclusive gods that will punish belief in other gods. Then, since we don't have evidence any of them actually exist, he must take in account all things that might exist, but that we can't disprove. This will add in an infinite number of these gods. It will also add in an infinite number of gods who punish belief and reward rational thinking (because, prove they don't exist).

Once the business man has taken all of that into account, he'll realize that he cannot game this system by picking a particular non-falsifiable belief, and will realize there are greater profits to be made elsewhere by applying his thinking and energy to things he knows actually exist.

Better?
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