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 10th January 2021, 09:48 AM #241 HansMustermann Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 17,740 Just to clarify: game theory only concerns itself with what are the odds for (matching the conditions of) a particular outcome, times the reward for doing so. It doesn't require those conditions to match any kind of ethical constraints, or to have any ethical meaning at all. E.g., in my earlier dice roll example, there is nothing moral or ethical about a result of 6 as opposed to 1 or any other possible roll. It's just a die. It rolls. A number comes up. There are no moral values attached to that number. And game theory doesn't deal with those. It doesn't say you should bet on 6 because 6 represents some virtue. It says to bet on 6 because in my example I offer a higher reward for a roll of 6. And there's nothing preventing it from working with any other roll values. I could have a die where instead of 1 to 6, the symbols are "cherry", "horseshoe", "bird", "fish", "packman" and "lucky 7" instead. The same maths would apply. If I offer a bigger reward for landing on "lucky 7", and the probabilities still are 1/6 for any symbol, then the maths says you should always bet on "lucky 7". Or I could roll a 20 sided die instead. If I offer twice the reward for a natural 20 roll, and all values have the same 1/20 chance of showing up, then you should always bet on 20. What you're doing is basically the equivalent of insisting that oh noes, you can't apply the same game theory for the values 7 to 20 on a D20 or to the symbols on the other die, because the original example only used 1 to 6. Which is frankly, nonsense. __________________ Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand? Last edited by HansMustermann; 10th January 2021 at 10:10 AM.
 10th January 2021, 10:36 AM #242 dejudge Philosopher   Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 5,825 Pascal Pensees 547. Quote: We know God only by Jesus Christ. Without this mediator, all communion with God is taken away; through Jesus Christ we know God. All those who have claimed to know God, and to prove Him without Jesus Christ, have had only weak proofs. But in proof of Jesus Christ we have the prophecies, which are solid and palpable proofs. And these prophecies, being accomplished and proved true by the event, mark the certainty of these truths and, therefore, the divinity of Christ. In Him, then, and through Him, we know God. Apart from Him, and without the Scripture, without original sin, without a necessary mediator promised and come, we cannot absolutely prove God, nor teach right doctrine and right morality. But through Jesus Christ, and in Jesus Christ, we prove God, and teach morality and doctrine. Jesus Christ is, then, the true God of men. Pascal's wager has nothing whatsoever to do with GDon's imaginary God. Jesus Christ is the true God and one must wager that he exist and believe in him in order to gain all or lose nothing based on Pascal.
 10th January 2021, 11:53 AM #243 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 The way I see it, the wager works for pretty much any god, but it's a different wager for each god, and it can't work for more than one god at a time.
 10th January 2021, 12:39 PM #244 HansMustermann Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 17,740 Originally Posted by theprestige The way I see it, the wager works for pretty much any god, but it's a different wager for each god, and it can't work for more than one god at a time. Well, indeed, if you have enough gods in there, at some point you get to compare infinity to infinity, showing the problem with doing that to maths. But here's the thing: for it to be of any value, or indeed to be an actual application of game theory to the real world (as opposed to misusing some pseudo-maths as just some handwaving device), it MUST work with all imaginable gods in the same matrix. Otherwise it's like having this infallible roulette betting scheme, that only works if the roulette has only one number it can land on. It's worthless in the real world, innit? Edit: Having one bet for each God really has the problem that the answers become kettle logic. E.g., - apply the wager to Jesus: yes, you should totally believe in Jesus - apply the wager to Mithras: yep, you should totally believe in Mithras - apply the wager to Zalmoxis: oh yes, you should totally believe in Zalmoxis - apply the wager even to the cult of Kahless from ST: oh, you should totally believe in Kahless Well... which of them is it, because they kinda are mutually exclusive. E.g., the Xian god explicitly forbids having other gods too, so you can't hedge your bets by believing in every single God. That's the instant lose move for most of them. __________________ Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand? Last edited by HansMustermann; 10th January 2021 at 12:43 PM.
 10th January 2021, 09:33 PM #245 dejudge Philosopher   Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 5,825 Originally Posted by theprestige The way I see it, the wager works for pretty much any god, but it's a different wager for each god, and it can't work for more than one god at a time. Pascal's wager was specifically argued to work only with the Christian deities. Pascal's Pensees 546. Quote: Without Jesus Christ man must be in vice and misery; with Jesus Christ man is free from vice and misery; in Him is all our virtue and all our happiness. Apart from Him there is but vice, misery, darkness, death, despair. Only the God Jesus Christ can make mankind happy and only Christians are free from vice and misery. Non- Christians cannot live a happy life - Only Christians will gain all or lose nothing with Pascal's wager.
