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Reverse Pascal's Wager

bluesteel
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4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
(1) If this life is our only life, time spent worshiping a certain doctrinal religion is wasted.

(2) Non-belief has benefits due to the opportunity costs of engaging in an organized religion.

(3) Organized religions generally hold that if you choose the wrong organized religion, you do not gain access to heaven (e.g. the Muslim belief that Jesus is not divine lands you in hell, according to most Christian thinkers).

(4) Given that the right answer is unknowable and you cannot do plausibility testing on religion (since all of them claim that miracles and other experientally implausible things happen), there is no good way to maximize your chances of choosing the correct organized religion in order to gain access to heaven. You cannot do much better than random chance.

(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

Benevolence requires that punishment not be meted out when an individual lacks the capacity to conform his conduct to the prescribed requirements. Individuals lack the capacity to conform to the correct choice of religious sect because of #4.

(6) All the most prominent monotheistic religions assert God is benevolent.

(7) Given that God cannot be both benevolent and non-benevolent, either God does not exist or He allows entry into heaven for living a good and moral life, not for strict adherence to the beliefs of a particular religious sect.

[The third option is that God is non-benevolent, but this option is irrelevant for the sake of this argument because it also presumes that all organized religion is already wrong, so there's then no good choices for the Wager besides non-belief, and it also presumes a God that can assign people randomly to Hell, no matter how they acted while they were on Earth (because God is not benevolent), so the Wager would also be irrelevant for that reason if God were non-benevolent.]

(8) From 2 and 7, it follows that the best "wager" in life is non-belief while living a relatively good and moral life.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
12_13
Posts: 1,364
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4/2/2015 3:13:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

I agree with that and that is why I think Bible says this:

If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn't believe, I don't judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects me, and doesn't receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.
John 12:47-48

This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God."
John 3:19-21

These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
Mat. 25:46
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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4/2/2015 3:38:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 3:13:56 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

I agree with that and that is why I think Bible says this:

If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn't believe, I don't judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects me, and doesn't receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.
John 12:47-48

Pretty persuasive passage. There's a clear difference drawn in this passage between following God's moral laws and actually believing in His existence. Only the former is required in order to "not be judged" by God. Belief is not a necessary element.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Yassine
Posts: 2,617
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4/2/2015 8:22:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(1) If this life is our only life, time spent worshiping a certain doctrinal religion is wasted.

- Depends on perspective. Is there an objective way of discerning 'waste of time'.

(2) Non-belief has benefits due to the opportunity costs of engaging in an organized religion.

- & has disadvantages. Which of the two options (belief, non-belief) is more beneficial, is arguable.

(3) Organized religions generally hold that if you choose the wrong organized religion, you do not gain access to heaven (e.g. the Muslim belief that Jesus is not divine lands you in hell, according to most Christian thinkers).

- OK.

(4) Given that the right answer is unknowable and you cannot do plausibility testing on religion (since all of them claim that miracles and other experientally implausible things happen), there is no good way to maximize your chances of choosing the correct organized religion in order to gain access to heaven. You cannot do much better than random chance.

- This is an unjustified generalisation!

(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

- Why should God be benevolent or not-benevolent?!
- Even if God is supposedly benevolent, this still assumes that the choice of religion is basically random!

Benevolence requires that punishment not be meted out when an individual lacks the capacity to conform his conduct to the prescribed requirements. Individuals lack the capacity to conform to the correct choice of religious sect because of #4.

- You made two assumptions here:
1. the definition of benevolent is necessarily yours.
2. choice of religion is basically random.

(6) All the most prominent monotheistic religions assert God is benevolent.

- Islam doesn't!

(7) Given that God cannot be both benevolent and non-benevolent, either God does not exist or He allows entry into heaven for living a good and moral life, not for strict adherence to the beliefs of a particular religious sect.

- Why should God be either benevolent or non-benevolent?! God does as He pleases.

[The third option is that God is non-benevolent, but this option is irrelevant for the sake of this argument because it also presumes that all organized religion is already wrong

- Or: God is neither benevolent nor non-benevolent. This assumes a human character, which is rejected in Islam. Why should a potato be benevolent or non-benevolent?!

so there's then no good choices for the Wager besides non-belief, and it also presumes a God that can assign people randomly to Hell, no matter how they acted while they were on Earth (because God is not benevolent), so the Wager would also be irrelevant for that reason if God were non-benevolent.

- God can do whatever He pleases. It's God that defines Justice, not the other way around. At least that's the Islamic worldview.

(8) From 2 and 7, it follows that the best "wager" in life is non-belief while living a relatively good and moral life.

- Besides the fact that this whole wager would probably work only in a christian paradigm, the conclusion depends heavily on the definitions of both: Good, & Morality. Which are, at least in the Islamic paradigm, incompatible with non-belief.
Current Debates:

Islam is not a religion of peace vs. @ Lutonator:
* http://www.debate.org...
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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4/2/2015 8:50:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 3:13:56 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

I agree with that and that is why I think Bible says this:

If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn't believe, I don't judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects me, and doesn't receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.
John 12:47-48

This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God."
John 3:19-21

These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
Mat. 25:46

The wicked is the FORMED VISIBLE FLESH of God's CREATED MAN that has deceived man from his righteous INVISIBLE IMAGE in the mind ( THOUGHTS ) of God.
Raisor
Posts: 4,461
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4/2/2015 10:24:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(1) If this life is our only life, time spent worshiping a certain doctrinal religion is wasted.

