Thoughts on Pascal's Wager

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servantofAllah's picture
Thoughts on Pascal's Wager

What are your thoughts on Pascal's Wager?
I'm asking atheists in particular.

I've noticed this pattern amongst the athiest community, then whenever God is mentioned, you all seem to get very angry.
If you truly don't believe in God then why do you get triggered upon His mentioning? It doesn't seem that way when say faeries and leprechauns are mentioned, you'd laugh it off in that case it just makes it seem you personally have something against Him. Anyway, my understanding is the reason why you atheists think of Pascal's Wager is utter nonsense is because you reject there being a God to begin with. But why not take your chances per say right before you die and just say you believe? I mean it definitely won't hurt. Think about that for a moment.

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Simon Moon's picture
@servantofAllah

@servantofAllah

Oh please...

We don't get angry at 'god', we get angry at the behaviors believers in various gods do in the name of those gods.

Wars are started, women are subjugated, silly pseudoscience is taught in public schools, people shoot up Mosques, Churches, Synagogues, people blow themselves up in public places, fly planes into buildings at 400 MPH, etc, etc all in the name of some god or another.

Theist's beliefs don't exist in a vacuum, they have real world negative consequences.

No, the reason why Pascal's Wager is rejected, is because:

1. It assumes that one can choose to believe in something they are not really convinced of

2. That a god will buy into an attempt to believe just to 'save one's ass'

3. It ignores all the other possible gods, and punishment for disbelieving in them, if one chooses the 'wrong god'. In other words, if I choose to believe in the Christian god in order to save my ass from the Christian hell, I could end up being punished by the Muslim god, the Hindu god, the Zoroastrian god, or even a god no one even knows about.

"But why not take your chances per say right before you die and just say you believe? I mean it definitely won't hurt. Think about that for a moment."

So, your god wouldn't able to see through that little ploy to save our ass?

And again, if I say just before I die, "I believe in the Muslim god", that could piss off some other god.

*Edited for spelling.

servantofAllah's picture
"And again, if I say just

"And again, if I say just before I die, "I believe in the Muslim god", that could piss off some other god."

God is the absolute one, the all-powerful and all-knowing ruler of the universe, and the creator of everything in existence.
That is the definition of God, the idea that there are multiple gods is utterly impossible, because otherwise this definition would be contradicted. All religions believe in one God who created everything... BUT all but Islam and Judaism believe in other beings as objects of worship. So they therefore contradict the definition of God. So if you are submitting to Allah ( Which means God ) , you are submitting to the same and only God that the Christians and Jews worship. And also, if you genuinely believe in God before you die, all the Abrahamic religions state that you will be forgiven.

David Killens's picture
You are operating under the

You are operating under the assumption of a monotheistic god, that there is only one. The Greeks, the Romans, and Scandinavians (just as examples) believed in multiple gods.

"God is the absolute one, the all-powerful and all-knowing ruler of the universe, and the creator of everything in existence."

Please prove that your god is absolute (and please include your definition of "absolute")
Please prove that your god is all-powerful and all-knowing.
Please prove that this universe had a creator.

servantofAllah, I am not attempting to be a jerk, but when one makes an assertion I will not just nod my head in agreement, you must prove each and every assertion for me to be convinced. My mind is not closed, but neither is it gullible.

And my last question .. even if there is a god, why should I submit to it? What if I do not, because I have good reasons.

Talyyn's picture
@David Killens

@David Killens

"..., I am not attempting to be a jerk,"

Frankly, if you can stay within the rules of the forum, I see no reason to not be a jerk with such answer from servantofallah.

David Killens's picture
Talyyn, it is a tactic. When

Talyyn, it is a tactic. When I first read the OP, almost all of the responses were pretty harsh and negative. I decided on an alternative strategy in the hope my softer approach would open up a response. And that is what happened, the OP ignored most harsh posts but did reply to me, thus maintaining the conversation so I could inject needles of doubt and uncertainty.

I am jerk, trust me, that behavior comes too naturally to me.

Talyyn's picture
David, Excellent, and you are

David, Excellent, and you are actually compassionate enough to stir him off the shackles of religion... bowing head in respect... I have not been as harsh as others here but I don't give a fuck because...well I can be a bastard and i do not have a personal relationship with our guest.