 10th January 2021, 10:11 PM #246 HansMustermann Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 17,740 Originally Posted by dejudge Pascal's wager was specifically argued to work only with the Christian deities. That he did, and it was a fun ride in this thread seeing Pascal's Jesus-specific handwaving misused to mean some generic god, except not generic enough to cover anything except GDon's personal choice. HOWEVER, that's not really a part of the Wager itself, which is really just (a misuse of) game theory. Meaning it can apply to anything else. God, demon, the Matrix, whatever. If I offered you infinite time in a simulation a la Amazon's "Upload" series, if you'd only bow down and worship me, then even I would qualify for that wager. I mean, you could object that my simulation can't outlive the heat death of the universe, and thus can't be an infinite reward. But, ah-ha, I say that with some hundreds of billions of years left until that deadline, and with every brilliant mind from now until then in my simulation, by then I'll have figured out how to transcend it to another universe and so on. (E.g., via creating a new universe by creating a gravastar.) As long as you can't 100% disprove it as 100% impossible, it merely being insanely improbable, well, times infinity is still infinity. So there we go, even I can qualify for that. Really, most of everything else about Pascal's rationalizing his faith is neither new, nor the best it's been done. Some church fathers both beat him to it by a millennium and a half, and did a better job of it. Hell, literally the NT beat him to the faith in faith part, for example. __________________ Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand? Last edited by HansMustermann; 10th January 2021 at 10:13 PM.
 11th January 2021, 02:04 AM #247 GDon Graduate Poster     Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 1,288 Originally Posted by theprestige The way I see it, the wager works for pretty much any god, but it's a different wager for each god, and it can't work for more than one god at a time. Pascal obviously designed his wager with his own opinion of God in mind, so it isn't meant to work for other gods, whether it does or not. The strawman version ("Pascal's Wager" as opposed to Pascal's "Pascal's Wager) is that it should work for any god, with the erroneous conclusion that if it doesn't then that indicates a flaw. The issue, as Chanakya correctly points out, is Pascal starts at the point that it is his God -- and no other -- that exists. For his Wager to be meaningful, that assumption needs to be validated.
 11th January 2021, 06:10 AM #248 dejudge Philosopher   Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 5,825 Originally Posted by GDon Pascal obviously designed his wager with his own opinion of God in mind, so it isn't meant to work for other gods, whether it does or not. The strawman version ("Pascal's Wager" as opposed to Pascal's "Pascal's Wager) is that it should work for any god, with the erroneous conclusion that if it doesn't then that indicates a flaw. The issue, as Chanakya correctly points out, is Pascal starts at the point that it is his God -- and no other -- that exists. For his Wager to be meaningful, that assumption needs to be validated. The problem is that you have been posting mis-leading information about Pascal's wager. You must have known that Pascal's wager was directly and specifically about the Christian deities (God the father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit) and not your generic arbitrary unknown God. Your arbitrary unknown God cannot make you happy only Jesus Christ can make one happy according to Pascal. As a non-Christian, you will be a loser if the Christian deities exist. Last edited by dejudge; 11th January 2021 at 06:12 AM.
 11th January 2021, 06:30 AM #249 JoeMorgue Self Employed Remittance Man     Join Date: Nov 2009 Location: Florida Posts: 30,025 Well yeah this all goes back to Aquinas. "Can you prove God exists?" "Well I can prove that you can't prove that no possible god absolutely doesn't exist, that's sort of the same thing." __________________ Yahtzee: "You're doing that thing again where when asked a question you just discuss the philosophy of the question instead of answering the bloody question." Gabriel: "Well yeah, you see..." Yahtzee: "No. When you are asked a Yes or No question the first word out of your mouth needs to be Yes or No. Only after that have you earned the right to elaborate."
 11th January 2021, 07:54 AM #251 HansMustermann Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 17,740 Originally Posted by GDon Pascal obviously designed his wager with his own opinion of God in mind, so it isn't meant to work for other gods, whether it does or not. The strawman version ("Pascal's Wager" as opposed to Pascal's "Pascal's Wager) is that it should work for any god, with the erroneous conclusion that if it doesn't then that indicates a flaw. It's not the "strawman version", it's how the maths work. It doesn't care whether some arbitrary person intended to apply a formula to situation X or not. E.g., Archimedes came up with his formula to measure the density of a crown, but we can apply it just as well to calculate the needed size for a battleship, something that didn't even exist in his time. And generally, it's also how logic works. If "X => Y", then that applies to any situation where X is true. Whether you or Pascal like it or not. Trying to limit it to whatever other arbitrary conditions some arbitrary author happened to apply it to, when they have no bearing on whether X is true or not, is the very definition of the No True Scotsman fallacy. I.e., broken bullcrap logic. And persisting in it even after it's been pointed out to you, just makes you dishonest. So, no, it's not the others committing a strawman, nor in any error. You're just dishonest when it comes to rationalizing your religious nonsense. __________________ Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand? Last edited by HansMustermann; 11th January 2021 at 08:00 AM.
