Pascal’s Wager – Does it Succeed?

I visit many different forums that have many different discussions. Most of these forums has an “off-topic” section where people discuss things that are not related to what the forum is for. Now, I don’t consider myself an expert in philosophy, but I do know enough to identify good and bad arguments for both sides. Keep in mind I don’t mean that every argument that fails is a bad argument, I just mean ones that are not even thought-provoking to start with. That is how I categorize these things.

But where does Pascal’s Wager fit in? For those who are not familiar with it, allow me to briefly explain it. Wouldn’t it be safer to simply believe things that you believe to be false? Even if you are 99% sure that God does not exist, why take the risk? Either you burn in hell for all eternity, or you go to church every Sunday. What seems easier to you?

Now, I know many people who are Christians because of this argument. So it has to have some merit to it. But there are problems that I see to accepting this. One, how exactly would it make my life better? I disagree with many things that the bible says, such as homosexuality. So accepting the theistic God means accepting theistic ethics. If we all thought that way, then that would not be a wager I am willing to fold on. I also believe that if God does exist, he may reward honest attempted reasoning rather than blind faith. He did give us free will after all. Richard Carrier expands on this as such:

Suppose there is a god who is watching us and choosing which souls of the deceased to bring to heaven, and this god really does want only the morally good to populate heaven. He will probably select from only those who made a significant and responsible effort to discover the truth. For all others are untrustworthy, being cognitively or morally inferior, or both. They will also be less likely ever to discover and commit to true beliefs about right and wrong. That is, if they have a significant and trustworthy concern for doing right and avoiding wrong, it follows necessarily that they must have a significant and trustworthy concern for knowing right and wrong. Since this knowledge requires knowledge about many fundamental facts of the universe (such as whether there is a god), it follows necessarily that such people must have a significant and trustworthy concern for always seeking out, testing, and confirming that their beliefs about such things are probably correct. Therefore, only such people can be sufficiently moral and trustworthy to deserve a place in heaven — unless god wishes to fill heaven with the morally lazy, irresponsible, or untrustworthy.[1]

One could also turn it around on the theist and argue he is also placing a wager. Because how is he so certain that theism is true? Why not Islam, or Scientology? The obvious response is that he finds it to be more likely through reason. But that’s just it! I also find atheism to be more likely than theism so that just defeats the argument altogether.

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[1] – The End of Pascal’s Wager: Only Nontheists Go to Heaven

Posted in Arguments, God, Theism | 2 Comments

News Bitz #1

Haven’t done one of these yet! Keep in mind that these may not always be about philosophy or anything, just a few things I find interesting around the web.

1 – We’re screwed: robot teaches itself to fire a bow and arrow.

2 – Over 120 retired military personnel claim Aliens are monitoring our nukes.

3 – Scientists make a small cloning advancement.

4 – Survey shows Americans know little about religion.

5 – Andy Whitfield, star of Spartacus, has been re-diagnosed with cancer(he had it earlier in the year but went into remission quickly) and will not be returning for the second season.

6 – I will be updating the about section later this week, as well as write in the four cosmological arguments. I will also continue my series on The Problem of Evil, and respond to Ryft from The Aristophrenium. Sorry I have not responded to your email correspondence in some time! But I lost the password for my email(recently regained it), and instead of continuing our discussion I figured I would just make a new blog post on it.

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Is Porn Dangerous?

I apologize for not making a blog post in nearly two weeks; I just started school and had a lot of things to do outside of the computer. I also apologize for the lack of philosophy-based posts, and this will likely be my last one concerning ethics in a long time. I will focus more of theistic arguments and try to examine them carefully. If someone can point me to some unknown atheist arguments too, that would be great! Now on with the blog post about porn(my specialty).

I have a few Christian friends; some intelligent, some…. Not so much. And although they do not really care about how dangerous pornography can be, it is still an issue that I thought was an interesting one. A theist may use this as an argument against pornography, but the truth is that most would rather their daughter become a coal minor(much more dangerous job). This is because they’re concerned with the morality of porn. Even though this is the case, I will still address this argument.

Many female porn stars are ingesting human fecal matter because of ‘ass-to-mouth’. This is where during anal sex, the male takes his penis out and allows the girl to perform oral sex on him. For obvious reasons, eating shit is not healthy and this is causing many female porn stars to become very sick. Are the risks worth the rewards? They do it because it is what some of the viewing audience wants to see, not because they enjoy it(they may enjoy it, actually). The question is are the risks worth the rewards? I’ve seen this in several movies and it doesn’t necessarily turn me on(I was actually grossed out the first time I saw it), but in the end they’re doing it for a viewing audience. Is it worth it? There are not many ways you can totally protect them from that when they are essentially doing to the worst thing possible to absorb fecal matter.