Simon Moon's picture
@servantofAllah

@servantofAllah

"God is the absolute one, the all-powerful and all-knowing ruler of the universe, and the creator of everything in existence."

Prove it. Please provide demonstrable and falsifiable evidence, and reasoned argument to support this claim. Without it, I am completely justified in not believing you.

"That is the definition of God, the idea that there are multiple gods is utterly impossible, because otherwise this definition would be contradicted. All religions believe in one God who created everything... BUT all but Islam and Judaism believe in other beings as objects of worship. So they therefore contradict the definition of God. So if you are submitting to Allah ( Which means God ) , you are submitting to the same and only God that the Christians and Jews worship. And also, if you genuinely believe in God before you die, all the Abrahamic religions state that you will be forgiven."

Hey, go discuss with Christians, Jews or other religions about their version of their god, and why it is impossible. I don't want to get into arguing competing mythologies. It is up to you guys to sort this out.

Remember, you are at an atheist forum. We do not believe in ANY gods.

"And also, if you genuinely believe in God before you die, all the Abrahamic religions state that you will be forgiven."

According to Christian theology, there is only one way to get to heaven, and that is "through Jesus". So no, Muslims will not get into the Christian heaven just by 'genuinely believing in some non-Christian' god.

Sheldon's picture
@servantofallah

@servantofallah

Your claims are unevidenced, and arbitrary. They don't remotely alter the fact you are as likely to be wrong about the deity you choose to believe in as any other theist. You only disbelieve in one less deity out of the many thousands humans have created than atheists do.

The flaws in Pascal's wager have been pointed out to you, the fact you choose to ignore this after asking for our opinions is pretty typical of the religious apologists who come here.

You don't know you've picked the right religion, or more likely had it picked for you. Your hubris doesn't make your belief valid, and the risk implied in the wager is as great for you as it is for all theists and all atheists.

Luckily I don't believe there is any risk, as there is no objective evidence for any deity, and the ones depicted in the bible and koran are as risible as all the rest. Also the idea we can survive our own physical deaths in any meaningful way is risible superstition hokum.

Pascal's wager is woeful nonsense for these reasons, and the reasons previously offered.

NewSkeptic's picture
Your god is omniscient,

Your god is omniscient, correct?

So how is it going to be fooled by a fake statement of believe on one's death bed?

Pascal's wager is thoroughly debunked. A quick google search is all you need.

Atheists do not get upset about the mention of any god or gods, we just demand evidence, none of which is ever forthcoming.

xenoview's picture
@servantofallah

@servantofallah
Before you ask anyone to take a wager, you have to prove there is a god. Your holytext is the claim, not the evidence. You need to provide objective evidence that your god is real. The evidence needs to be testable, so anyone testing will get the same results.

servantofAllah's picture
That's equivocal to saying

That's equivocal to saying that we need objective evidence to suggest that there are multiple universes, but we cannot find out due to completely different laws of physics

Talyyn's picture
@servantofAllah

@servantofAllah

That's equivocal to saying that we need objective evidence to suggest that there are multiple universes, but we cannot find out due to completely different laws of physics

Of course we would need objective evidence for that, and frankly, even with different laws of physics, any interaction between them and our universe would leave a trace, that we certainly could deduce by elimination of all other possible causes.

But I don't think you are talking about an intercosmology here, you probably want to say that science and therefore objective evidence can't be used so that you don't have to evidence your bastard sky-fairy.

Seriously, are you naive to think that we didn't see this here?

xenoview's picture
@servantofallah

@servantofallah
So you admit you have no objective evidence your god is real? All you seem to have is subjective evidence from your mind.

Sheldon's picture
xenoview "@servantofallah

xenoview "@servantofallah Before you ask anyone to take a wager, you have to prove there is a god. Your holytext is the claim, not the evidence. You need to provide objective evidence that your god is real. The evidence needs to be testable, so anyone testing will get the same results."

"That's equivocal to saying that we need objective evidence to suggest that there are multiple universes, but we cannot find out due to completely different laws of physics"

I don't think you know what equivocal means, but that aside your claim is clearly an attempt to create a straw man fallacy in order to evade the fact that your theistic belief is unevidenced, and the koran does not represent evidence, just unevidenced claims.

