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#53558 - 12/14/14 05:32 PM It's Them Damned Atheists!!
Bill S. Offline
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Registered: 08/20/10
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Edited by Amaranth Rose II (12/22/14 04:49 AM)
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#53559 - 12/14/14 06:18 PM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill S.]
Bill Offline
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I suppose you could take the writers claims point by point and refute each one. But it seems to be one more of those cases where you can't win because the writer isn't going to admit to any of your points. If you did the writer would then claim that you were simply refusing to accept the obvious truth of his points.

Now I almost agree with the author about string theory. I have my doubts about it. But I don't think that his claims about it are necessarily anything close to true. "There’s many String Theory solutions that allow for other dimensional beings, an afterlife, and spirits existing, so if the String Theory is considered as science so should that String Theory solution." I'm not sure what string theory solutions he is looking at there. In fact I'm not sure that string theory addresses the question of life in any form. I was under the impression that it was mainly concerned with QM and GR. And neither of those directly addresses life.

Bill Gill
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#53560 - 12/14/14 09:10 PM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill]
Bill S. Offline
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I was almost drawn into responding on his blog, but by the time I had read a bit more I thought I had better things to waste my time on.
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#53562 - 12/15/14 03:40 AM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill S.]
Revlgking Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
I was almost drawn into responding on his blog, but by the time I had read a bit more I thought I had better things to waste my time on.
Bills S and Bill G. As one who prefers having a dialogue rather that debating issues, I Have never felt comfortable trying to have a dialogue with anyone who seems to enjoy making weeping statements about the opinions, beliefs, race, culture and religion of others.

Also, I have no desire to dialogue with people about whom I know virtually zero! I should add: Experience has taught me that many agnostics/atheists are also good, descent, humane and law-abiding people.

Therefore Bill, like you for now I choose not to waste my time.
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#53564 - 12/15/14 12:09 PM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill S.]
Farsight Offline
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Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 4
What one can say is that people believe in things because they're convictional, not because they're religious. Catholics laugh at heathens, protestants laugh at catholics, atheists laugh at protestants. Only some of them believe in string theory, despite the total lack of evidence. And if it's not string theory it's the multiverse, or time travel, or some other woo. Every step of the way you've got people believing in things, and clinging to fantasy.

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#53578 - 12/17/14 05:33 PM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Farsight
Catholics laugh at heathens, protestants laugh at Catholics, atheists laugh at protestants.


Jews don’t recognise Christ as the Messiah, Protestants don’t recognise the Pope as the head of the church and Baptists don’t recognise their neighbours in the off-licence.

It's a strange world.
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#53579 - 12/17/14 07:53 PM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill S.]
Revlgking Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Originally Posted By: Farsight

MUCH OF THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT FACTS:
===============================
1.Catholics laugh at heathens ...
2.protestants laugh at Catholics ...
3.atheists laugh at protestants...
4.Jews don’t recognize Christ as the Messiah ...
[They are waiting for HIM! If he does arrive, Xians will name it "the Second Coming"]
=======================
5.Protestants don’t recognize the Pope as the head of the church [Good Catholics, Protestants and Atheists that I know, don't mock. They respect others for who they are ...
Quote:

and 6. Baptists don’t recognize their neighbours in the off-licence.

[quote][ Even the Baptists I know laugh at this joke.]


It's a strange world.

==================

A strange world? Yes, indeed! And so was the world into which I was born and raised from Jan 14, 1930--85 years ago, next January.
==================

BTW, in 1942, I experienced two attacks by enemy subs, sank 4 iron-ore carries just off from shore near where I lived. 69 seamen lost their lives. www.bellisland.net for the STORY of the island.


Edited by Revlgking (12/17/14 10:50 PM)
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#53582 - 12/17/14 11:43 PM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill S.]
Bill Offline
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Registered: 12/31/10
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Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Originally Posted By: Bill S.
Baptists don’t recognise their neighbours in the off-licence.

When I was young the state of Oklahoma was dry. It was part of the requirement to become a state. They wanted to protect the indians from the ravages of demon rum. The result was that there were bootleggers selling illegal alcohol all over the place. In time the restriction faded out, but we had to change the state constitution to allow the sale of alcohol. There were several tries, but they got voted down. So it became a common statement that the Baptists drank wet but voted dry, since the majority of our leaders, both religious and secular, were drinkers.

Bill Gill
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#53583 - 12/18/14 02:06 AM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill]
Tutor Turtle Offline
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Religion is a suit, worn by men and women to cover what they fear will separate themselves from others.
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#53595 - 12/20/14 02:03 AM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
GOOD FOR THEM!
In my opinion, honest atheists and agnostics are doing what they need to do. They simply help to keep us alert and on our toes!