(2) Non-belief has benefits due to the opportunity costs of engaging in an organized religion.

(3) Organized religions generally hold that if you choose the wrong organized religion, you do not gain access to heaven (e.g. the Muslim belief that Jesus is not divine lands you in hell, according to most Christian thinkers).

(4) Given that the right answer is unknowable and you cannot do plausibility testing on religion (since all of them claim that miracles and other experientally implausible things happen), there is no good way to maximize your chances of choosing the correct organized religion in order to gain access to heaven. You cannot do much better than random chance.

(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

Benevolence requires that punishment not be meted out when an individual lacks the capacity to conform his conduct to the prescribed requirements. Individuals lack the capacity to conform to the correct choice of religious sect because of #4.

(6) All the most prominent monotheistic religions assert God is benevolent.

(7) Given that God cannot be both benevolent and non-benevolent, either God does not exist or He allows entry into heaven for living a good and moral life, not for strict adherence to the beliefs of a particular religious sect.

[The third option is that God is non-benevolent, but this option is irrelevant for the sake of this argument because it also presumes that all organized religion is already wrong, so there's then no good choices for the Wager besides non-belief, and it also presumes a God that can assign people randomly to Hell, no matter how they acted while they were on Earth (because God is not benevolent), so the Wager would also be irrelevant for that reason if God were non-benevolent.]

(8) From 2 and 7, it follows that the best "wager" in life is non-belief while living a relatively good and moral life.

a) It isn't nearly as simple as Pascal's Wager, so it isn't as compelling. Gotta keep your links story short and sweet haha

b) The sub-argument that God wouldn't condemn nonbelievers to Hell would be disputed by most people and is a philosophical debate in and of itself.

c) It is also arguable that the opportunity costs of being religious are exaggerated, since religious people are capable of living happy and worthwhile lives. If there aren't a lot of religious people saying "man I really missed out" then the opportunity cost is a wash/nonexistent.

d) The caveat of living a moral life could be contingent on choosing the right religion

e) Uncertainty in the "god wouldn't send unbelievers to hell" argument means the risk analysis still favors picking a religion. The magnitude of heaven/hell far outweigh any opportunity cost, so we should try for any option that even marginally increases our odds of heaven regardless of earthly opportunity cost.
bluesteel
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4/2/2015 10:46:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 10:24:58 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(1) If this life is our only life, time spent worshiping a certain doctrinal religion is wasted.

(2) Non-belief has benefits due to the opportunity costs of engaging in an organized religion.

(3) Organized religions generally hold that if you choose the wrong organized religion, you do not gain access to heaven (e.g. the Muslim belief that Jesus is not divine lands you in hell, according to most Christian thinkers).

(4) Given that the right answer is unknowable and you cannot do plausibility testing on religion (since all of them claim that miracles and other experientally implausible things happen), there is no good way to maximize your chances of choosing the correct organized religion in order to gain access to heaven. You cannot do much better than random chance.

(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

Benevolence requires that punishment not be meted out when an individual lacks the capacity to conform his conduct to the prescribed requirements. Individuals lack the capacity to conform to the correct choice of religious sect because of #4.

(6) All the most prominent monotheistic religions assert God is benevolent.

(7) Given that God cannot be both benevolent and non-benevolent, either God does not exist or He allows entry into heaven for living a good and moral life, not for strict adherence to the beliefs of a particular religious sect.

[The third option is that God is non-benevolent, but this option is irrelevant for the sake of this argument because it also presumes that all organized religion is already wrong, so there's then no good choices for the Wager besides non-belief, and it also presumes a God that can assign people randomly to Hell, no matter how they acted while they were on Earth (because God is not benevolent), so the Wager would also be irrelevant for that reason if God were non-benevolent.]

(8) From 2 and 7, it follows that the best "wager" in life is non-belief while living a relatively good and moral life.

a) It isn't nearly as simple as Pascal's Wager, so it isn't as compelling. Gotta keep your links story short and sweet haha

b) The sub-argument that God wouldn't condemn nonbelievers to Hell would be disputed by most people and is a philosophical debate in and of itself.

c) It is also arguable that the opportunity costs of being religious are exaggerated, since religious people are capable of living happy and worthwhile lives. If there aren't a lot of religious people saying "man I really missed out" then the opportunity cost is a wash/nonexistent.

d) The caveat of living a moral life could be contingent on choosing the right religion

e) Uncertainty in the "god wouldn't send unbelievers to hell" argument means the risk analysis still favors picking a religion. The magnitude of heaven/hell far outweigh any opportunity cost, so we should try for any option that even marginally increases our odds of heaven regardless of earthly opportunity cost.

Well I rolled a dice and got Mormon. That's a pretty big opp cost though.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Raisor
Posts: 4,461
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4/2/2015 10:48:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 10:46:16 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 4/2/2015 10:24:58 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(1) If this life is our only life, time spent worshiping a certain doctrinal religion is wasted.

(2) Non-belief has benefits due to the opportunity costs of engaging in an organized religion.

