The Instigator
LifeMeansGodIsGood
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Robert_Weiler
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

It Is Not Possible For An Atheist To Win in Pascal's Wager

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Robert_Weiler
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/16/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 811 times Debate No: 60539
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

LifeMeansGodIsGood

Pro

Rules: (I like fair rules)

For this debate, "atheist" is defined as a person who believes there is no God.
My opponent agrees to accept this definition without broadening the definition and without questioning the definition.

The agreed upon definition of "atheism" for this debate is the intellectual and/or religious belief system which concludes that there is no God. My opponent agrees to accept this definition without broadening the definition and without questioning the definition.


Pascal's Wager is summarized as :"It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or not. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming an infinite gain or loss associated with belief or unbelief in said God (as represented by an eternity in heaven or hell), a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.)" (thank you Dairy Girl for posting this in the comments of a previous similar debate). This summary is agreed to by my opponent as an accurate explanation of Pascal's Wager.


The agreed definition of "win" is the opposite of "lose". Neither "win" or "lose" need any further explanation in this debate.



THESE RULES ARE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD AND CONSIDERED FAIR FOR THIS DEBATE

FIRST ROUND IS FOR ACCEPTANCE ONLY.

BY ACCEPTING, MY OPPONENT AGREES TO ABIDE BY THE RULES AND TERMS ABOVE.
Robert_Weiler

Con

I accept. Do your worst.
Debate Round No. 1
LifeMeansGodIsGood

Pro

Thank you Con, for accepting the debate. I don't know what you mean by "do your worst". First round was for acceptance only, not for smart alack remarks. Please try to focus on the debate. I don't want you to lose conduct points.


For the benefit of the commenters like AlternativeDavid and Aerogant who think Pascal's Wager is unfair or that it is impossible for Christians to win, I have to say I agree with them on these points. Nobody can win in Pascal's Wager, but that is not the topic of this debate. This debate is about the fact that an atheist cannot win in Pascal's Wager because Pascal's Wager implies it is best to live your life as though it is possible God is there. Atheism asserts that there is no God. I would like to see how my opponent thinks it is possible for an atheist to win in Pascal's Wager> When an atheist believes there is no God therefore they have negated Pascal's Wager before they can play it.

For the commenter who seem to be proud of the fact that the dice in Pascal's Wager are loaded and even Christians cannot win, I want to refer them to my previous debate on this topic: nobody can win in Pascal's Wager. http://www.debate.org...
Robert_Weiler

Con

By the definition of Pascal's wager so graciously offered by my opponent in Round 1, "humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or not"(emphasis mine). Therefore, my opponent has acknowledged that everyone plays Pascal's wager, they simply choose to bet one way or the other. Even an atheist plays, they just bet the other way.


There are 4 ways in which an atheist may win Pascal's Wager:


1. The atheist is correct in believing that no god exists, lives their life as they see fit, including indulgence in many activities considered sinful by most religious standards. They have won, because they have not lost out on the fleshly pleasures prohibited by most religions.

2. The atheist is incorrect, and a god exists. However, it is not the Christian god. The god that exists is neutral on fleshly behavior and accepts all into an eternally blissful state.

3. The atheist is incorrect, and the Christian god exists. However, because the atheist never knew the Christian god, he is incapable of sin by biblical standards, and though they engaged in "sinful" behavior, they are nevertheless welcomed into Heaven.

4. The atheist is incorrect, and the Christian god exists. Though they do not believe in God, they carefully live their life so as not to offend. They are sinless, and therefore are welcomed into Heaven.

My opponent doesn't seem to recognize the common English idiom "do your worst". Here is a definition.[1] It is simply a challenge to take me on as best as you are able.

By the way, it is smart aleck, not smart alack.[2]


Citations

1. http://dictionary.cambridge.org...

2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 2
LifeMeansGodIsGood

Pro

"Spell check" corrected the spelling of "smart alack", I will continue to use DD0 spell check and not accept Webster's spellings as DDO spell check may be proven different. Your common English idiom, which still comes across as a smart alack remark and not an innocent idiom, was uncalled for when the first round was for acceptance only.

If you think you can gain entrance to heaven by claiming to have no sin by not believing in God, go ahead and do your worst. If it makes you feel better, do your best. It won't get you out of death. Nobody can win in Pascal's Wager because nothing you can do can make God owe you anything. Betting with God is a losing game from the start. By saying there is no God, you negate any possibility other than death. An atheist only assures that they lose everything they play with in death. The Wager is not over until death is finalized, and the atheist then loses everything.

No matter what the atheist does, he loses everything in death.