 11th January 2021, 08:03 AM #252 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 Originally Posted by dejudge Pascal's wager was specifically argued to work only with the Christian deities. Pascal's Pensees 546. Only the God Jesus Christ can make mankind happy and only Christians are free from vice and misery. Non- Christians cannot live a happy life - Only Christians will gain all or lose nothing with Pascal's wager. No. Pascal never says the wager only works for the Christian god. And structurally, it's not limited to the Christian god. It's clear from his other writings that Pascal isn't very much interested in other Gods, but that doesn't mean we can't apply the wager to them. Did you sign a contract with Pascal, pledging to only apply the wager in the context of Christianity? I didn't.
 11th January 2021, 08:40 AM #253 HansMustermann Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 17,740 Well, I'd say dejudge does sorta have a point. And that point is that GDon is trying to apply a double standard, a.k.a., the special pleading fallacy. GDon argues that you can't apply Pascal's Wager to other gods, because Pascal didn't intend it to be used for those (as if that meant anything,) but repeatedly ignores the fact that the exact same applies to GDon's own non-Jesus god, even when it's pointed out to him. Basically the stance is, you can't apply it to YOUR god, because Pascal didn't, but I can apply it to MINE... even though Pascal also didn't. __________________ Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
 11th January 2021, 08:46 AM #254 dejudge Philosopher   Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 5,825 Originally Posted by theprestige No. Pascal never says the wager only works for the Christian god. And structurally, it's not limited to the Christian god. It's clear from his other writings that Pascal isn't very much interested in other Gods, but that doesn't mean we can't apply the wager to them. Did you sign a contract with Pascal, pledging to only apply the wager in the context of Christianity? I didn't. You have no idea what you are talking about. Please read Pascal's Pensees first. Pascal's Pensees Quote: 257. There are only three kinds of persons; those who serve God, having found Him; others who are occupied in seeking Him, not having found Him; while the remainder live without seeking Him and without having found Him. The first are reasonable and happy, the last are foolish and unhappy; those between are unhappy and reasonable.. Pascal Pensees 546. Quote: Without Jesus Christ man must be in vice and misery; with Jesus Christ man is free from vice and misery; in Him is all our virtue and all our happiness. Apart from Him there is but vice, misery, darkness, death, despair. Only people who believe in the Christian dieties (God the father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit) will gain all or lose nothing in Pascal's wager.
 11th January 2021, 10:13 AM #255 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 Originally Posted by dejudge You have no idea what you are talking about. Please read Pascal's Pensees first. Pascal's Pensees Pascal Pensees 546. Only people who believe in the Christian dieties (God the father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit) will gain all or lose nothing in Pascal's wager. That's a constraint imposed by their belief, not by the structure of the wager itself. Someone raised in the Islamic tradition could dismiss Yahweh and wager in terms of Allah. The underlying principle that Pascal articulates is the same. Someone studying Taoism could dismiss western mysticism altogether and wager in terms of the Tao. The underlying principle of the wager remains the same. The problem with the wager is not that Pascal locked it into Christianity specifically. He didn't. He was locked into Christianity specifically. The problem with the wager is that it can't be applied to any religion without special pleading. Pascal skips over the special pleading in his presentation of the wager. But it's still there. You seem to be assuming that because Pascal never bothered to apply the wager to religions other than Christianity, that there must be some innate rule of the wager that prevents this. There is no such rule. The basic structure of the wager is universally applicable. Fatally flawed, but universally applicable.
 11th January 2021, 10:17 AM #256 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 Originally Posted by HansMustermann Well, I'd say dejudge does sorta have a point. And that point is that GDon is trying to apply a double standard, a.k.a., the special pleading fallacy. I'd say there's a valid point about special pleading and the wager. But dejudge's point seems to be that it's against the rules of the wager, somehow, to apply it outside of Christianity. And I think that point is mistaken. Quote: GDon argues that you can't apply Pascal's Wager to other gods, because Pascal didn't intend it to be used for those (as if that meant anything,) As does dejudge. I disagree with this argument. Quote: but repeatedly ignores the fact that the exact same applies to GDon's own non-Jesus god, even when it's pointed out to him. Basically the stance is, you can't apply it to YOUR god, because Pascal didn't, but I can apply it to MINE... even though Pascal also didn't. I guess I'll have to go through GDon's arguments and see where this double standard comes up.
 11th January 2021, 10:49 AM #257 Delvo Дэлво Δελϝο דֶלְבֹֿ देल्वो     Join Date: Jul 2008 Location: North Tonawanda, NY Posts: 9,218 Christians looking for proof of God bounce back & forth so routinely between the God they actually believe in, and a stripped-bare god of nothingness with no traits which they don't believe in but hope will be easier to defend in a debate, that they probably aren't even conscious of when they do it themselves anymore.