(3) Organized religions generally hold that if you choose the wrong organized religion, you do not gain access to heaven (e.g. the Muslim belief that Jesus is not divine lands you in hell, according to most Christian thinkers).

(4) Given that the right answer is unknowable and you cannot do plausibility testing on religion (since all of them claim that miracles and other experientally implausible things happen), there is no good way to maximize your chances of choosing the correct organized religion in order to gain access to heaven. You cannot do much better than random chance.

(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

Benevolence requires that punishment not be meted out when an individual lacks the capacity to conform his conduct to the prescribed requirements. Individuals lack the capacity to conform to the correct choice of religious sect because of #4.

(6) All the most prominent monotheistic religions assert God is benevolent.

(7) Given that God cannot be both benevolent and non-benevolent, either God does not exist or He allows entry into heaven for living a good and moral life, not for strict adherence to the beliefs of a particular religious sect.

[The third option is that God is non-benevolent, but this option is irrelevant for the sake of this argument because it also presumes that all organized religion is already wrong, so there's then no good choices for the Wager besides non-belief, and it also presumes a God that can assign people randomly to Hell, no matter how they acted while they were on Earth (because God is not benevolent), so the Wager would also be irrelevant for that reason if God were non-benevolent.]

(8) From 2 and 7, it follows that the best "wager" in life is non-belief while living a relatively good and moral life.

a) It isn't nearly as simple as Pascal's Wager, so it isn't as compelling. Gotta keep your links story short and sweet haha

b) The sub-argument that God wouldn't condemn nonbelievers to Hell would be disputed by most people and is a philosophical debate in and of itself.

c) It is also arguable that the opportunity costs of being religious are exaggerated, since religious people are capable of living happy and worthwhile lives. If there aren't a lot of religious people saying "man I really missed out" then the opportunity cost is a wash/nonexistent.

d) The caveat of living a moral life could be contingent on choosing the right religion

e) Uncertainty in the "god wouldn't send unbelievers to hell" argument means the risk analysis still favors picking a religion. The magnitude of heaven/hell far outweigh any opportunity cost, so we should try for any option that even marginally increases our odds of heaven regardless of earthly opportunity cost.

Well I rolled a dice and got Mormon. That's a pretty big opp cost though.

No coffee... hnnnnnnngh.....

Wait. That means if the Mormons are right, there must be coffee in hell. So not being Mormon can only be win-win?
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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4/2/2015 10:49:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 10:48:56 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 4/2/2015 10:46:16 PM, bluesteel wrote:
At 4/2/2015 10:24:58 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(1) If this life is our only life, time spent worshiping a certain doctrinal religion is wasted.

(2) Non-belief has benefits due to the opportunity costs of engaging in an organized religion.

(3) Organized religions generally hold that if you choose the wrong organized religion, you do not gain access to heaven (e.g. the Muslim belief that Jesus is not divine lands you in hell, according to most Christian thinkers).

(4) Given that the right answer is unknowable and you cannot do plausibility testing on religion (since all of them claim that miracles and other experientally implausible things happen), there is no good way to maximize your chances of choosing the correct organized religion in order to gain access to heaven. You cannot do much better than random chance.

(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

Benevolence requires that punishment not be meted out when an individual lacks the capacity to conform his conduct to the prescribed requirements. Individuals lack the capacity to conform to the correct choice of religious sect because of #4.

(6) All the most prominent monotheistic religions assert God is benevolent.

(7) Given that God cannot be both benevolent and non-benevolent, either God does not exist or He allows entry into heaven for living a good and moral life, not for strict adherence to the beliefs of a particular religious sect.

[The third option is that God is non-benevolent, but this option is irrelevant for the sake of this argument because it also presumes that all organized religion is already wrong, so there's then no good choices for the Wager besides non-belief, and it also presumes a God that can assign people randomly to Hell, no matter how they acted while they were on Earth (because God is not benevolent), so the Wager would also be irrelevant for that reason if God were non-benevolent.]

(8) From 2 and 7, it follows that the best "wager" in life is non-belief while living a relatively good and moral life.

a) It isn't nearly as simple as Pascal's Wager, so it isn't as compelling. Gotta keep your links story short and sweet haha

b) The sub-argument that God wouldn't condemn nonbelievers to Hell would be disputed by most people and is a philosophical debate in and of itself.

c) It is also arguable that the opportunity costs of being religious are exaggerated, since religious people are capable of living happy and worthwhile lives. If there aren't a lot of religious people saying "man I really missed out" then the opportunity cost is a wash/nonexistent.

d) The caveat of living a moral life could be contingent on choosing the right religion

e) Uncertainty in the "god wouldn't send unbelievers to hell" argument means the risk analysis still favors picking a religion. The magnitude of heaven/hell far outweigh any opportunity cost, so we should try for any option that even marginally increases our odds of heaven regardless of earthly opportunity cost.

Well I rolled a dice and got Mormon. That's a pretty big opp cost though.

No coffee... hnnnnnnngh.....

Wait. That means if the Mormons are right, there must be coffee in hell. So not being Mormon can only be win-win?

And alcohol and pre-marital sex.

So yeah hell sounds pretty good.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Vox_Veritas
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4/2/2015 11:09:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(1) If this life is our only life, time spent worshiping a certain doctrinal religion is wasted.