I have answered all of your 4 points in this.

And I repeat, your smart alack remark was uncalled for. You are trying to excuse your first round smart alack remark with more smart alack remarks in the second round.

And if you want to nitpick spellings (you must have worked hard to find one word I used where DDO's spell check disagreed with Webster's dictionary), I guess I'll nitpick on your grammar. I'm sure you did better than your worst, but since you have been so helpful in giving me the Webster spelling of "alack", I will give you some pointers on your grammar.

1) You left out spaces in the following:
a. "humans all bet",
b. "not"(emphasis "

2) The period you used in " Here is a definition.[1]" should be a colon.

Since you seem to have a problem inserting spaces in your own writings, I must guess that the four points of your argument were plagiarized from somewhere, copy and pasted without referencing the source. I have seen those four points used before.

Keep on doing your worst, or your best, and see if you win against God in Pascal's Wager.


Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
Robert_Weiler

Con

I did not "nitpick" your spelling, and DDO's spell check does not disagree with Webster's Dictionary. Alack is a word, however, you are misusing it[1]. Aleck is an abbreviation of the proper noun, Alexander[2]. Aleck is the word used in the idiom[3]. Alack is an archaic interjection[1].

You did not refute any of my points, you simply asserted that they were incorrect. You provided no evidence contrary to my argument, instead, you make personal attacks.

If you think you can gain entrance to heaven by claiming to have no sin by not believing in God, go ahead and do your worst. If it makes you feel better, do your best.

This debate is not about me. I am not an atheist.

By saying there is no God, you negate any possibility other than death.

Saying there is no god has no effect on whether or not a god or an afterlife actually exists.

No matter what the atheist does, he loses everything in death.

This is a completely unsupported assertion by my opponent. Assertions are not arguments.

I have answered all of your 4 points in this.

To the contrary, you have fail to answer a single one of them.

1) You left out spaces in the following:
a. "humans all bet",

No I did not. Copy and paste my argument into a Word document and you will see that the space is there. The space is difficult to see because of the long-leaning italicized "l".

2) The period you used in " Here is a definition.[1]" should be a colon.

I defy my opponent to cite a single rule of grammar that requires a colon before a superscript reference.

Since you seem to have a problem inserting spaces in your own writings, I must guess that the four points of your argument were plagiarized from somewhere, copy and pasted without referencing the source. I have seen those four points used before.

Cite where you have seen this, or apologize you your baseless and inflammatory accusation.

Citations
1. http://dictionary.reference.com...
2. http://dictionary.reference.com...
3. http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 3
LifeMeansGodIsGood

Pro

Ok, so you may be right about the spelling of Alack, but I still say you acted like a smart alack from the start. I just want to ask how old you are?

I did refute all four of your points. You don't like it because I am telling you that you don't get a free pass to heaven and you can't earn a pass to heaven. Nobody can win in Pascal's Wager, atheist or not. If you don't get saved from Hell, you are on your way there now with one foot in the grave and the other one in the fire. Pascal's Wager won't help, atheist or not. We all deserve to die and burn in Hell.
Robert_Weiler

Con

My opponent continues to attack me rather than argue the resolution. He has accused me of plagiarism and has procided no evidence, and refuses to apologize. He also continues to misuse the word "alack". I need a beer.
Debate Round No. 4
LifeMeansGodIsGood

Pro

Maybe a beer will help you quit whining, but I don't recommend it. What you need is to be saved from Hell. You need to admit that you deserve to die for your sins, believe God loved you so much that He took your punishment on Himself as the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and that He conquered death by His resurrection, and call on God in His name to save you from the fire of Hell and deliver you from your feelings of needing a beer. If you will agree with God on these terms and ask Him to save you in Jesus' name, He will hear you and save you and Jesus Christ Himself will come in to you and share the bread of life with you and be in you a wellspring of living waters flowing to eternal life. You will have eternal life, this is the promise of God, the gospel, the good news from God that you can be saved from Hell and live forever.

Pascal's Wager cannot be won by an atheist or anybody else, no matter what they believe or how they act. it's a total loss from the start because it offers no way for sin to be paid for. Your sin separates you from God and you pay for it in death. If you believe on Jesus, He took your death and paid for your sins, and God will forgive you based on His payment andl give you eternal life and He will give you a lively hope that is better than a beer bender. Eternal life is a gift that cannot be won in any wager and cannot be earned by any endeavors.

