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Forum: Philosophical Forum

Topic: Pascal’s Wager rethought

This topic contains 24 replies, has 3,409 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of anonymous Anonymous 8 years, 10 months ago.

On confuciousconfusing wrote:

Pascal’s Wager as an argument for God is one that particularly annoys me, fore various reasons which I won’t go into. But I did get thinking – surely it is only based on fear of eternal damnation? Of course, I had already thought this, but then realized PW needs to be improved.

So basically, it already goes like this:

1 If you believe in God and God does exist, you will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven; thus an infinite gain.
2 If you do not believe in God and God does exist, you will be condemned to remain in hell forever; thus an infinite loss.
3 If you believe in God and God does not exist, you will not be rewarded; thus a finite loss.
4 If you do not believe in God and God does not exist, you will not be rewarded, but you have lived your own life; thus a finite gain

It’s step 2 that needs improving. Try this \"If you do not believe in the God that punishes you in the most cruel way, and said God does exist, you will be condemned to remain in the worst kind of hell forever; thus a greatest infinite loss.\"

As a loss is more significant than gain (If there is, say, an opportunity for you to get a better, bigger house for free, or lose absolutely everything on a 50/50 coin toss, most people would opt out of the gamble. Similarly, you’d rather have nothing than a 50/50 gamble for the worst kind of hell or a decent afterlife), step 2 is the one to pay attention to. Through this, Pascal’s Wager states that the only logical thing to do is to worship what is potentially the worst, most cruel God, so that you have avoided the worst possible situation presented.

Thoughts?

(Written at 0:20 in the morning…)

So apparently I don't post very often these days
Profile photo of manillascissor
Keymaster
On manillascissor wrote:

haha at 0:20… :)

Anyway, I gave it a quick scan. I’ll revisit soon with some opinions. ;)

in my time of dying
Profile photo of Pipoka
Member
On Pipoka wrote:

I don’t understand what’s the point to think about this because it’s so personal that there are no rules, or at least we can’t assume only this 4 statements.
I believe and i don’t think that i will be rewarded for that, just like those who don’t believe, won’t be punished for that…

That is based in a particular religion, or is just a general thought about faith?

Profile photo of manillascissor
Keymaster
On manillascissor wrote:

That is based in a particular religion, or is just a general thought about faith?[/quote:kztjc421]

Good question.

in my time of dying
Profile photo of Superlordspamulon
Member
On Superlordspamulon wrote:

I don’t understand what’s the point to think about this because it’s so personal that there are no rules, or at least we can’t assume only this 4 statements.
I believe and i don’t think that i will be rewarded for that, just like those who don’t believe, won’t be punished for that…

That is based in a particular religion, or is just a general thought about faith?[/quote:2w7ra9t7]

Pascal’s Wager is basically the "believe in a god, lose nothing or gain everything" argument. The 4 steps are the logical steps involved in Pascal’s Wager. It is an argument frequently used as to why having faith is better than atheism. My post is a criticism of it, essentially. My post is just a criticism of a philosophical argument, that’s all.

The person who created it was a Christian, so the argument is biased towards the idea of a Christian God. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying in your comment though…

So apparently I don't post very often these days
Profile photo of Pipoka
Member
On Pipoka wrote:
I don’t understand what’s the point to think about this because it’s so personal that there are no rules, or at least we can’t assume only this 4 statements.
I believe and i don’t think that i will be rewarded for that, just like those who don’t believe, won’t be punished for that…

That is based in a particular religion, or is just a general thought about faith?[/quote:kzbqxe2m]

Pascal’s Wager is basically the "believe in a god, lose nothing or gain everything" argument. The 4 steps are the logical steps involved in Pascal’s Wager. It is an argument frequently used as to why having faith is better than atheism. My post is a criticism of it, essentially. My post is just a criticism of a philosophical argument, that’s all.

The person who created it was a Christian, so the argument is biased towards the idea of a Christian God. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying in your comment though…[/quote:kzbqxe2m]

I guess i did not understand you too.

I said that i believe in god. but i don’t think i will be rewarded for that. Just like those who don’t believe in God won’t be punished for that too.

1 If you believe in God and God does exist, you will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven; thus an infinite gain.
2 If you do not believe in God and God does exist, you will be condemned to remain in hell forever; thus an infinite loss.
3 If you believe in God and God does not exist, you will not be rewarded; thus a finite loss.
4 If you do not believe in God and God does not exist, you will not be rewarded, but you have lived your own life; thus a finite gain [/quote:kzbqxe2m]

These thoughts are yours, or are you citing PW ?

Profile photo of Superlordspamulon
Member
On Superlordspamulon wrote:

I guess i did not understand you too.