 11th January 2021, 10:52 AM #258 JoeMorgue Self Employed Remittance Man     Join Date: Nov 2009 Location: Florida Posts: 30,025 Originally Posted by Delvo Christians looking for proof of God bounce back & forth so routinely between the God they actually believe in, and a stripped-bare god of nothingness with no traits which they don't believe in but hope will be easier to defend in a debate, that they probably aren't even conscious of when they do it themselves anymore. Which is why you almost never see actual like street level religious people doing this. This is all, mostly internet based with some fringes of both secular and theological academia, driven. Nobody is out there in the pulpits praying to a Vague God of Vague Vagueness who Vaguely Vagued some Vagueness at some point in the distant past and that then left the universe alone. And this is why apologetics is so much more intellectually AND morally dishonest then just being wrong. At least being wrong (usually) comes from an honest agent. __________________ Yahtzee: "You're doing that thing again where when asked a question you just discuss the philosophy of the question instead of answering the bloody question." Gabriel: "Well yeah, you see..." Yahtzee: "No. When you are asked a Yes or No question the first word out of your mouth needs to be Yes or No. Only after that have you earned the right to elaborate."
 11th January 2021, 11:37 AM #259 HansMustermann Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 17,740 Originally Posted by theprestige I'd say there's a valid point about special pleading and the wager. But dejudge's point seems to be that it's against the rules of the wager, somehow, to apply it outside of Christianity. And I think that point is mistaken. It would be if dejudge were the first to bring it up. But it's in response to GDon who keeps insisting that you can't apply it to other gods, because it's not what Pascal would have wanted. E.g., to save you the research, this is what GDon has to say in message #247, and I'm including the link so you can see I'm not changing anything or taking it out of context or anything: Originally Posted by GDon Pascal obviously designed his wager with his own opinion of God in mind, so it isn't meant to work for other gods, whether it does or not. The strawman version ("Pascal's Wager" as opposed to Pascal's "Pascal's Wager) is that it should work for any god, with the erroneous conclusion that if it doesn't then that indicates a flaw. Any attempts to test that criterion on other gods or anything, he calls a strawman. (Which is utter lunacy, but oh well... that's apologists for ya, eh?) Any conclusions derived from it failing such a test is for him erroneous. And it's not the first time. He's been hammering on that utter nonsense that testing a criterion on anything else than what gives you the answer you want is somehow a strawman for a couple of pages now, in various forms. E.g., on the previous page, apparently you can't apply the criterion to an evil god, because that's not what Pascal did. Etc. Well, I think it's only fair to point out that the same applies to GDon's non-Jesus god. Pascal was explicitly talking about Jesus and only Jesus as matching his criteria. Not just for the wager, but even for the faith-in-faith part: Pascal doesn't say follow any good god, and you'll be virtuous just the same. In fact, Pascal is quite point-blank about the opposite: follow anything else than Jesus, and you're some kind of depraved scum. If it's anyone who does a strawman of Pascal's arguments -- the other ones than the wager itself, though -- it's GDon, by pretending that it was about just about any generic good god. __________________ Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
 11th January 2021, 12:54 PM #260 HansMustermann Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 17,740 Originally Posted by JoeMorgue Which is why you almost never see actual like street level religious people doing this. This is all, mostly internet based with some fringes of both secular and theological academia, driven. Nobody is out there in the pulpits praying to a Vague God of Vague Vagueness who Vaguely Vagued some Vagueness at some point in the distant past and that then left the universe alone. And this is why apologetics is so much more intellectually AND morally dishonest then just being wrong. At least being wrong (usually) comes from an honest agent. You've never heard of Aquinas, Anselm, or Al-Ghazali? The latter being the original author of the Kalam argument for god. You know, the "the universe must have a cause" argument? That's not some random guys on the Internet, nor fringe, but major theologians. (Also some of them quite the opposite of academia: Al-Ghazali was a rabid anti-intellectual who actually wrote that mathematics is the language of Satan.) For example, Al Ghazali is regarded as probably the second most influential figure in Islam, after Muhammad himself. Also the guy who ended the golden age of Islam, in case you wonder exactly how influential that means. None of those had any problem using the Motte And Bailey fallacy, or as you aptly call it, the "Vague God of Vague Vagueness who Vaguely Vagued some Vagueness". I mean in Kalam, God is stripped of everything except vaguely somehow having caused the universe. I mean, it doesn't even say he created it in 7 days or whatever. Just be a cause, in some vague and unspecified way. It's not even required that said god could do anything else than that, including manifest himself to any prophet. In Anselm, it goes even further: god's really stripped of ANY concrete claim, including any attributes. He just has to be the greatest being you can imagine. Exactly what that means is mostly left to your own imagination. And those are just low-hanging fruit off the top of my head. Actually you'll find a lot of actual theologians retreating into just some vague claim as their motte. __________________ Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand? Last edited by HansMustermann; 11th January 2021 at 12:59 PM.
