A close friend of mine goes back and forth between extreme antithiesm and Pascal's Wager.
Something that has kept Christianity from piddling out is the fear and torment of hell. But for me the Bible does not even make sense. The supposed morality and holiness of Yahweh so flawed. How can "the author of morals" strike down women and children, condone slavery, allow his male followers to have many wives, yet the women are considered whores to have more than one man. And to even consider the contradictions is doubt, leading to hell. What kind of morality is that? (I'm sorry for the rant...This had been festering inside for quite some time).
You’ll feel better for getting it off your chest! You have it right when you say it all makes no sense...if you hold that thought, then there’s your answer. The bible makes no sense because the biblical god is contradictory and illiberal, and vengeful, and misogynistic, but above all...the bible is illogical. Pascal’s wager makes no sense either because an all knowing god who knows what is in everyone’s souls, would realise that we were just pretending belief and would hardly be taken in by such a false declaration. Tell your friend she’s driving you nuts by her vacillating back and forth, and the logical half of her brain needs to win the argument against the other half which wants to hedge its bets!
Few people realize that Yalweh was originally a part of a polytheist system, and was actually originally just a minor war god. Thus, the commandment not to worship any other gods.
Also the concept of eternal torment was originally a Zoriastrian concept that was folded into jhewish beliefs after the Zoriastrains conquered the Jewish tribe.
Add in that in ancient times those whom we woudl see today as "mentally ill" in ancient times were said to have "touched by the gods", as they heard voices and saw things which nobody else could see. The more functional of the mentally ill became the revered "prophets". However, most prophets were not functional enough to write their own stories. An exception would be Mohamed.
If you consider that John Nash won the Nobel Prize for work he did in mathematics while suffering from schizophrenic delusions, it is possible for men suffering from mental illness to accomplish great things. The movie "A Beautiful Mind" was based on th life of John Nash.
Your friend seems to be torn between following her rational mind and falling victim to conformity bias (havign a bias to conform to the group for acceptance).
Pascal's wager doesn't really come into its own until you start considering arbitrary rules for the afterlife. Without them it's not big deal. I lose a bet but on the other hand eternal life. The two things are hardly comparable.
However if it comes to people trying to control you with the threat of eternal damnation then it starts to bite. What if if this loving and emotionally satisfying fornication actually results in timeless torment? But then the wager logically applies the same to any arbitrary rule. Heaven is for Mac users, Windows users go to hell. Or Adidas is the holy shoe and Nike is sinful. I see people castigate others for their sexual sins and wonder (sometimes out loud) Wouldn't you be shocked if you found out the hell was real but the entry requirements weren't about where you put you dick and more to do with whether you were one.
Good old Pascal's Wager. It doesn't work on rational people because:
Pascal's Wager creates a false dichotomy in the believer's mind, there are only two possibilities: either their god exists, or no god exists. What about all the other thousands of gods that also promise unpleasant consequences for not believing in them? What if Allah is real? Then both the Christian and the atheist burn just the same? What if Vishnu is real? Thor? The Sun God? The probability that any of these gods exist is exactly the same because the evidence for their existence is exactly the same.
Pascal's Wager assumes that there is no cost to belief so one would be a fool not to believe. But think about the actual cost of believing. If the believer's god is not real, then the believer wasted his entire life, the only life he has, worshiping a lie. Think of all the money, all the prayers, all the wasted time, all the wasted effort, all the pain, guilt, vanquish and subservience - for nothing. Meanwhile the atheist has spent his time enjoying life rather than beating himself up for being human.
Pascal's Wager assumes that god is stupid, cruel, and vain and rewards blind faith over honest disbelief.
Pascal's wager is ridiculous - even if god exists, being omniscient he KNOWS you're only 'pretending' to believe due to this stupidity, and that your pretense is bogus and dishonest.
Pascal's wager is saying 'Hey! I don't know if god exists, but hell - if he does he's so stupid that I can fool him into thinking I believe when I don't!'
The only way Pascal's wager means anything is if you're so desperate you GENUINELY, and DELIBERATELY indoctrinate yourself into faith, so that you become a 'real, believing christian' - but in that case it's not Pascal's wager any more, just deliberately self-induced fantasy.
The bible was written by circa 2000 year old sheep herders who fell into different tribes. The bible is their rules and morals. Moses went around fighting other tribes and when his tribe won, they killed the men and married women and took the young virgins as a prize. So Moses, was a mass murderer and rapist and is worshiped by many as a moral example.