I said that i believe in god. but i don’t think i will be rewarded for that. Just like those who don’t believe in God won’t be punished for that too.[/quote:3v5kh42f]

That is one of the flaws – that the God Pascal says to believe in doesn’t know you are believing just to gain any potential benefits, and that belief is the only requirement to be rewarded with heaven. And I believe that if the Christian god exists as is commonly depicted (Benevolent, omniscient etc.) he wouldn’t punsih based on whether they believed or not.

These thoughts are yours, or are you citing PW ?[/quote:3v5kh42f]

I’m citing. Copied and pasted from

So apparently I don't post very often these days
Profile photo of Pipoka
Member
On Pipoka wrote:

Hum… interesting…

I was looking for it on wikipedia.
Well, Blame Pascal lived on 17th century … we have to think about that when trying to understand his point of view.

And I believe that if the Christian god exists as is commonly depicted (Benevolent, omniscient etc.) he wouldn’t punsih based on whether they believed or not. [/quote:2zu0a89t]

I agree with you on this…

Profile photo of Marcella
Member
On Marcella wrote:

That is one of the flaws – that the God Pascal says to believe in doesn’t know you are believing just to gain any potential benefits, and that belief is the only requirement to be rewarded with heaven. And I believe that if the Christian god exists as is commonly depicted (Benevolent, omniscient etc.) he wouldn’t punish based on whether they believed or not. [/quote:3dsc4sdq]

I couldn’t agree more. The God I believe in wouldn’t base himself in belief, but in what really matters; a person’s intentions. I refuse to believe in such a punishing god.

But allow me to try to understand this philosophy a little better. Believing in a God that exists would bring infinite gain. Not believing in a God that exists would bring infinite loss. Believing in a God that doesn’t exist would bring a finite loss.

I mostly do not agree with the third. I wouldn’t consider not being rewarded as a finite loss. And if God doesn’t exist, who would reward, anyways? There would be no loss in this statement, in my humble opinion.

Fevrale dostat chernil i plakatPisat O Fevrale navsnrydPoka grohochushaya slyakotVesnoyu charnoyu gorit
Profile photo of Pipoka
Member
On Pipoka wrote:
That is one of the flaws – that the God Pascal says to believe in doesn’t know you are believing just to gain any potential benefits, and that belief is the only requirement to be rewarded with heaven. And I believe that if the Christian god exists as is commonly depicted (Benevolent, omniscient etc.) he wouldn’t punish based on whether they believed or not. [/quote:v5lry6k6]

I couldn’t agree more. The God I believe in wouldn’t base himself in belief, but in what really matters; a person’s intentions. I refuse to believe in such a punishing god.

But allow me to try to understand this philosophy a little better. Believing in a God that exists would bring infinite gain. Not believing in a God that exists would bring infinite loss. Believing in a God that doesn’t exist would bring a finite loss.

I mostly do not agree with the third. I wouldn’t consider not being rewarded as a finite loss. And if God doesn’t exist, who would reward, anyways? There would be no loss in this statement, in my humble opinion.[/quote:v5lry6k6]

yes, that’s my thoughts about his philosophy too…

Profile photo of anonymous
Member
On Anonymous wrote:

well for me I would say I believe in God and in return for my belief, is an enlightened spirit within me through the grace of God.

Profile photo of Superlordspamulon
Member
On Superlordspamulon wrote:

I mostly do not agree with the third. I wouldn’t consider not being rewarded as a finite loss. And if God doesn’t exist, who would reward, anyways? There would be no loss in this statement, in my humble opinion.[/quote:3cj2he87]
How about spending your life doing stuff you wouldn’t have if you weren’t under the belief that you would gain something after life? That is the finite loss – time that has been wasted, that you will not get back.

So apparently I don't post very often these days
Profile photo of Marcella
Member
On Marcella wrote:
I mostly do not agree with the third. I wouldn’t consider not being rewarded as a finite loss. And if God doesn’t exist, who would reward, anyways? There would be no loss in this statement, in my humble opinion.[/quote:1224rms6]
How about spending your life doing stuff you wouldn’t have if you weren’t under the belief that you would gain something after life? That is the finite loss – time that has been wasted, that you will not get back.[/quote:1224rms6]

Some people may not regard such things as a loss. It all depends in each person and the way they each believe.

Fevrale dostat chernil i plakatPisat O Fevrale navsnrydPoka grohochushaya slyakotVesnoyu charnoyu gorit
Profile photo of Superlordspamulon
Member
On Superlordspamulon wrote:

That depends in each person and the way they each believe.[/quote:14bmlw4j]

Nevertheless, worship does require at least some investment in time which could have been used another way. Something as simple as getting up when you want to on a sunday, instead of going to church, for example.