David Killens's picture
@servantofAllah

@servantofAllah

"That's equivocal to saying that we need objective evidence to suggest that there are multiple universes, but we cannot find out due to completely different laws of physics"

I fully agree, that is why the scientific community does not assert such a possibility. At best it is just a proposition by certain scientists. Those standards of evidence are simple, proof is required no matter how well the proposition is formulated. When Einstein published his Theory of Relativity, it was not accepted by the scientific community until proof was rendered.

Those same standards of evidence are exactly the same as myself and most atheists request when you make an assertion.

For your information, there are efforts to provide proof on this proposition, the main focus being a detailed study of the cosmic microwave background radiation. But until proof is provided, the position is "we do not know, and presently there is no evidence to support multiple universes".

If only theists were that honest.

Cognostic's picture
@servantofAllah; That's

@servantofAllah; That's equivocal to saying that we need objective evidence to suggest that there are multiple universes,

HUH? We do need objective evidence, not to suggest but to demonstrate there are multiple universes. WTF are you talking about "completely different laws of physics?" How in the fuck would you know what? Until we actually discover something, we can't possibly know what laws of physics are going to apply. If we discover a new law of physics, how will it be completely different. It will just be a law for that specific situation. You really make no sense at all.

Sheldon's picture
servantofAllah "I've noticed

servantofAllah "I've noticed this pattern amongst the athiest community, then whenever God is mentioned, you all seem to get very angry."

I think you're lying, and trolling, I've noticed that pattern amongst a lot of theists who come here.

servantofAllah"you reject there being a God to begin with. But why not take your chances per say right before you die and just say you believe? I mean it definitely won't hurt. Think about that for a moment."

I've noticed a pattern of illiteracy among the superstitious. Also woeful reasoning, as you display here, why on earth would I fear death, or any deity when no one can demonstrate a shred of objective evidence for them? Think about that...for a moment.

servantofAllah"What are your thoughts on Pascal's Wager?
I'm asking atheists in particular."

Why atheists "in particular"? Pascal's wager is as likely to catch theists out as atheists, given they have to pick one deity out of thousands without any objective evidence, you'd have to be pretty dumb to fail to see how idiotic the wager is, or how moronic it is to believe you could fool an omniscient deity with a faux belief as the wager suggests.

Nothing you've posted makes me angry, but it is tedious to walk people through such woeful ignorance again and again.

CyberLN's picture
Soa, you wrote, “I’ve noticed

Soa, you wrote, “I’ve noticed this pattern amongst the athiest community...” and “you all seem to get very angry.”

Where is this atheist community you’re talking about? What is an atheist community?

We ALL seem to get very angry? You’ve seen this in every person identified as atheist? To my knowledge, we haven’t met...how did you determine that I’m a very angry atheist?

Servant, I’m happy to debate the efficacy of making Pascal’s Wager with you but certainly not if you choose to continue with absurd and quite rude assertions about folks who identify as atheist.

Tin-Man's picture
@S.O.A.(B). Re: "But why not

@S.O.A.(B). Re: "But why not take your chances per say right before you die and just say you believe? I mean it definitely won't hurt."

(Before reading any other responses...)

Seriously???... You're joking, right?... *incredulous look*... Ummm, for starters, exactly WHICH god should I call upon before taking my final breath? Pretty sure, depending on circumstances, I won't have time to go through all of them. Moreover, if we are talking about calling to the god of the bible and koran, it has always been my understanding that god knows EVERYTHING. Meaning it already knows my true thoughts/feelings. Therefore, my simply saying, "I believe," as if it were some sort of get-out-of-hell-free card would be a complete waste of time, because that god would KNOW I was lying. And I have no intention of wasting my final words on some imaginary fairy tale character, especially if I have a chance to tell my wife or some other loved one how much I love them before I die.

Also, I lived a vast majority of my life under the oppressive concept of Pascal's Wager, even long before I ever heard of the term. And I am here to tell you from personal experience, "IT IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS." Basically, if somebody is able to fool your god that easily, then your god is pretty much totally worthless and not even worthy of respect, much less worthy of being worshipped.

(Now to go read other replies... *skipping merrily back to thread replies*...)

Tin-Man's picture
Oops. Almost forgot. One more

Oops. Almost forgot. One more thing real quick...

Re: OP - "I've noticed this pattern amongst the athiest community, then whenever God is mentioned, you all seem to get very angry."

Oh, yeah, about that... *chuckle*... Angry at god???... lol... That seems rather absurd. Why on Earth would I get angry at something in which I do not believe???... *puzzled look*... Do you get angry at Santa Claus for not bringing you presents on Christmas?