It's not only the atheist who cannot win in Pascal's Wager. Nobody can win. The Atheist assures his total loss of everything he has in death. If you think you can win in any of the four apparently plagarized points you have used (I still say it looks plagarized because the spelling and puntuation in those four points is perfect while in your personal writings, there are repeated errors (and the spaces I said are missing in your argument are missing, you can copy and paste your own comments, insert curser where spaces are supposed to be, hit backspace, and a letter or mark disappears where only a space is supposed to disappear. I performed this check carefully before I pointed out the stong evidence that your four points were plagarized. I cannot appologize. I am no sure you plagarized, but I have seen those four points before in strikingly similar fashion. If I were your college professor, I have good enough reason to reject your work on grounds of apparent plagarizm.), you are fooling yourself. In all four of your points, you are trying to convince yourself that you get a free "Don't burn in Hell" card no matter what you do or don't do. You can fool yourself and you can fool a lot of poople, but you are not fooling me and you sure won't fool God. Nobody can win in Pascal's Wager, and the atheist assures his total loss in death.

I am not going to bother with spell check in this argument, so feel free to nitpick away. I really don't mind if you can be funny about it instead of being smart alacky.
Robert_Weiler

Con

"If you think you can gain entrance to heaven by claiming to have no sin by not believing in God, go ahead and do your worst. If it makes you feel better, do your best. It won't get you out of death. Nobody can win in Pascal's Wager because nothing you can do can make God owe you anything. Betting with God is a losing game from the start. By saying there is no God, you negate any possibility other than death. An atheist only assures that they lose everything they play with in death. The Wager is not over until death is finalized, and the atheist then loses everything.

"No matter what the atheist does, he loses everything in death."

This was opponent's only attempt at refutation to the listed four ways an atheist may win Pascal's wager. He answered none of them. He made unsupported assertions about the nature of God. Again, assertions are not arguments. My opponents entire final round was some type of sermon, and not a very good one. My opponent's final posting was entirely irrelevant and insulting.

My opponent used his final opportunity to again make an unfounded allegation of plagiarism. It is below human decency to continue to make such unsupported allegations and my opponent should be ashamed of himself.

My opponent asserted, as many on this site have, that nobody can win Pascal's wager. However, besides making the assertion, he has failed to argue that in this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by sorry_youre_wrong 2 years ago
sorry_youre_wrong
"Thank you Con, for accepting the debate. I don't know what you mean by "do your worst". First round was for acceptance only, not for smart alack remarks. Please try to focus on the debate. I don't want you to lose conduct points."

also, you should have followed your own advise
Posted by sorry_youre_wrong 2 years ago
sorry_youre_wrong
this is a new low...even for you lifemeansgodisgood. you were completely disrespectful towards the opponent and instead of sticking to the topic you proceeded to INSULT the opponent. because he corrected your spelling. you assumed he was an atheist and started PREACHING in the middle of the debate.

but worst of all, when he corrected your spelling and told you that you used the word the wrong way, you got offended and CONTINUED to use the word. Robert_Weiler was right, you did do your worst.
Posted by AlternativeDavid 2 years ago
AlternativeDavid
Christians cannot win Pascal's wager either. There are so many religions, only one of which is Christianity.
Posted by Aerogant 2 years ago
Aerogant
Pascal's Wager is systematically loaded dice.
Posted by BrandonMS 2 years ago
BrandonMS
I'm tempted to agree to this, but I am hesitant to based on one problem: I do not know your definition of "God". I cannot be sure whether I believe, disbelieve, or believe its negative as I have no idea what the concept even is. If you define "God", and I find the definition agreeable enough, I'll be happy to accept the challenge.
Posted by AlternativeDavid 2 years ago
AlternativeDavid
If I accept this, can I argue that religious people cannot win Pascal's wager?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
LifeMeansGodIsGoodRobert_WeilerTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro provided no sources. Con demonstrated Pro's bad spelling, which was obvious anyway. Pro made a stronger argument on that Atheists can win Pascal's wager. Pro attacked Con as an Atheist even though Con is not an Atheist, which is an Ad-Hominem attack and thus gives Con a point for Bad Conduct.
Vote Placed by YoungLawyer 2 years ago
YoungLawyer
LifeMeansGodIsGoodRobert_WeilerTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Honestly, Pro wasn't focusing on his own resolution.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
LifeMeansGodIsGoodRobert_WeilerTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: pro attacks con and accuses him of plagiarism instead of focusing on arguments
Vote Placed by Codedlogic 2 years ago
Codedlogic
LifeMeansGodIsGoodRobert_WeilerTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to put forth an argument for the resolution and was completely ineffective at refuting Cons 4 methods via which an atheist could win at Pascals Wager. Conduct points to Con as Pro unmeritedly accused Con of plagiarism and poor grammar.