Unless you get joy from your religious life.

(2) Non-belief has benefits due to the opportunity costs of engaging in an organized religion.

Fair enough.

(3) Organized religions generally hold that if you choose the wrong organized religion, you do not gain access to heaven (e.g. the Muslim belief that Jesus is not divine lands you in hell, according to most Christian thinkers).

True.

(4) Given that the right answer is unknowable and you cannot do plausibility testing on religion (since all of them claim that miracles and other experientally implausible things happen), there is no good way to maximize your chances of choosing the correct organized religion in order to gain access to heaven. You cannot do much better than random chance.

Perhaps, but then there's also the assumption that the true religion has a large following due to God's intervention, so it's most likely one of 6, 7, 9, or 9 large religions and not something like the worship of the lizard gods of a South American rainforest tribe. So you've got a reasonably good chance of picking right.

(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

It is possible, though, that the true religion has "signs" indicating its truth that most people are unwilling to admit to.

Benevolence requires that punishment not be meted out when an individual lacks the capacity to conform his conduct to the prescribed requirements. Individuals lack the capacity to conform to the correct choice of religious sect because of #4.

See the above and the below.

(6) All the most prominent monotheistic religions assert God is benevolent.

Yes, but the definition of "benevolent" may vary; said religion's definition of benevolent may differ from the Webster Dictionary's definition of benevolent.

(7) Given that God cannot be both benevolent and non-benevolent, either God does not exist or He allows entry into heaven for living a good and moral life, not for strict adherence to the beliefs of a particular religious sect.

That does not follow due to my objections which are listed above.

[The third option is that God is non-benevolent, but this option is irrelevant for the sake of this argument because it also presumes that all organized religion is already wrong, so there's then no good choices for the Wager besides non-belief, and it also presumes a God that can assign people randomly to Hell, no matter how they acted while they were on Earth (because God is not benevolent), so the Wager would also be irrelevant for that reason if God were non-benevolent.]

(8) From 2 and 7, it follows that the best "wager" in life is non-belief while living a relatively good and moral life.

If one religion is true, and that religion is the only way to reach heaven and avoid hell, you have something of a chance by choosing a major religion but you still have zero chance by picking atheism. On the other hand, were there no God, then there is no eternal detrimental effect for believing that there is a God, nor is there an eternal benefit for correctly believing that there is not; any gain or loss is finite. That is, were there a God, there would be no possible eternal benefit of being an atheist, while there's a chance of benefit whenever following a religion.
Were God to accept all people into Heaven, then any loss from following a religion or not indulging in sensual pleasures is a finite loss, while this assumption is risky at best.
Thus, it is best to make sure (as much as you can) that you are following the right religion.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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johnlubba
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4/3/2015 1:10:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/2/2015 10:24:58 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 4/2/2015 2:38:00 PM, bluesteel wrote:
(1) If this life is our only life, time spent worshiping a certain doctrinal religion is wasted.

(2) Non-belief has benefits due to the opportunity costs of engaging in an organized religion.

(3) Organized religions generally hold that if you choose the wrong organized religion, you do not gain access to heaven (e.g. the Muslim belief that Jesus is not divine lands you in hell, according to most Christian thinkers).

(4) Given that the right answer is unknowable and you cannot do plausibility testing on religion (since all of them claim that miracles and other experientally implausible things happen), there is no good way to maximize your chances of choosing the correct organized religion in order to gain access to heaven. You cannot do much better than random chance.

(5) A benevolent God would not punish you for eternity for making a decision that only gave you a random chance of choosing the correct religion.

Benevolence requires that punishment not be meted out when an individual lacks the capacity to conform his conduct to the prescribed requirements. Individuals lack the capacity to conform to the correct choice of religious sect because of #4.

(6) All the most prominent monotheistic religions assert God is benevolent.

(7) Given that God cannot be both benevolent and non-benevolent, either God does not exist or He allows entry into heaven for living a good and moral life, not for strict adherence to the beliefs of a particular religious sect.

[The third option is that God is non-benevolent, but this option is irrelevant for the sake of this argument because it also presumes that all organized religion is already wrong, so there's then no good choices for the Wager besides non-belief, and it also presumes a God that can assign people randomly to Hell, no matter how they acted while they were on Earth (because God is not benevolent), so the Wager would also be irrelevant for that reason if God were non-benevolent.]

(8) From 2 and 7, it follows that the best "wager" in life is non-belief while living a relatively good and moral life.

a) It isn't nearly as simple as Pascal's Wager, so it isn't as compelling. Gotta keep your links story short and sweet haha

b) The sub-argument that God wouldn't condemn nonbelievers to Hell would be disputed by most people and is a philosophical debate in and of itself.

c) It is also arguable that the opportunity costs of being religious are exaggerated, since religious people are capable of living happy and worthwhile lives. If there aren't a lot of religious people saying "man I really missed out" then the opportunity cost is a wash/nonexistent.

d) The caveat of living a moral life could be contingent on choosing the right religion

e) Uncertainty in the "god wouldn't send unbelievers to hell" argument means the risk analysis still favors picking a religion. The magnitude of heaven/hell far outweigh any opportunity cost, so we should try for any option that even marginally increases our odds of heaven regardless of earthly opportunity cost.