Edited by Revlgking (12/20/14 02:04 AM)
Edit Reason: Always helpful
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#53596 - 12/20/14 02:37 PM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Revlgking]
Bill S. Offline
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Loc: Essex, UK
Rev, I would be interested to have your take on "Pascal's Wager"; aside from the fact that it seems, tacitly, to assume that all theists are Christians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager
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#53597 - 12/20/14 02:45 PM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill S.]
Bill S. Offline
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Registered: 08/20/10
Posts: 3570
Loc: Essex, UK
I don't know why that wouldn't post as a hyperlink, but it works if you copy & paste.
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#53598 - 12/20/14 08:21 PM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill S.]
Revlgking Offline
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
BILL S: I found the link to STANFORD UNIV.PHILOSOPHY LINK
=======
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/
=============
Pascal's Wager
First published Sat May 2, 1998; substantive revision Tue Nov 6, 2012

“Pascal's Wager” is the name given to an argument due to Blaise Pascal for believing, or for at least taking steps to believe, in God. The name is somewhat misleading, for in a single paragraph of his Pensées, Pascal apparently presents at least three such arguments, each of which might be called a ‘wager’ — it is only the final of these that is traditionally referred to as “Pascal's Wager”.

We find in it the extraordinary confluence of several important strands of thought: the justification of theism; probability theory and decision theory, used here for almost the first time in history; pragmatism; voluntarism (the thesis that belief is a matter of the will); and the use of the concept of infinity.

We will begin with some brief stage-setting: some historical background, some of the basics of decision theory, and some of the exegetical problems that the Pensées pose. Then we will follow the text to extract three main arguments.

The bulk of the literature addresses the third of these arguments, as will the bulk of our discussion here.

Some of the more technical and scholarly aspects of our discussion will be relegated to lengthy footnotes, to which there are links for the interested reader.

All quotations are from §233 of Pensées (1910, Trotter translation), the ‘thought’ whose heading is “Infinite—nothing”.

1. Background. The Argument from Super dominance. The Argument from Expectation. The Argument from Generalized Expectations: “Pascal's Wager”


Objections to Pascal's Wager
Bibliography
Academic Tools
Other Internet Resources
Related Entries

1. Background

It is important to contrast Pascal's argument with various putative ‘proofs’ of the existence of God that had come before it. Anselm's ontological argument, Aquinas' ‘five ways’, Descartes' ontological and cosmological arguments, and so on, purport to prove that God exists.

Quote:
BILL: IN MY OPINION, A God WHO EXISTS--ONE WHO DOES IT ALL FOR US--IS NOT ONE THAT I NEED, OR TRUST.


Pascal is apparently unimpressed by such attempted justifications of theism: “Endeavour ... to convince yourself, not by increase of proofs of God...”

Indeed, he concedes that “we do not know if He is ...”

Quote:
THIS IS WHY--rather than using the noun, God--I PREFER TO USE THE ACRONYM, G O D--based mostly on the use of metaphors and our personal experience. It is our responsibility, as followers of the Good News proclaimed by Jesus, to be willing to use our WILLpower to do all that is Good, Optimistic & Delightful to others, including enemies.


Pascal's project, then, is radically different: he seeks to provide prudential reasons for believing in God. To put it crudely, we should wager that God exists because it is the best bet.

Ryan 1994 finds precursors to this line of reasoning in the writings of Plato, Arnobius, Lactantius, and others; we might add Ghazali to his list — see Palacios 1920. But what is distinctive is Pascal's explicitly decision theoretic formulation of the reasoning.

In fact, Hacking 1975 describes the Wager as “the first well-understood contribution to decision theory” (viii). Thus, we should pause briefly to review some of the basics of that theory.

In any decision problem, the way the world is, and what an agent does, together determine an outcome for the agent. We may assign utilities to such outcomes, numbers that represent the degree to which the agent values them.

It is typical to present these numbers in a decision matrix, with the columns corresponding to the various relevant states of the world, and the rows corresponding to the various possible actions that the agent can perform. ...............

5. Objections to Pascal's Wager
Premise 1: The Decision Matrix


Here the objections are manifold. Most of them can be stated quickly, but we will give special attention to what has generally been regarded as the most important of them, ‘the many Gods objection’ (see also the link to footnote 7).

1. Different matrices for different people. The argument assumes that the same decision matrix applies to everybody. However, perhaps the relevant rewards are different for different people. Perhaps, for example, there is a predestined infinite reward for the Chosen, whatever they do, and finite utility for the rest, as Mackie 1982 suggests. Or maybe the prospect of salvation appeals more to some people than to others, as Swinburne 1969 has noted.

Even granting that a single 2 x 2 matrix applies to everybody, one might dispute the values that enter into it. This brings us to the next two objections.

2. The utility of salvation could not be infinite. One might argue that the very notion of infinite utility is suspect — see for example Jeffrey 1983 and McClennen 1994......


Edited by Revlgking (12/20/14 11:38 PM)
Edit Reason: Always helpful
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#53599 - 12/21/14 01:45 AM Re: It's Them Damned Athiests!! [Re: Bill S.]
Tutor Turtle Offline
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Posts: 1249
Loc: Everywhere and nowhere
I guess when you asked him what he thought about "Pascals wager", you expected any and all his thoughts about what he could dig up on the internet to copy and paste regarding that topic, and the topic of God?
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