Another thing that is becoming more prominent in modern-day porn is doing scenes without a condom. Why do they do this? Because the viewers want the scenes to be as real as possible. Seeing a condom is not something that the average viewer wants to see and I almost never see them. The question is the same: are the risks worth the rewards? Adult film stars are tested every two weeks for STD’s and drugs. They are not allowed to do scenes if they test positive. All of these risks increase dramatically if they do not wear condoms.

In the long run, porn is dangerous. Is it worth the money? Probably not, but for some of the actresses and actors it is. Likely because the porn industry is the biggest entertainment industry in the world, and that means some good money. This, like most jobs, involves risks and it is up to the people involved if they’re willing to take them.

Posted in Ethics | 5 Comments

The Moral Appeal of Theism and Its Simplicity

During my discussions with theists, I usually find that they try to sway me with ethics. They ask me questions that try to play with my emotions, and they often do. I know the routine responses to these questions, and I use them in my defense. Although I do believe they work I would like to explore responses that will make the theist think I make sense rather than think I am crazy.

But this brings me to my question, is theism an easier position to defend? From most debates I have seen between a theist and atheist, the theist usually seems to have the edge. The atheist has to explain why there is morals, why there is something rather than nothing, ect. That takes a whole lot longer to explain than God did it. That explanation often frustrates me, especially when theists are satisfied with ‘poof, magic’ being a good enough explanation.

Bringing me back to my original story, about a month ago when I was experimenting with desirism to some friends(which failed miserably) they demanded me to explain why there is nothing wrong with murder. Before I started, I asked them the same thing. The answer is incredibly easy to answer as a theist, murder is wrong because it is contrary to God’s nature. I find this explanation to be akin to murder is wrong because unicorns fly. Are humans really satisfied with this being the reason? Do we really need a magical sky genie to tell us what is right and wrong? I don’t think so.

Some theists disagree, and cannot seem to grasp that right and wrong can in fact exist outside of theism(a position accepted by millions). No matter how many different theories or explanations you bring up they will not accept it until a magical sky fairy is brought into the conversation. Now this is where morals start to make sense!

I admit that this is perhaps by most bias blog post yet, and can even be considered a little offensive. But I really don’t know any other way to spell this out to theists. I find ‘God did it’ to be the absolute worst explanation on the face of the Earth. It is not easy, it cannot be tested, it meets all of the requirements of a terrible explanation.

Posted in Atheism, Bad Arguments, Ethics, God, Theism | 7 Comments

You’re a Fucking Human Being – Joe Rogan and Daft Punk

Posted in Atheism, Ethics, God, Humour, Theism | Leave a comment

Mosque, And Constitution

The mosque at ground zero has been a huge issue for political news stations. Both sides bring up some points that I feel need to be addressed. Some are good… Some are not so good. For today’s blog post, I will explore both sides(as always) and come up with an unbiased conclusion(surprise!).

Turning on any political news station means running into a segment about this issue. Why are people so concerned with a Mosque being built on ground zero? When I watch the news, it is filled with video footage of people with signs protesting the Mosque being built. It is obvious that these people are offended by it, and that cannot be changed. But should these people be offended by it? I don’t think so.

That really is the only argument I am aware of against the building of the Mosque, so I’m not sure how I can explore that side of the argument any further. It is obvious that it has little depth, and becomes very flimsy when we get the constitution involved. It doesn’t matter if the majority of New York doesn’t want the Mosque being built near ground zero, it doesn’t even matter if 100% of the American population doesn’t want it being built. Their constitution states that they have a right to protest, but it also equally states that the Muslims have exactly the same rights to build the Mosque.

I don’t think that America should be restricted to one religion, and I don’t think that certain religions should be restricted. Sure, I can think that the Phelps family are a bunch of ignorant bigots, but they are well within their rights. All of the protests they do are peaceful. Well, not exactly what I would call peaceful, but they do not get violent with their protests. A private school can restrict black people to join it, but there is nothing wrong with that according to our constitution. I believe that we must not only support issues, but also have the ability to be able to protest them. This is what sets us(as North Americans) apart from most of the world. As former republican Bloomberg stated, we can’t always do what is easy, but we must do what is right.

Posted in Ethics, Politics | 4 Comments

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong(Humour)

01) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

02) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

03) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

04) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

05) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

06) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

07) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

08) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

09) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

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