 11th January 2021, 01:07 PM #261 Delvo Дэлво Δελϝο דֶלְבֹֿ देल्वो     Join Date: Jul 2008 Location: North Tonawanda, NY Posts: 9,218 The problem with people saying atheists only respond to amateur arguments for God/religion/whatever, instead of the really sophisticated hoity-toity philosophers' serious scholarly work, is that they're the same arguments. It's exactly the same accusation as when an astrology believer says only bad astrologers get debunked and you really just need to pay attention to the good ones.
 11th January 2021, 01:51 PM #262 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 Originally Posted by HansMustermann It would be if dejudge were the first to bring it up. But it's in response to GDon who keeps insisting that you can't apply it to other gods, because it's not what Pascal would have wanted. E.g., to save you the research, this is what GDon has to say in message #247, and I'm including the link so you can see I'm not changing anything or taking it out of context or anything: Any attempts to test that criterion on other gods or anything, he calls a strawman. (Which is utter lunacy, but oh well... that's apologists for ya, eh?) Any conclusions derived from it failing such a test is for him erroneous. And it's not the first time. He's been hammering on that utter nonsense that testing a criterion on anything else than what gives you the answer you want is somehow a strawman for a couple of pages now, in various forms. E.g., on the previous page, apparently you can't apply the criterion to an evil god, because that's not what Pascal did. Etc. Well, I think it's only fair to point out that the same applies to GDon's non-Jesus god. Pascal was explicitly talking about Jesus and only Jesus as matching his criteria. Not just for the wager, but even for the faith-in-faith part: Pascal doesn't say follow any good god, and you'll be virtuous just the same. In fact, Pascal is quite point-blank about the opposite: follow anything else than Jesus, and you're some kind of depraved scum. If it's anyone who does a strawman of Pascal's arguments -- the other ones than the wager itself, though -- it's GDon, by pretending that it was about just about any generic good god. Gotcha, thanks!
 11th January 2021, 02:00 PM #263 dejudge Philosopher   Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 5,825 Originally Posted by theprestige That's a constraint imposed by their belief, not by the structure of the wager itself. Someone raised in the Islamic tradition could dismiss Yahweh and wager in terms of Allah. The underlying principle that Pascal articulates is the same. Someone studying Taoism could dismiss western mysticism altogether and wager in terms of the Tao. The underlying principle of the wager remains the same. The problem with the wager is not that Pascal locked it into Christianity specifically. He didn't. He was locked into Christianity specifically. The problem with the wager is that it can't be applied to any religion without special pleading. Pascal skips over the special pleading in his presentation of the wager. But it's still there. You seem to be assuming that because Pascal never bothered to apply the wager to religions other than Christianity, that there must be some innate rule of the wager that prevents this. There is no such rule. The basic structure of the wager is universally applicable. Fatally flawed, but universally applicable. Again, you don't know what you are talking about. Please, read Pascal's Pensees. One can be happy only if they believe in the Christian God through Jesus Christ according to Pascal. Pascal's Pensees Quote: 541. None is so happy as a true Christian, nor so reasonable, virtuous, or amiable... Pascal's Pensees 546. Quote: Without Jesus Christ man must be in vice and misery; with Jesus Christ man is free from vice and misery; in Him is all our virtue and all our happiness. Apart from Him there is but vice, misery, darkness, death, despair. 547. We know God only by Jesus Christ. Without this mediator, all communion with God is taken away; through Jesus Christ we know God...... Belief in other Gods without Jesus Christ does not work for Pascal's wager.
 11th January 2021, 02:09 PM #264 JoeMorgue Self Employed Remittance Man     Join Date: Nov 2009 Location: Florida Posts: 30,025 Originally Posted by Delvo The problem with people saying atheists only respond to amateur arguments for God/religion/whatever, instead of the really sophisticated hoity-toity philosophers' serious scholarly work, is that they're the same arguments. Really when was the last time we actually got any new apologetics? I've always said Aquinas repeated the same stupid argument 5 times in 1265 and that was the last time anyone really tried, everything is just stupid dance mixes of that. __________________ Yahtzee: "You're doing that thing again where when asked a question you just discuss the philosophy of the question instead of answering the bloody question." Gabriel: "Well yeah, you see..." Yahtzee: "No. When you are asked a Yes or No question the first word out of your mouth needs to be Yes or No. Only after that have you earned the right to elaborate."
