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Religion Pascal's Wager converted me from Catholicism to Agnosticism!

SoronTheBeast

Avatar: 159958 2010-01-24 16:32:03 -0500
17

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Hacker

There's your 3 BPs. Now stop ****ing whining about THIRTEEN CENTS you pathetic no-lifer. - Fran

I want to share this logic with you all since it was one of the major reasons why I become agnostic in the first place. If your reading this thread and don’t know what Pascal’s Wager is, well, this argument is a modification of it. In it, I make some bumumptions about God that others might not agree with. I except that, but it was my thinking at the time. I know the “you need faith to get into heaven” part of scriptures, but what are you going to do?

bumumptions:

1) God is all knowing.

2) People that do what God wants get into heaven.

3) God wants you to be good ONLY for the sake of being good.

Based on this, I knew that if I believed in God I would be good knowing that I would get into heaven. God would know this too. In fact, even if I thought I was good for the sake of doing good, GOD would know if I, subconsciously or otherwise, was really doing it to get into heaven. God would know better than I myself would know why I was doing what I was doing.

The only solution I saw to this dilemma was to really and truly stop believing in heaven. But even than, I would still be doing good because God wanted it. So, the only solution I saw was to also stop believing in God.

At which point I convinced myself to being a good person for Humanist reasons. I know this is flawed because I still might subconsciously believe in God. I have spend most of my life after that point embracing materialism, so at this point I really don’t care what God thinks, because I don’t believe in Him.

Also, I hate when theists try to use Pascal’s Wager.

Anyway, at this point in my life I have a plethora of reasons to be agnostic and not a theist of any kind, but this is how I started down that road.

Soron’s Wager: To be a good Christian, you have to not believe in God.

Edit: Hmm… now that I’ve written it out, it does look a little circular….. Well, not the not believing in God part, the still being a good person part.

Aldo_Anything

MODERATOR
Avatar: 32555 2014-07-18 11:39:53 -0400
98

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Troll

male reproductive organMEISTER

Pascal is a bit outdated, to begin with. There are a lot more options than his original 4, e.g. believing in a wrong god or a not-rewarding god.

Religions have caused more evil than they’ve done good and everything but skepticism means to claim to know the truth exclusively, based on words that a human being received or wrote a long time ago though.

SoronTheBeast

Avatar: 159958 2010-01-24 16:32:03 -0500
17

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Hacker

There's your 3 BPs. Now stop ****ing whining about THIRTEEN CENTS you pathetic no-lifer. - Fran

Well, I argue against atheist and theist all the time. (Its more or less my hobby, studying arguments for and against) I like arguing against atheists more because they tend to be more open to logic and whatnot so I can more easily debate them on their own terms. Theists tend to be a bit more “I have personally evidence with God I can’t really share” (Normally they had dream or feeling about God that they can’t share, which is more or less impossible to argue against.)

Anyway, if we were to follow through with your “Religion caused more bad than good” (which is something you probably could say if you summed over all of time, however, if you were just looking at religion, say, in the last 20 years it might be harder to prove because religion has lost much of its ability to cause wars, but is still very much apart of humanitarian efforts… but anyway)

Following through with that, as a reason to get rid of religion instead of reforming it, I would say we should get rid of all government FIRST, since government has been responsible for every war, EVER, So, it is worse than religion. However, we should probably get rid of science too, since it made every weapon, ever. But, I would say it would be better to just work on making all 3 ‘better,’ instead of getting rid of them.

But, I don’t think that your advocating getting rid of religion (sometimes atheists do that) you’re more saying skepticism is better.

And I agree.

SoronTheBeast edited this message on 01/29/2010 6:19PM

Dunatis

Avatar: 78885 2011-11-01 01:20:41 -0400
100

[Cabal Gamez]

Level 69 Hacker

Richard Whittington

Aldo_Anything Posted:

Religions have caused more evil than they’ve done good

Kind of hard (read impossible) to accurately say given that we cannot agree on a definition for Good and Evil. Not to mention the fallacy involved with claiming “Had there been no religion then the world would be better”

Back to Pascal though, I try to be Good for a Log in to see images! list of reasons I won’t get into and personally I think that if there is a God (I’m Agnostic) and he looks at me and the end of my life and says “Well you were Good, but your Good deeds were not done through me/in my name/whatever religious reason. Therefore you are damned.” Then I say that God is an bumhole not worthy of my love or respect in the first place.