David Killens's picture
Do you get angry at Santa

Do you get angry at Santa Claus for not bringing you presents on Christmas?

Caution, strong language from the land of Old Man

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz_qE925uJY

LogicFTW's picture
@servantofAllah

@servantofAllah

What are your thoughts on Pascal's Wager?

A thoroughly debunked and terrible idea/concept that most religious scholars/apologist have long ago abandoned as an embarrassment.

I've noticed this pattern amongst the athiest community, then whenever God is mentioned, you all seem to get very angry.

I am angry at religious institutions and their accompanying god concepts as for all the atrocities they have and continue to commit, and in general how they hold back humanity from achieving greater. I think there is not enough concern about things like global warming, biodiversity loss, total biomass loss in large part due to religions (oh god has a plan, we cant destroy our only home and starve billions of us in the future!)

It doesn't seem that way when say faeries and leprechauns are mentioned, you'd laugh it off in that case it just makes it seem you personally have something against Him.

For me its because most people know that fairies and leprechauns are not real and do not build religion around them and use these ideas/concepts to commit atrocities and ignore things like overpopulation, climate change etc.

Anyway, my understanding is the reason why you atheists think of Pascal's Wager is utter nonsense is because you reject there being a God to begin with.

One of many, many reasons why we think it is nonsense. It is not even the most compelling reason (to me anyways.)

But why not take your chances per say right before you die and just say you believe? I mean it definitely won't hurt. Think about that for a moment.

I have thought on that, probably more then you have. Even if we discard all the many major problems with pascal's wager, it de-legitimizes your entire religion. If we can change our mind on "god" right before we die, what is the point of religion? It would be a giant waste of time. Ignore god idea and all possible human created concepts of it until you are near death, then just have a few thoughts to safeguard yourself, religion as a whole would be pointless.

Simon Moon's picture
An atheist 'Pascal's Wager'.

An atheist 'Pascal's Wager'.

There is a god, but it is nothing like any of the gods of the 1000's of religions believed in by theists.

This god loves critical thinking, skepticism, rational thought, valid and sound logic, demonstrable evidence, and hates dogma, doctrine, holy books, gullibility, faith, etc.

This god created all religions (including servantofAllah's), as a test for humans to see how gullible and credulous they are. Any human gullible enough to believe in any god claim and follow any 'holy' book, will be punished for eternity. And those of us that disbelieve in gods, will be rewarded in an afterlife.

So, the best wager for theists, is to disbelieve in gods just before they die, just in case the god described above exists.

Checkmate Blaze Pascal!

Cognostic's picture
@servantofAllah: RE:

@servantofAllah: RE: Pascal's wager. Pascal's wager is only made by Christians who have not read their bible and who have no respect at all for their version of god.

Have not read their bible: God is very clear on this. You must love him more than your own family. Jesus even says this. "You must hate your father, mother, brothers, sister, aunts and uncles to be a disciple" Pascal's Wager asserts that you must lie and pretend and if you do, you can get into Heaven.

So, it logically follows, ANYONE USING THE ARGUMENT DOES NOT RESPECT THE GOD THEY BELIEVE IN. God is so fucking stupid he does not know that you are only professing belief so you can get into heaven or avoid hell. You do not have to "love" God as the bible insists. (Inviting Jesus into your heart is not a part of the argument by the way.) All you nee do is believe and then after you die, you get a cookie.

RE: "Whenever God is mentioned, you all seem to get very angry." You are not paying attention. People get miffed when they have to repeat the same thing over and over and over and over and the fucking theists who visit the site will not go and read the damn evidence. We have plenty of theists who pop in and simply ask a question as you have done. I can't imagine anyone going off on that. I would expect all the replies to be as polite as mine. Now, just for kicks, try telling everyone they are wrong and according to the bible all the Atheists know Jesus is real and Pascal's wager is a path to salvation. Write some bullshit nonsense like that AFTER EVERYONE HAS BEEN POLITE and see what happens. (The poo flinging begins.) No one gets triggered by anyone mentioning god. Some people are going to get triggered over stupid comments like "Why do you all get triggered." You are likely to be told to "Fuck off." It would have nothing to do with god but with your fucking inane attitude and moronic attempt at mind reading.