^^This
RuvDraba
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4/3/2015 2:59:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Theology is written, compiled, edited and promoted by religious institutions and their founders. There's no independent evidence that any theology has ever offered an individual benefits that could not also occur without theology.

Independently of adherents' confirmation bias, there's also no evidence that the grander theological claims to authority are valid, and many instances to show that theology was written in ignorance and error.

Further, theology has been amended or reinterpreted many times without additional doctrinal evidence, and never to the cost of religious institutions, but always .to better attract, retain and exploit adherents.

So if you reason from theology then you are reasoning from premises constructed and refined to influence your reasoning and behaviour.

Under those circumstances, your sense of probability is being manipulated.

In short, don't place bets with liars.
Philocat
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4/3/2015 3:43:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
This whole wager bases itself on the premise that a life is more fufilling if it is secular compared to it being religious, yet I dispute this. The 'opportunity cost' you speak of is negligible, as it only really involves 40 minutes per week at Sunday mass which also doubles up as a networking and social event. There are also studies that show that religious people live longer and flourish more in old age.

Many atheists struggle to find meaning or purpose in life, which can lead to negative affects on their life. This would suggest that quality of life isn't actually any better for atheists than theists.
RuvDraba
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4/3/2015 5:09:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/3/2015 3:43:54 AM, Philocat wrote:
. The 'opportunity cost' you speak of is negligible, as it only really involves 40 minutes per week at Sunday mass which also doubles up as a networking and social event.

Philo, it's much more than that. To accept a rigid doctrinal prescription for your moral existence is also to accept its authority over your intellectual, social and economic development.

Consider...

Religion has prescribed:
* what children shall and shall not learn;
* how people shall and shall not behave with respect to one another;
* with whom they must and must not associate;
* what they must and must not eat, when, where and how;
* with whom they may or may not have sex, how, when, and where;
* how they may or may not vote;
* who could marry whom, when and how;
* when they can and cannot seek legal recourse;
* what medical procedures they can and cannot have, when and why;
* what employment they might or might not seek;
* where they might and might not live;
* what art they shall or shall not enjoy, or produce;
* what mutilations shall occur to your genitals, before you are old enough to even talk;
* what questions and dissent you ought or ought not utter; and
* how you ought to feel and think about every human experience you ever have.

In embracing a doctrinal theology, you forsake most of your opportunities to develop insight, experience, compassion and wisdom according to your individual capacities and sensibilities in this, the only life you shall ever know.

You are made to live as a moral, intellectual and economic serf.

And for what? There's nothing you can learn or practice within a faith that you cannot learn or practice outside it.

So all you get is a dubious story told by cynical, ignorant men dependent on you for their living, the story constructed specifically to influence you, to make you feel anxious when they want compliance, good when they want loyalty, and updated whenever their power grows too contested, their congregation too sparse, or their coffers too empty.

That's not a wager; it's a scam.

Don't gamble with liars and frauds.
Philocat
Posts: 728
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4/3/2015 5:17:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/3/2015 5:09:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/3/2015 3:43:54 AM, Philocat wrote:
. The 'opportunity cost' you speak of is negligible, as it only really involves 40 minutes per week at Sunday mass which also doubles up as a networking and social event.

Philo, it's much more than that. To accept a rigid doctrinal prescription for your moral existence is also to accept its authority over your intellectual, social and economic development.

Consider...

Religion has prescribed:
* what children shall and shall not learn;
* how people shall and shall not behave with respect to one another;
* with whom they must and must not associate;
* what they must and must not eat, when, where and how;
* with whom they may or may not have sex, how, when, and where;
* how they may or may not vote;
* who could marry whom, when and how;
* when they can and cannot seek legal recourse;
* what medical procedures they can and cannot have, when and why;
* what employment they might or might not seek;
* where they might and might not live;
* what art they shall or shall not enjoy, or produce;
* what mutilations shall occur to your genitals, before you are old enough to even talk;
* what questions and dissent you ought or ought not utter; and
* how you ought to feel and think about every human experience you ever have.


Every single one of these (apart from the circumcision one, which Christianity does not advocate) is already imposed by law. So even if one is atheist, they still have to abide by the restrictions you have listed.

In embracing a doctrinal theology, you forsake most of your opportunities to develop insight, experience, compassion and wisdom according to your individual capacities and sensibilities in this, the only life you shall ever know.


You are made to live as a moral, intellectual and economic serf.

I disagree, since I became religious I have become even more motivated to discover philosophical truths and to become a more virtuous person.

And for what? There's nothing you can learn or practice within a faith that you cannot learn or practice outside it.

Agreed, but the framework of faith often encourages virtuous behaviour and learning. At least that's what I've found.


So all you get is a dubious story told by cynical, ignorant men dependent on you for their living, the story constructed specifically to influence you, to make you feel anxious when they want compliance, good when they want loyalty, and updated whenever their power grows too contested, their congregation too sparse, or their coffers too empty.

You make out as if theists are unthinking sheep who are mere playthings of the clergy. Yet it is anything but, in my experience. The priests I know are caring, unjudgemental people who genuinely want the best for their community, and the religious people I know are genuinely warm, kind and welcoming people that I rarely see in secular society.