 11th January 2021, 02:14 PM #265 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 Originally Posted by dejudge Again, you don't know what you are talking about. Please, read Pascal's Pensees. One can be happy only if they believe in the Christian God through Jesus Christ according to Pascal. Pascal's Pensees Pascal's Pensees 546. Belief in other Gods without Jesus Christ does not work for Pascal's wager. My argument is that it doesn't work without Christianity for Pascal, because Pascal has already begged that question before introducing the Wager. But the wager itself, conceptually and structurally, can be legitimately applied by anyone to any pantheon they wish. (This is separate from the problem of GDon apparently having his own self-contradictory approach to the wager.) You keep saying the wager can't be used that way, but you keep having to go outside the presentation of the wager itself. Where in the Pensees does Pascal say the wager only works for Christianity? To me it's like you're arguing that the Tesla Model 3 can only be operated in the US, because Elon Musk only has a valid driver's license for the US. Obviously Musk isn't driving his Tesla around Moscow, but that doesn't mean Medvedev can't. Last edited by theprestige; 11th January 2021 at 02:16 PM.
 11th January 2021, 02:44 PM #266 Dr. Keith Not a doctor.     Join Date: Jun 2009 Location: Texas Posts: 22,105 Originally Posted by theprestige My argument is that it doesn't work without Christianity for Pascal, because Pascal has already begged that question before introducing the Wager. But the wager itself, conceptually and structurally, can be legitimately applied by anyone to any pantheon they wish. (This is separate from the problem of GDon apparently having his own self-contradictory approach to the wager.) You keep saying the wager can't be used that way, but you keep having to go outside the presentation of the wager itself. Where in the Pensees does Pascal say the wager only works for Christianity? To me it's like you're arguing that the Tesla Model 3 can only be operated in the US, because Elon Musk only has a valid driver's license for the US. Obviously Musk isn't driving his Tesla around Moscow, but that doesn't mean Medvedev can't. If you approach the Wager as a logical argument for faith, then you will soon find that it is a logical argument against faith. If you approach the Wager as apologetics, then you will soon find that it is top grade apologetics. So, you just have to choose whether to analyze it as a logical construction or apologetics, but don't ever confuse the two. ETA: In Moscow Tesla drives Medvedev. __________________ Suffering is not a punishment not a fruit of sin, it is a gift of God. He allows us to share in His suffering and to make up for the sins of the world. -Mother Teresa If I had a pet panda I would name it Snowflake. Last edited by Dr. Keith; 11th January 2021 at 02:46 PM.
 11th January 2021, 02:47 PM #267 dejudge Philosopher   Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 5,825 Originally Posted by theprestige You keep saying the wager can't be used that way, but you keep having to go outside the presentation of the wager itself. Where in the Pensees does Pascal say the wager only works for Christianity? .... You statement is fallacious. I have not gone outside the presentation of the wager. I have actually presented excerpts from Pascal's Pensees. Now look again at another excerpt from the Pensees. Pascal's Pensees 556 Quote: ......... All who seek God without Jesus Christ, and who rest in nature, either find no light to satisfy them, or come to form for themselves a means of knowing God and serving Him without a mediator. Thereby they fall either into atheism, or into deism, two things which the Christian religion abhors almost equally. Pascal's wager was argued precisely for belief in the Christian deities alone.
 11th January 2021, 03:06 PM #268 maximara Master Poster   Join Date: Feb 2010 Posts: 2,445 Originally Posted by HansMustermann Sadly, I think he was. Obviously he didn't feel quite convinced himself, but he was obviously trying to rationalize his faith. As I was saying, the problem with religion is that it can make even otherwise highly intelligent people go wilfully stupid or wilfully schizophrenic. Well, ONE of the problems with religion. Actually I don't think he was serious with regards to its mathematical soundness as Pascal's Wager came from his unpublished notes which were published posthumously. He may have tried to reconcile it with his faith but couldn't and so never published it and likely was still hammering out the details when he died. While he takes on the issues of Islam and Judaism he, AFAICT, avoids Protestant and deism like crazy. Also there are ideas that throw a major monkey wrench into his view on pagan religions such as the entirely serious theory Jesus was a Buddhist (James Hanson; Buddhist-Christian Studies 25(1):75-89 DOI: 10.1353/bcs.2005.0050)
 11th January 2021, 03:14 PM #269 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 Originally Posted by dejudge You statement is fallacious. I have not gone outside the presentation of the wager. I have actually presented excerpts from Pascal's Pensees. Now look again at another excerpt from the Pensees. Pascal's Pensees 556 Pascal's wager was argued precisely for belief in the Christian deities alone. You keep citing passages that don't mention the wager as evidence that the wager can only be interpreted one way. I read these passages as restrictions on Pascal, not restrictions on the wager, nor restrictions on our interpretation and use of the wager.
 11th January 2021, 04:39 PM #270 HansMustermann Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 17,740 The discussion has veered off from strictly the wager, since IIRC page 2 or so, when GDon introduced Pacal's faith-in-faith arguments as being somehow a part of the wager. It's been really more about that than about the actual wager ever since. __________________ Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
 11th January 2021, 05:24 PM #271 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 Originally Posted by HansMustermann The discussion has veered off from strictly the wager, since IIRC page 2 or so, when GDon introduced Pacal's faith-in-faith arguments as being somehow a part of the wager. It's been really more about that than about the actual wager ever since. Even in that context I think dejudge is being unnecessarily and unsupportably doctrinaire. Of all the significant criticisms of GDon's approach to the wager, "you're not allowed to us it that way!" seems like... not one of them, to me. Last edited by theprestige; 11th January 2021 at 05:25 PM.