For me, it is clear there is no god and no heaven or hell. So even Pascals wager becomes powerless. I am not worried that if I am wrong, I may go to hell. None of it is true. how anyone can believe knowing that world history is a bath of blood, the multiple holocaust histories, Stalin, Hitler. Andrew Jackson encouraged skinning the redsticks and using the skin to make bridles and guess who has a big picture of Andrew on his wall. George Washington is still loathed by the Iroquois for allowing their holocaust encouraged by white settlers who wanted their land. Go visit Dachau or Auschwitz and then tell me you believe in a god. and or are worried about Pascal's wager.
Even before I heard of Pascal's wager (since joining this site), I came to the following conclusion. If there is a god, surely he would be more inclined to damn someone for false belief, for lying about that belief, than he would for someone honest about their belief or lack thereof. I would go even further and say that in the Abrahamic god's eyes, lying about one's belief and faith is perhaps the worst affront one can make. Point that out to your friend.
How can a just and loving god allow humans to be tortured horrifically for all of eternity simply because they don't love and fear it?
Forget the bible. Have you ever heard a fox killing a rabbit? It is disturbing to listen to the terror and agony the rabbit goes through as it is being devoured alive. They believe that their superior being intentionally created a world where some of it's inhabitants have to literally torture other inhabitants to death in order to survive.
I'm not squeamish about nature, but I think that much of nature works in a manner that a compassionate being wouldn't have planned.
Pascal's Wager is a false dichotomy. It assumes a choice between non-belief and believing in only their god. It ignores the fact that both options could be wrong. You could point out to your friend that if you are wrong, he probably is too.
The problem I have with Pascal's wager is that I don't find I have the choice what to believe or not. I believe it's raining outside right now, the curtains are shut but even if someone offered me eternal life or infinite riches to believe otherwise I simply couldn't do it. The best I could do would be to lie about it and hope that nobody found me out - however that doesn't seem to be a very realistic option with an all-knowing deity.
Correct . It does not make sense for a reason . The assorted books of the Bible were written by men . These were then sorted through by another man , who chose which of these books to include in the Bible . Men wanted to feel good about themselves . So they wrote that there were two kinds of women . Good women were submissive , they worked to please men , Other women , ones who thought for themselves , who stood up for themselves were bad . But it is what religion teaches us . And these are some of the reasons religion is not acceptable .
Don’t be sorry for the rant. Sometimes ya just gotta let folks know how you feel, and doing it here is a pretty safe place to do that. As far as The Book making no sense, I agree with you, but making logical sense seems to be beside the point for theists. Imagine, as Pascal does, having to relinquish logic and reason in order to avoid the belief you’re going to The Fires. It’s enough to make one pity the theists....well, almost. If they would just stop with their “everybody has to believe like I do” attitude, it would be easier to empathize with their plight. As you can see, I also rant.
Hell is the linchpin of Christianity. With it everything is believable because if you don't believe you are going to hell. Once you get past that fear then its a fable and fairy tale. Take the new testament for example, It is supposed to be the inspired word of god yet the 4 Gospels don't even agree on the Genealogy of Jesus. Then take the life of Jesus.The book covers the birth of Jesus and then briefly mentions Jesus at 12 years old and then goes to when Jesus was 30 years old. For such an important and historical figure you would think it would cover the full history of Jesus. The original bible actually does cover the full history of Jesus but it was edited out in 300 something AD by Constantine. In the original bible, Jesus blinded a playmate at 5 and killed a Rabbi at age 10 and also believed in reincarnation.Obviously these things didn't mesh with what the catholics image of Jesus was so those books were thrown out. That's just the beginning of the errors that are preaced as facts today
#1 do you understand people are animals? Do you understand how long "out of the jungle law" people have recently, relative to evolutionary terms, come into the "new world order" style of governing people with written laws has been?
Give you a better understanding if you consider biblical text as a document of showing what the "mind set" was of earlier people-monkeys.
Now consider history and how things and world governments have evolved as society gets larger and we now have super nations.
As being former Christian I understand, usage of biblical text, especially the old testiment which was the laws of the nation of Israel over 2000, is not looked upon as to follow those laws per say word for word. However, they serve as a useful too for teaching such as morals. The entire defination of moral comes from learning principles from stories. If you have not learned principles for living from stories then you would not have morals. You might would have general rules and principles from your own experiences that you live by but doesn't mean you have morals.
Do you know the moral of the story?
"How can "the author of morals" strike down women and children"
where are women and children struck down?
like an eye for an eye, this "condoning slavery" is meant to limit behavior, not condone it
"allow his male followers to have many wives"
same thing, and even clarified @ because of your hardness of heart, and refuted @ shall be the husband of one wife and many other places
"yet the women are considered whores to have more than one man"
stick with "for you the Bible does not make sense" ok, do yourself a favor