That's not a wager; it's a scam.

Don't gamble with liars and frauds.

Scam implies a loss; but religion is a gain for those who willingly embrace it.
johnlubba
Posts: 2,892
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4/3/2015 5:38:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/3/2015 5:17:35 AM, Philocat wrote:
At 4/3/2015 5:09:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/3/2015 3:43:54 AM, Philocat wrote:
. The 'opportunity cost' you speak of is negligible, as it only really involves 40 minutes per week at Sunday mass which also doubles up as a networking and social event.

Philo, it's much more than that. To accept a rigid doctrinal prescription for your moral existence is also to accept its authority over your intellectual, social and economic development.

Consider...

Religion has prescribed:
* what children shall and shall not learn;
* how people shall and shall not behave with respect to one another;
* with whom they must and must not associate;
* what they must and must not eat, when, where and how;
* with whom they may or may not have sex, how, when, and where;
* how they may or may not vote;
* who could marry whom, when and how;
* when they can and cannot seek legal recourse;
* what medical procedures they can and cannot have, when and why;
* what employment they might or might not seek;
* where they might and might not live;
* what art they shall or shall not enjoy, or produce;
* what mutilations shall occur to your genitals, before you are old enough to even talk;
* what questions and dissent you ought or ought not utter; and
* how you ought to feel and think about every human experience you ever have.


Every single one of these (apart from the circumcision one, which Christianity does not advocate) is already imposed by law. So even if one is atheist, they still have to abide by the restrictions you have listed.

In embracing a doctrinal theology, you forsake most of your opportunities to develop insight, experience, compassion and wisdom according to your individual capacities and sensibilities in this, the only life you shall ever know.



You are made to live as a moral, intellectual and economic serf.

I disagree, since I became religious I have become even more motivated to discover philosophical truths and to become a more virtuous person.

And for what? There's nothing you can learn or practice within a faith that you cannot learn or practice outside it.

Agreed, but the framework of faith often encourages virtuous behaviour and learning. At least that's what I've found.


So all you get is a dubious story told by cynical, ignorant men dependent on you for their living, the story constructed specifically to influence you, to make you feel anxious when they want compliance, good when they want loyalty, and updated whenever their power grows too contested, their congregation too sparse, or their coffers too empty.

You make out as if theists are unthinking sheep who are mere playthings of the clergy. Yet it is anything but, in my experience. The priests I know are caring, unjudgemental people who genuinely want the best for their community, and the religious people I know are genuinely warm, kind and welcoming people that I rarely see in secular society.


That's not a wager; it's a scam.

Don't gamble with liars and frauds.

Scam implies a loss; but religion is a gain for those who willingly embrace it.

I am unable to send friend requests due to a glitch on my profile. so can you request me and I will accept, thanks.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/3/2015 5:41:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/3/2015 5:17:35 AM, Philocat wrote:
At 4/3/2015 5:09:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Every single one of these (apart from the circumcision one, which Christianity does not advocate) is already imposed by law.

...which in a democracy is determined democratically, based on a common understanding of the common good, and an ongoing pluralistic social conversation about morality.

...unlike theological morality, which is prescribed by ignorant archaics, and promoted by monocultural paternalistic elite to support their vision of society and their own privilege.

You are made to live as a moral, intellectual and economic serf.

I disagree, since I became religious I have become even more motivated to discover philosophical truths and to become a more virtuous person.

Philocat, did you just tell me that greed and anxiety have induced you to do what curiosity, compassion, and integrity did not?

If so, so be it. However, now you have that, you have it. It's yours, and doesn't belong to your faith. So if you think it good, you can keep it regardless of your adherence, and I hope you will.

But the price you now pay is that all the answers you're so eager to discover are already prescribed for you, and any dissent is encouraged using the same induced greed and anxiety that got you started. So the very personal development you now relish is being constrained and shaped for purposes you yourself did not choose.

And for what? There's nothing you can learn or practice within a faith that you cannot learn or practice outside it.
Agreed, but the framework of faith often encourages virtuous behaviour and learning. At least that's what I've found.

Say instead compliance and indoctrination. There's no virtue exhibited by faith that is not also exhibited secularly; nor any learning encompassed by faith that cannot be learned outside it. [http://www.livescience.com...]

So all you get is a dubious story told by cynical, ignorant men dependent on you for their living, the story constructed specifically to influence you, to make you feel anxious when they want compliance, good when they want loyalty, and updated whenever their power grows too contested, their congregation too sparse, or their coffers too empty.
You make out as if theists are unthinking sheep who are mere playthings of the clergy.
No. I'm saying that if you ever -- ever on grounds of conscience want to challenge or oppose the privilege or groupthink of your parish and its leadership, in a doctrinal faith you'll quickly learn what power means and who holds it.

the religious people I know are genuinely warm, kind and welcoming people that I rarely see in secular society.

Does it strike you as odd that all religions are warm, kind and welcoming?

They pretty much all are, from Hare Krishnas to Dianetics.

Please think about that for a minute. They're not all valid, they're not all scrupulous, but they are all warm, kind and welcoming.

What does that say about the link between attitude, truth and morality?

Don't gamble with liars and frauds.
Scam implies a loss; but religion is a gain for those who willingly embrace it.