 11th January 2021, 06:36 PM #272 GDon Graduate Poster     Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 1,288 Originally Posted by theprestige My argument is that it doesn't work without Christianity for Pascal, because Pascal has already begged that question before introducing the Wager. But the wager itself, conceptually and structurally, can be legitimately applied by anyone to any pantheon they wish. (This is separate from the problem of GDon apparently having his own self-contradictory approach to the wager.) What is my self-contradictory approach to the wager? My claim is that Pascal made his wager with his God in mind, and not with any other gods in mind. The wager may or may not work with any other gods. It may be applied by anyone to any pantheon they wish, and it may be done legitimately or illegitimately. But Pascal designed his wager with his God in mind. That it may be not work for other gods (e.g. malevolent gods, as I've argued with Chanakya) isn't relevant to Pascal's specific case, AFAICS, unless you want to argue that the Wager must work for all gods, or none. Are you proposing that Pascal's Wager must work for either all gods or none? Is it reasonable to say that the Wager only works depending upon the god being used in the Wager? Last edited by GDon; 11th January 2021 at 06:42 PM.
 11th January 2021, 06:40 PM #273 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 Originally Posted by GDon What is my self-contradictory approach to the wager? My claim is that Pascal made his wager with his God in mind, and not with any other gods in mind. The wager may or may not work with any other gods. It may be applied by anyone to any pantheon they wish, and it may be done legitimately or illegitimately. But Pascal designed his wager with his God in mind. That it may be not work for other gods (e.g. malevolent gods) isn't relevant to Pascal's specific case, AFAICS, unless you want to argue that the Wager must work for all gods, or none. When you say:"Pascal obviously designed his wager with his own opinion of God in mind, so it isn't meant to work for other gods, whether it does or not. The strawman version ("Pascal's Wager" as opposed to Pascal's "Pascal's Wager) is that it should work for any god, with the erroneous conclusion that if it doesn't then that indicates a flaw."This seems to indicate that you don't think that the wager can be applied to gods other than the Christian god. However, you are also applying it to something other than the Christian god. This seems to be a contradiction in your approach. Personally, I think it can be applied to other gods. But if you think it can't, then you're contradicting yourself when you go ahead and do it anyway. Q.E.D. Last edited by theprestige; 11th January 2021 at 06:41 PM.
 11th January 2021, 07:15 PM #274 theprestige Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Aug 2007 Location: Hong Kong Posts: 48,648 Originally Posted by GDon Are you proposing that Pascal's Wager must work for either all gods or none? Is it reasonable to say that the Wager only works depending upon the god being used in the Wager? I'm proposing that it's cynical nonsense, and both logically and theologically unsupportable. Contra dejudge, I'm proposing that it can be applied to any deity, not just Pascal's Christian deity. I'm proposing applying it to any particular deity requires special pleading, or begging the question, or both. I'm proposing that the moment you apply it to any particular deity, you cannot then apply it to any other without reason-bending efforts at syncretism and illogic. I'm proposing that the wager works by putting the cart before the horse: You can't make the wager without first defining the attributes of the god you're wagering on. If you know that much about the god, then you don't need the wager: You can just believe in the god you already clearly know about. I'm proposing that while nothing about Pascal's focus on Christianity, and nothing about the wager itself, prohibits you from applying to any other god, that is not a mark in its favor. I'm proposing that applying to any god at all is playing silly buggers, and requires so many logical fallacies as to negate the value of applying the wager at all. I'm proposing that if you have no good reason to think your god exists, then you have no good reason to wager on it. And if you do have a good reason to think your god exists, then you have no good reason to wager on it. I'm proposing that as soon as you apply the wager to the god of your choice, you've invalidated it for every other possible god, and therefore you've invalidated it for the god you've chosen as well.
 11th January 2021, 08:25 PM #275 maximara Master Poster   Join Date: Feb 2010 Posts: 2,445 Originally Posted by theprestige I'm proposing that it's cynical nonsense, and both logically and theologically unsupportable. I'm proposing applying it to any particular deity requires special pleading, or begging the question, or both. I'm proposing that the moment you apply it to any particular deity, you cannot then apply it to any other without reason-bending efforts at syncretism and illogic. The Wager is also "broken" in that it isn't just believing in a deity but what you do with that belief that matters. DarkMatter2525 has a video on this issue called What If You're Wrong? that also pokes fun at Jack Chick's old save at the last moment trope. "He died a Christian" Only it is Allah running heaven and well the poor Christian get condemned to the Lake of Fire. TNG's "Who Watches the Watchers" correctly pointed out "That's the problem with believing in a supernatural being. Trying to determine what he wants.." There was a Twilight Zone magazine story which puts an interesting twist on the old Adam and Eve tale. Here Adam and Eve actually challenge God and refuse to grovel and God proclaims that at last he has found his true children.