Of course with so many different possibilities and beliefs about what God is or might be, you may very well upset him by trying to game the system Pascal.

SoronTheBeast

Avatar: 159958 2010-01-24 16:32:03 -0500
17

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Hacker

There's your 3 BPs. Now stop ****ing whining about THIRTEEN CENTS you pathetic no-lifer. - Fran

Yeah, you’re right. The “more harm than good” statement is impossible to prove, but I went with it to show it did not matter anyway Log in to see images!

Most people that use the “more bad than good” argument don’t realize that religion was one of the main reasons people first came together in larger groups than hunter/gather tribes, and is more or less the first ‘step’ in the road to civilization.

Also, it was one of the first steps to math and science because it was a major part of primitive abstraction abilities. Atheistic hunter/gather tribes can’t understand number, because they can’t abstract.

http://www.ascentofhumanity.com/chapter2-7.php

‘Course, that does not mean it’s currently ‘good.’ But, yes you’re right we would have to build a working definition of ‘good’ first. Log in to see images! SoronTheBeast edited this message on 01/29/2010 6:20PM

Aldo_Anything

MODERATOR
Avatar: 32555 2014-07-18 11:39:53 -0400
98

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Troll

male reproductive organMEISTER

Catholicism alone was responsible for so many problems over the last 20 years, like its abortion/contraception politics or view on homosexuality. While I would support a reform of Catholic values (allow women to become priestess, let them have sex), I don’t see this happening in the near future. Not to speak of the Islam.

While I would agree that wars have been fought in the name of a state or nationality, I remember none that was fought in the name of science. Then, there are countless religious wars, because if you take your faith seriuosly, all other believers are wrong.

Religion and nationality seem to create a natual rivalry, like prefessional sport teams. You want your guys to win. Unlike science, where they leave it to more or less intellectual jokes.

Drakodan

Avatar: 57623 2010-05-29 20:03:09 -0400
13

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Troll

Surfing the Tubes

Sadly, Pascal’s wager is about as basic as religious scepticism gets, and in contrast, some of the arguments for Gods existence are extremely weak, such as Descartes’ argument. ‘I have an idea of God, and it didn’t come from nowhere, so God must exist for the thought to exist.’

I have an idea of a flying spaghetti monster, but that doesn’t prove its existence. In the same way that the ontological argument fails at proving Gods existence.

TL;DR there is NO WAY to prove or disprove Gods existence. There are only suggestions, and the disprove suggestions are far more plentiful and convincing.

Chawin

Avatar: 146808 2012-12-30 22:05:41 -0500
12

[Deth Krew 2010]

Level 69 Hacker

Scared of death

and that’s the great thing about philosophy, you can’t prove anything.

Drakodan

Avatar: 57623 2010-05-29 20:03:09 -0400
13

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Troll

Surfing the Tubes

Chawin Posted:

and that’s the great thing about philosophy, you can’t prove anything.

It would be more accurate to say there’s a few things you can’t prove. Philosophy aims to solve problems, or at least call ‘truths’ with room for doubt into question.

In my experience, people who have actively avoided Philosophy and not gotten involved in it have only done so on the basis that its an excuse to not think.

Chawin

Avatar: 146808 2012-12-30 22:05:41 -0500
12

[Deth Krew 2010]

Level 69 Hacker

Scared of death

prove something to me then.

Drakodan

Avatar: 57623 2010-05-29 20:03:09 -0400
13

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Troll

Surfing the Tubes

You exist.

If you can contemplate your existence, that automatically proves that you are real, since something is doing the thinking.

Drakodan edited this message on 01/29/2010 7:13PM

Chawin

Avatar: 146808 2012-12-30 22:05:41 -0500
12

[Deth Krew 2010]

Level 69 Hacker

Scared of death

wrong. there are thoughts. thoughts do not mean i exist. thoughts mean there are thoughts.