The problem with doctrinal religion, Philo, is that it's paternalistic. Paternalism is very attractive to people with low confidence, weak determination, limited self-knowledge and poor self-esteem because the paternalism says: yes, you can and we'll help you.

Okay, so far so good.

But what happens if you want to own those things yourself and use them as your eyes, ears and heart dictate?

Paternalism says no you mustn't, because those gifts only come from me.

I mentioned serfdom, yes?
Philocat
Posts: 728
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4/3/2015 6:37:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/3/2015 5:41:49 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/3/2015 5:17:35 AM, Philocat wrote:
At 4/3/2015 5:09:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Every single one of these (apart from the circumcision one, which Christianity does not advocate) is already imposed by law.

...which in a democracy is determined democratically, based on a common understanding of the common good, and an ongoing pluralistic social conversation about morality.

Religion also enforces morality based on the common good.


...unlike theological morality, which is prescribed by ignorant archaics, and promoted by monocultural paternalistic elite to support their vision of society and their own privilege.

Ignorant?
You're just making baseless assertions.


You are made to live as a moral, intellectual and economic serf.

I disagree, since I became religious I have become even more motivated to discover philosophical truths and to become a more virtuous person.

Philocat, did you just tell me that greed and anxiety have induced you to do what curiosity, compassion, and integrity did not?

No, I don't know where you got that idea from. Religion does not promote either greed or needless anxiety.

If so, so be it. However, now you have that, you have it. It's yours, and doesn't belong to your faith. So if you think it good, you can keep it regardless of your adherence, and I hope you will.

I'm not religious *because* of the intellectual/character benefits it gives, I am religious because I genuinely believe that God exists.


But the price you now pay is that all the answers you're so eager to discover are already prescribed for you, and any dissent is encouraged using the same induced greed and anxiety that got you started. So the very personal development you now relish is being constrained and shaped for purposes you yourself did not choose.

A religion just has a certain set of answers that have been developed over centuries of philosophical/theological contemplation. If one finds different answers then the Church would, naturally, seek to convince you otherwise but in a kind and maternal manner, and if you still think the way you do then the Church isn't going to stop you.


And for what? There's nothing you can learn or practice within a faith that you cannot learn or practice outside it.
Agreed, but the framework of faith often encourages virtuous behaviour and learning. At least that's what I've found.

Say instead compliance and indoctrination. There's no virtue exhibited by faith that is not also exhibited secularly; nor any learning encompassed by faith that cannot be learned outside it. [http://www.livescience.com...]

I have already said that I agree with that, but the framework of faith encourages virtuous living, even if it is not necessary for it. Indoctrination also has very pejorative undertones, in reality religion just tries to teach people in the way that they believe is true; there is nothing wrong whatsoever in doing that.


So all you get is a dubious story told by cynical, ignorant men dependent on you for their living, the story constructed specifically to influence you, to make you feel anxious when they want compliance, good when they want loyalty, and updated whenever their power grows too contested, their congregation too sparse, or their coffers too empty.
You make out as if theists are unthinking sheep who are mere playthings of the clergy.
No. I'm saying that if you ever -- ever on grounds of conscience want to challenge or oppose the privilege or groupthink of your parish and its leadership, in a doctrinal faith you'll quickly learn what power means and who holds it.

the religious people I know are genuinely warm, kind and welcoming people that I rarely see in secular society.

Does it strike you as odd that all religions are warm, kind and welcoming?

No, should it?

They pretty much all are, from Hare Krishnas to Dianetics.

Please think about that for a minute. They're not all valid, they're not all scrupulous, but they are all warm, kind and welcoming.

Well, I argue from an omnist perspective. In which all religions are reflections upon the same God, but from different perspectives. Much like the 'blind men and the elephant' analogy that you may be aware of.


What does that say about the link between attitude, truth and morality?

Don't gamble with liars and frauds.
Scam implies a loss; but religion is a gain for those who willingly embrace it.

The problem with doctrinal religion, Philo, is that it's paternalistic. Paternalism is very attractive to people with low confidence, weak determination, limited self-knowledge and poor self-esteem because the paternalism says: yes, you can and we'll help you.

Okay, so far so good.

But what happens if you want to own those things yourself and use them as your eyes, ears and heart dictate?

Paternalism says no you mustn't, because those gifts only come from me.

I mentioned serfdom, yes?

Religion is, to an extent, paternalistic because it recognises that we are better off within a theistic framework, and that people can often go off the rails or become misguided if they are not part of the Church. Nonetheless, the Church is not essentially paternalistic because it still recognises and promotes autonomy and moral responsibility (for example, the Catholic morality is based mostly on reason, and more contemporary theologians place more and more significance on our own individual consciences).
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/3/2015 11:34:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/3/2015 6:37:36 AM, Philocat wrote:
At 4/3/2015 5:41:49 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 4/3/2015 5:17:35 AM, Philocat wrote:
At 4/3/2015 5:09:13 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Every single one of these (apart from the circumcision one, which Christianity does not advocate) is already imposed by law.
...which in a democracy is determined democratically, based on a common understanding of the common good, and an ongoing pluralistic social conversation about morality.
Religion also enforces morality based on the common good.
There are several problems with that, Philo -- for example, doctrinal morality never holds itself accountable, and religion itself ought have no authority to enforce due some seriously bad conflicts of interest in doing so. But here's the worst of it...