 11th January 2021, 08:51 PM #276 HansMustermann Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Mar 2009 Posts: 17,740 Originally Posted by GDon What is my self-contradictory approach to the wager? My claim is that Pascal made his wager with his God in mind, and not with any other gods in mind. The wager may or may not work with any other gods. It may be applied by anyone to any pantheon they wish, and it may be done legitimately or illegitimately. But Pascal designed his wager with his God in mind. That it may be not work for other gods (e.g. malevolent gods, as I've argued with Chanakya) isn't relevant to Pascal's specific case, AFAICS, unless you want to argue that the Wager must work for all gods, or none. Are you proposing that Pascal's Wager must work for either all gods or none? Is it reasonable to say that the Wager only works depending upon the god being used in the Wager? Never heard of this newfangled thing called the "scientific method"? I mean, it's only been around for a couple of centuries. I can see how not every religious woowoo peddler has heard of it yet. The whole idea is to try to falsify a claim by applying to just about everything that it can be applied to, and see if it holds. Not just INCLUDING on stuff that the original author didn't think about, but ESPECIALLY on that. Because if he did, he probably would have tested that already. And it's logically sound too. A claim to the effect of "X => Y" MUST be true in any situation imaginable. That is to say, if X is true in any given situation or for any given entity, then Y must also be true. Conversely if in any given situation or for any given entity, Y is false, then X must also be false. If you find a situation where either doesn't hold, then you disproved the rule. Insisting that oh noes, you can't try to test it on anything except what the author tested it on, is the most idiotic, brainless, moronic, piss-poor pretense of 'logic' even by religious woowoo peddler standards. __________________ Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand? Last edited by HansMustermann; 11th January 2021 at 08:53 PM.
 11th January 2021, 09:13 PM #277 Dr. Keith Not a doctor.     Join Date: Jun 2009 Location: Texas Posts: 22,105 Originally Posted by theprestige I'm proposing that it's cynical nonsense, and both logically and theologically unsupportable. Contra dejudge, I'm proposing that it can be applied to any deity, not just Pascal's Christian deity. I'm proposing applying it to any particular deity requires special pleading, or begging the question, or both. I'm proposing that the moment you apply it to any particular deity, you cannot then apply it to any other without reason-bending efforts at syncretism and illogic. I'm proposing that the wager works by putting the cart before the horse: You can't make the wager without first defining the attributes of the god you're wagering on. If you know that much about the god, then you don't need the wager: You can just believe in the god you already clearly know about. I'm proposing that while nothing about Pascal's focus on Christianity, and nothing about the wager itself, prohibits you from applying to any other god, that is not a mark in its favor. I'm proposing that applying to any god at all is playing silly buggers, and requires so many logical fallacies as to negate the value of applying the wager at all. I'm proposing that if you have no good reason to think your god exists, then you have no good reason to wager on it. And if you do have a good reason to think your god exists, then you have no good reason to wager on it. I'm proposing that as soon as you apply the wager to the god of your choice, you've invalidated it for every other possible god, and therefore you've invalidated it for the god you've chosen as well. It is tool for the logical mind to escape faith. Pascal the arsonist. __________________ Suffering is not a punishment not a fruit of sin, it is a gift of God. He allows us to share in His suffering and to make up for the sins of the world. -Mother Teresa If I had a pet panda I would name it Snowflake.
 11th January 2021, 10:04 PM #278 arthwollipot Observer of PhenomenaPronouns: he/him     Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: Ngunnawal Country Posts: 69,691 Originally Posted by psionl0 Finding wisdom on questions like these from a heathen website isn't very logical. Never stopped anyone before. We do have religious people who post here, and we have people with prior experience with religion. I'm reading the thread now, will reply shortly. __________________ Please scream inside your heart.
 11th January 2021, 10:20 PM #279 dejudge Philosopher   Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 5,825 Originally Posted by theprestige You keep citing passages that don't mention the wager as evidence that the wager can only be interpreted one way. I read these passages as restrictions on Pascal, not restrictions on the wager, nor restrictions on our interpretation and use of the wager. You don't seem to know that Pascal's wager is found in his Pensees.
 11th January 2021, 10:33 PM #280 arthwollipot Observer of PhenomenaPronouns: he/him     Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: Ngunnawal Country Posts: 69,691 Originally Posted by Dr. Keith I'm thinking of having a tattoo of "2 Kings 2:23-25" placed on the back of my clearly bald head. Seems only fair to give some warning to the yutes. I think a tattoo of "Leviticus 19:28" would be fun. __________________ Please scream inside your heart.

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