Drakodan

Avatar: 57623 2010-05-29 20:03:09 -0400
13

[Brainfreeze]

Level 69 Troll

Surfing the Tubes

Yet there must be a subject. Pictures ‘exist’, but not in the perceptive sense that we mean until someone is looking at it. In the same way, you are viewing your thoughts, proving that there is something there.

Fie

Avatar: 152207 2011-11-01 00:46:41 -0400
10

[And The Banned Pla-
yed On
]

Level 47 Camwhore

I want to see some real, live poop.

inb4 post modernism

Fie edited this message on 01/29/2010 9:00PM

man-man

Avatar: 156485 2010-01-24 16:36:14 -0500
24

[Harem and Sushi Bar]

Level 69 Hacker

Selfish fine upstanding member of society

SoronTheBeast Posted:

Most people that use the “more bad than good” argument don’t realize that religion was one of the main reasons people first came together in larger groups than hunter/gather tribes, and is more or less the first ‘step’ in the road to civilization.

I don’t use the ‘more bad than good’ thing, it’s too easy for that to lead into a drawn out argument trying to enumerate every good/bad deed ever done in the name of religion. But I thought the main reason people came together into larger groups was for agricultural purposes; it allows a more stable lifestyle, but requires more people co-operating than you need for a successful hunt/gather operation.

Drakodan Posted:

such as Descartes’ argument. ‘I have an idea of God, and it didn’t come from nowhere, so God must exist for the thought to exist.’

I have an idea of a flying spaghetti monster, but that doesn’t prove its existence. In the same way that the ontological argument fails at proving Gods existence.

I agree Descartes’ argument is shot through with holes, but he did at least try to justify why “I have an idea of god” was different from “I have an idea of a flying spaghetti monster”, in that his idea of god contained ideas like perfection and infinity, which he considered impossible to come by through life experience or imagination.

You could get ideas of spaghetti and flight from going to Italy and watching birds, so a flying spaghetti monster is quite easy to invent. I would hold that perfection/infinity are the logical extensions of good/many, and hence also inventable, but Descartes thought otherwise.

TUBSWEETIE

Avatar: 3450 2011-07-31 00:45:06 -0400
28

[And The Banned Pla-
yed On
]

Level 37 Troll

MY MEMORY IS THAT OF A SMALL GRAPE

i believe exclusively in science and the power of nature. nothing spiritual

expend energy on stuff you can prove with your hands on this earth.

Shii

Avatar: 23167 2010-01-24 16:31:18 -0500
27

[Phantasmagoric Spl-
endor
]

Level 35 Emo Kid

I haven't seen a bad idea that I didn't like.

SoronTheBeast Posted:

I want to share this logic with you all since it was one of the major reasons why I become agnostic in the first place. If your reading this thread and don’t know what Pascal’s Wager is, well, this argument is a modification of it. In it, I make some bumumptions about God that others might not agree with. I except that, but it was my thinking at the time. I know the “you need faith to get into heaven” part of scriptures, but what are you going to do?

bumumptions:

1) God is all knowing.

2) People that do what God wants get into heaven.

3) God wants you to be good ONLY for the sake of being good.

Based on this, I knew that if I believed in God I would be good knowing that I would get into heaven. God would know this too. In fact, even if I thought I was good for the sake of doing good, GOD would know if I, subconsciously or otherwise, was really doing it to get into heaven. God would know better than I myself would know why I was doing what I was doing.

The only solution I saw to this dilemma was to really and truly stop believing in heaven. But even than, I would still be doing good because God wanted it. So, the only solution I saw was to also stop believing in God.

At which point I convinced myself to being a good person for Humanist reasons. I know this is flawed because I still might subconsciously believe in God. I have spend most of my life after that point embracing materialism, so at this point I really don’t care what God thinks, because I don’t believe in Him.

Also, I hate when theists try to use Pascal’s Wager.