RE: My understanding is the reason why you atheists think of Pascal's Wager is utter nonsense is because you reject there being a God to begin with.

So, as I have shown you above, the reason for objecting to Pascal's wager has nothing to do with your version of a God and everything to do with the fact that 1. it is non-biblical. 2. Your god is an idiot if he can be fooled in such a manner. Pascal's Wager just isn't a very good argument.... Consider the Following.

How many of your friends are friends of yours because you promise to pay them $100 at the end of the month? How many of your friends are your friends because you promise not to beat the shit out of them at the end of the month if they pretend to be your friend? Pascal's wager asserts that you should believe so you can avoid hell or get to heaven. YOUR OWN BIBLE WARNS YOU:

"Matthew 7:21-23 New International Version (NIV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"

"WHY TAKE YOUR CHANCES" - REALLY? IF THIS IS THE REASONING AT THE CORE OF YOUR BELIEF, YOU MY FRIEND WILL BURN IN HELL WITH THE REST OF THE CHRISTIANS THAT THINK LIKE YOU. I COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE MORE CLEAR. THE CORE OF YOUR BELIEF IS NON BIBLICAL. PASCAL'S WAGER IS ABOUT AS IGNORANT AS AN ARGUMENT CAN GET. (And, we do not believe in God or gods.)

PASCAL'S WAGER IS A FAIL.

Tin-Man's picture
@Cog

@Cog

Pssst.... *whispering*.... hey, cog... s.o.a. is muslim....

Although in all fairness, same rules apply to Islam as they do to Christianity in regards to Pascal's Wager. So, no biggie... *shrugging shoulders*...

Earth's picture
@servantofAllah

@servantofAllah

"But why not take your chances per say right before you die and just say you believe? I mean it definitely won't hurt. Think about that for a moment."

I'll play with you and go along...
What if the God you are asking us to believe in is The Grand Manipulator, The Grand Deceiver, The Great Liar, are you willing to believe in that god and take a chance?
How would you know the difference between a just God and the Great Deceiver? Won't they both play the same part?
Are the Gods of faiths different from yours the same God as yours or false gods?
So I ask you now, what do you want me to believe in before I die?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
*Me, on deathbed with last

*Me, on deathbed with last agonising breath* Allah, is that you? Yes I truly believe! Take me Allah I believe! All'ahu Akhbar!
*two minutes later*
Ganesh: "who the fuck is this Allah you are going on about?" "pack my trunk, we're out of here....."

David Killens's picture
Hello servantofAllah, welcome

Hello servantofAllah, welcome to Atheist Republic.

Based on your name, you have decided to represent Allah. I hope you are up to it and have the moral integrity required to carry such a burden. Please understand almost all atheists truly lack a belief in any god. So asking us to attempt to deceive the almighty on our death bed is asking us unbelievers to attempt to deceive the almighty. I hope your god forgives you for such treachery by conspiring with unbelievers to deceive.

I believe that your intentions with your post were not malicious, but rather an honest attempt to save our souls. But you should have done more research before making such an awkward post that opens you up to harsh criticism.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but the road to heaven is paved with good deeds.

Blaise Pascal was a brilliant mathematician born in France in 1623. His works are impressive and his genius is not debatable. But his "Pascal's Wager" is an exercise in probabilities. In that era and in France, there was just one religion, christianity. So his probabilities are based on one of two choices, since as far as he was concerned, there was just one religion. If you choose atheism, the odds are 50/50 and you can lose. And if you choose religion you can not lose. I use the word" lose" because Pascal also invented the Roulette wheel.

But we know know that there are at least 4,200 religions. So with this modern information, and if we apply these new numbers and calculate the probabilities, if you choose religion the odds are 4,199 to 1, and if you are an atheist the odds are 4,200 to 1.

Are you certain you have chosen the correct religion? You may be praying to the wrong god and all Muslins may be condemned in the eyes of god.

servantofAllah's picture
it's not like anyone knows me

it's not like anyone knows me or can see my face so it's fine

Tin-Man's picture
@S.O.A. Re: "it's not like

@S.O.A. Re: "it's not like anyone knows me or can see my face so it's fine"

So, with that statement, either...

A. You don't care that your GOD CAN see you, and you are basically thumbing your nose at your god's rule...

Or...

B. Your god cannot see you as you flip it off and ignore its rule...

Interesting.... *scratching chin*...

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