So apparently I don't post very often these days
Profile photo of Marcella
Member
On Marcella wrote:
That depends in each person and the way they each believe.[/quote:2zg9ef2g]

Nevertheless, worship does require at least some investment in time which could have been used another way. Something as simple as getting up when you want to on a sunday, instead of going to church, for example.[/quote:2zg9ef2g]

You do have a point. But it still depends on the person. It’s an infinite cycle, really.

Fevrale dostat chernil i plakatPisat O Fevrale navsnrydPoka grohochushaya slyakotVesnoyu charnoyu gorit
Profile photo of Superlordspamulon
Member
On Superlordspamulon wrote:

You do have a point. But it still depends on the person. It’s an infinite cycle, really.[/quote:jdnu51c2]

It does depend on the person as to what magnitude their finite loss is – it can be small, or large – but is measurable, and is still a loss.

So apparently I don't post very often these days
Profile photo of Marcella
Member
On Marcella wrote:
You do have a point. But it still depends on the person. It’s an infinite cycle, really.[/quote:3q240cb3]

It does depend on the person as to what magnitude their finite loss is – it can be small, or large – but is measurable, and is still a loss.[/quote:3q240cb3]

*Prefers to say nothing than accept defeat on the argument* :D

Fevrale dostat chernil i plakatPisat O Fevrale navsnrydPoka grohochushaya slyakotVesnoyu charnoyu gorit
Profile photo of some pumpkins
Participant
On some pumpkins wrote:

cool topic, and an interesting read to see everyones opinions on this. here’s my cynnical take… there is no god, just a lot of people looking for a reason as to why we’re here, cuz they can’t quite wrap their heads around the the fact that this is all random. there are no miracles, just luckand chance. and if there is a god, i know he likes to rock! meaning he wouldnt punish you if you didnt believe in him/her/it. i think string theory is where its at. or maybe \"the secret\" is the answer. ive been reading about both lately.

what's wrong with you is good for what's wrong with me
Profile photo of anonymous
Member
On Anonymous wrote:

string theory?
please elaborate some pumpkins…..

Profile photo of some pumpkins
Participant
On some pumpkins wrote:

string theory?
please elaborate some pumpkins…..[/quote:282kuo1r]

ok, here we go. its really hard to describe in a sentence or two. so i looked for a short video on the theory. but its someting that cant be done in 5 minuites either. so heres a 19 min video of a lecture from quantum physicist brian greene. he’s the best as explaining this. it all comes together in the 11th minuite.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtdE662eY_M&feature=related[/youtube]

then i came across this and thought it was funny

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNwag3jNF4I[/youtube]

what's wrong with you is good for what's wrong with me
Profile photo of blueczarina
Member
On blueczarina wrote:

some pumpkins- did you watch that Elegant Universe show they had on PBS. it was about that stuff and it kicked ass. it was really neat visually as well as interesting subject wise.

Profile photo of anonymous
Member
On Anonymous wrote:

so that is what it’s called..string theory. I just assumed we had other dimensions, but we can’t see them yet. To me the space that we know of can’t possibly be all there is…but I’m odd.
I like to think of it as a veil that is right in front of our eyes, but we haven’t got the ability to see through it yet.
and that was quite the science lesson for me to watch today. It was interesting to see that they are challenging what is known versus what we can’t see

Profile photo of some pumpkins
Participant
On some pumpkins wrote:

some pumpkins- did you watch that Elegant Universe show they had on PBS. it was about that stuff and it kicked ass. it was really neat visually as well as interesting subject wise.[/quote:1r4wt972]

yeah ive seen a few of them. im more into his books. they are really really interesting, but really heavy on the scientific side. but he does a great job of using real life examples to get you to visualize what he is saying.

what's wrong with you is good for what's wrong with me
Profile photo of blueczarina
Member
On blueczarina wrote:

i read some of one of his books once, but i got sidetracked by school crap :roll: it was pretty interesting stuff though. i should pick it up again when i have time. i like physics or space related stuff.

hey reggae- maybe you should try and find The Elegant Universe on dvd. it gives a good overview of this stuff and gives you some real slick visuals to go with it. :wink:

Profile photo of anonymous
Member
On Anonymous wrote:

I’ll keep it in mind blue :)
I have to shows I recorded on dvr though. I can’t remember what channel they were on, but one is about Nostradamus and 2012, the other one is the Antichrist-
of course it’s on tv so that makes me believe there will be little things that could be far more interesting that they cut out…so they don’t provoke too much though out of people ;)

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