Anyway, at this point in my life I have a plethora of reasons to be agnostic and not a theist of any kind, but this is how I started down that road.

Soron’s Wager: To be a good Christian, you have to not believe in God.

Edit: Hmm… now that I’ve written it out, it does look a little circular….. Well, not the not believing in God part, the still being a good person part.

Simple refutation of your entire point.

One cannot be good, no matter how hard one tries. To put such a degree of emphasis on good works with the expectation that one will “get into heaven” as a result is not doctrinally sound within the vast majority of Christian denominations.

Isaiah 64:6 – All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

All righteous acts have no inherent worth to them in and of themselves. The entirety of your argument is approximately thus: I see a child in a burning building. I am afraid that my motive to save the child is not for morality’s sake, but because I secretly want to be seen as a hero. Therefore, I will not save the child, and this is the “better” choice.

In summation, there’s no need to go to such extreme lengths to get “motives” correct when you’re sinful by default anyway according to Scriptures.

So your dilemma is moot.

BobTheSqueak-
yWeasel

Avatar: 63475 2010-04-01 02:14:05 -0400
26

Level 69 Emo Kid

“The Infinite Sadness”

Dunatis Posted:

Back to Pascal though, I try to be Good for a Log in to see images!

This is pretty much my stance; if there’s really some sort of loving God, then I doubt he’d be petty enough to damn me just because I spent my life being a rational person. If getting into heaven requires me to believe something that there’s no logical basis for believing in, I can’t imagine the place would be much of a paradise for me, anyhow. The existence of some higher being is a non-issue, and the sooner people stop worrying about where they’re going after they die, the sooner they can fix the place they live.

Drakodan Posted:

Sadly, Pascal’s wager is about as basic as religious scepticism gets, and in contrast, some of the arguments for Gods existence are extremely weak, such as Descartes’ argument. ‘I have an idea of God, and it didn’t come from nowhere, so God must exist for the thought to exist.’

I have an idea of a furry purple beast with teal spots that shoots lasers from his incisors and eats male humans exclusively. Where does Descartes suppose that thought came from? I’m afraid to go to sleep now.

Duncecap

Avatar: Abstract Blue Circle
4

[The Airship]

Level 44 Hacker

“Backdoor Bob”

Just an FYI?

Pascal’s wager was satire.

He wasn’t very religious, (although he was highly affected by and effected the religious community to great extent), and Pascal’s wager does not apply where reason applies. He says as much in Pensees.

That religious people still use it to today shows their ignorance of mathematics, and the success of the satire.

(Indeed, it was somewhat strengthened, in their eyes, by his refutation of every other major religion in the rest of the book, but the book was mainly his normal use of satire, as seen in the Lettres Provinciales. I might remind you that he had something of a negative view of Jansenites from his dealing with them in Port Royal, (” . . .I’m beginning to suspect that they act most like a cult, swallowing inheritances and giving little back.” ). Also remember that religion, at the time, was BIG. Religious leaders had comparable power to that of Kings. So, that Pascal was so involved with religion does not mean that he was religious himself, (as many people bumume, proofless), just as being involved in politics in a capitalist country does not make you capitalist, nor a politician, nor someone who believes in the gov’t (non-religious sense)).

I’m looking about for a good math based article with no strong bias to explain it fully, however the most popular reference sources, (ie: wikipedia), are heavily influenced by religion, and most academic sources are heavily influenced by anti-religious sources. Neither are thus suitable.

Just understand that any of the logical fallacies you see there, such as false dilemma, are strawmen for a much stronger reason that one should NOT worship god, (any god). A mathematical and counter-intuitive result of decision theory on infinite rewards. (And of course, again, not an absolute reason)

Duncecap edited this message on 01/30/2010 12:15AM

Patently Chi-
ll Prestidig-
itator

Avatar: 128746 2011-10-09 04:24:59 -0400
8

[love is a dog from-
hell
]

Level 69 Troll

Celerysteve is incredible... he is just so... so incredible.

I would launch myself in a longer post, but it really would get us nowhere. I have this much to say, though: Secularism is the best thing to have happened in the world.

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