Religious morality is not a morality of the common good. Consider: a morality of the common good doesn't need religion since common good can easily prescribe and enforce itself. So the morality prosecuted by religion from religious doctrine is by definition not common. It is about expanding paternalistic power -- like deciding who outside their faith shall be allowed to wed.

...unlike theological morality, which is prescribed by ignorant archaics, and promoted by monocultural paternalistic elite to support their vision of society and their own privilege.
Ignorant?
You're just making baseless assertions.
My words are careful and considered, Philocat. The ancient doctrinal theologians who presumed to prescribe human morality inerrantly and forever, did not understand: physics, chemistry, biology, astrophysics, psychology, economics, sociology, the germ theory of disease, the descent of man, did not support democracy, and did not have a source of energy stronger than a horse.

I'm not laughing at them here -- they're our common ancestors. But how can anyone produce a viable long-term morality without understanding key human problems, and how can anyone understand human problems without first understanding how our world works?

You are made to live as a moral, intellectual and economic serf.
I disagree, since I became religious I have become even more motivated to discover philosophical truths and to become a more virtuous person.
Philocat, did you just tell me that greed and anxiety have induced you to do what curiosity, compassion, and integrity did not?
No, I don't know where you got that idea from. Religion does not promote either greed or needless anxiety.
What is a promise of heaven? What is a threat of hell?

If so, so be it. However, now you have that, you have it. It's yours, and doesn't belong to your faith. So if you think it good, you can keep it regardless of your adherence, and I hope you will.
I'm not religious *because* of the intellectual/character benefits it gives, I am religious because I genuinely believe that God exists.
You could believe in a supernatural creator but not worship it. Deists do, for example. What induces one to submit to a creator rather than using his own mind on morality are typically promises of heaven and threats of hell -- in other words, individual greed and anxiety induced by theological metaphysics.

But the price you now pay is that all the answers you're so eager to discover are already prescribed for you, and any dissent is encouraged using the same induced greed and anxiety that got you started. So the very personal development you now relish is being constrained and shaped for purposes you yourself did not choose.
A religion just has a certain set of answers that have been developed over centuries of philosophical/theological contemplation.
No, that's philosophy, Philo. Doctrinal theology is much more than that: as well as physical and metaphysical philosophy, it is a set of apologetics for the paternalistic authority of certain people and ideas, and their authority to compel obedience and submission.

If one finds different answers then the Church would, naturally, seek to convince you otherwise but in a kind and maternal manner, and if you still think the way you do then the Church isn't going to stop you.
Philocat, I realise you're sincere but you're wrong. Church lobbyists are forever seeking legislative leverage over what people outside their faith may or may learn, say and do -- and also legislating control over what children born to parents in their faith may be compelled to do. Doctrinal theology does not support freedom of worship, freedom of speech, or freedom of association except its own.

And for what? There's nothing you can learn or practice within a faith that you cannot learn or practice outside it.
Agreed, but the framework of faith often encourages virtuous behaviour and learning. At least that's what I've found.

Say instead compliance and indoctrination. There's no virtue exhibited by faith that is not also exhibited secularly; nor any learning encompassed by faith that cannot be learned outside it. [http://www.livescience.com...]
Indoctrination also has very pejorative undertones, in reality religion just tries to teach people in the way that they believe is true; there is nothing wrong whatsoever in doing that.
Indoctrination literally means inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies and methods. It distinguishes from education because you're allowed to do what you like with education, while doctrine expects you to follow it.

Does it strike you as odd that all religions are warm, kind and welcoming?
Please think about that for a minute. They're not all valid, they're not all scrupulous, but they are all warm, kind and welcoming.
Well, I argue from an omnist perspective. In which all religions are reflections upon the same God, but from different perspectives. Much like the 'blind men and the elephant' analogy that you may be aware of.
That's both ignorant and paternalistic, Philo. Ignorant because you've made that call without due diligence to understand the faiths you sweepingly assimilated -- some much older than your own. Paternalistic because you just denied their authority to argue with or reject your doctrine, no matter how much they may object to it.

The problem with doctrinal religion, Philo, is that it's paternalistic.
Religion is, to an extent, paternalistic because it recognises that we are better off within a theistic framework, and that people can often go off the rails or become misguided if they are not part of the Church.
No, doctrinal religion is paternalistic. Nondoctrinal religions seldom are. The difference is that doctrinal religions uphold that what they know everyone should obey, and is all anyone needs to know.

the Church is not essentially paternalistic because it still recognises and promotes autonomy and moral responsibility (for example, the Catholic morality is based mostly on reason, and more contemporary theologians place more and more significance on our own individual consciences).
Roman Catholic paternalism has had to accept that wealthy, educated Catholics already reject the more ludicrous prescriptions of its doctrine, and that if forbidden to do so they will leave the church, so the church has reluctantly ceded its parishioners the 'right' to make their own minds up while not condoning it. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk...]

However, in poorer, less-educated countries, RC paternalism is still tyrannous. [http://www.pbs.org...]

Note how cynical and self-serving are these contextualised theological switches. On display is is not a single morality to serve all humanity, but naked power-grabbing.