Re: virus:Logic

chardin (
Wed, 8 Oct 1997 17:08:19 CST+6CDT

> Date: Wed, 08 Oct 1997 11:44:34 -0600
> To:, <>
> From: David McFadzean <>
> Subject: Re: virus:Logic
> Reply-to:

> At 01:32 PM 10/8/97 -0400, Paul Prestopnik wrote:
> >"We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves."
> >Eric Hoffer (1902=9683), U.S. philosopher. The Passionate State of Mind
> >
> >but, even ignoring that, if you consider an hour each week in church, 5=
> >hours a year
> >in a 70 year lifespan that 3640 hours, which if you do not believe, cou=
> >have been better spend reading, writing, loving, learning, etc. And an
> >hour a week is a conservative estimate for anyone who is actively
> >religious. Now maybe you consider that a fair gamble, hell, its an
> >eternity if your wrong. But you also need to consider, that most relig=
> >only let you into heaven if you pick them. It still seemss like a sill=
> >way to run the universe to me.
> Actually it is worse than that...
> Pascal's Wager (God is a safe bet)
> "If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost nothi=
ng --
> but if you don't believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you will g=
o to
> hell. Therefore it is foolish to be an atheist."
> This argument is known as Pascal's Wager. It has several flaws.
> Firstly, it does not indicate which religion to follow. Indeed, there ar=
e many
> mutually exclusive and contradictory religions out there. This is often
> described as the "avoiding the wrong hell" problem. If a person is a fol=
> of one religion, he may end up in another religion's version of hell.

Little smiley faces [:)] don't carry much weight with these folks,
huh? We take our philosophy seriously I see.

Is your reasoning:
There are many mutually exclusive and contradictory
religions out there; therefore, they must all be false?

I have no desire to end up in the hell of a false religion, therefore
I will deny that any hell exist?

If some religions are not true
> Even if we assume that there's a God, that doesn't imply that there's on=
e unique
> God. Which should we believe in? If we believe in all of them, how will =
> decide which commandments to follow?

It is like the problem with the number of religions: because there is
a number of false gods, shall I therefore conclude that there is not
one that is true? If someone gave me a suitcase of $10,000 bills and
told me that most of them looked counterfit, but someone else assured
me that at least one of them was real, it might behoove me to at
least try to determine if there is a genuine article. I don't
believe I'd throw it out without at first trying to determine if
there were something to it. May be a bad analogy, but I can't see
how any number of false religions can lead you to conclude there is
not a true God.
> Secondly, the statement that "If you believe in God and turn out to be i=
> you have lost nothing" is not true. Suppose you're believing in the wron=
g God --
> the true God might punish you for your foolishness. Consider also the de=
aths that
> have resulted from people rejecting medicine in favor of prayer.
There again, it would be in your best interest to find the true God.

> Another flaw in the argument is that it is based on the assumption that =
the two
> possibilities are equally likely -- or at least, that they are of compar=
> likelihood. If, in fact, the possibility of there being a God is close t=
o zero,
> the argument becomes much less persuasive. So sadly the argument is only=
> to convince those who believe already.

Why is the possibility of their being a God close to zero?

> Also, many feel that for intellectually honest people, belief is based o=
> evidence, with some amount of intuition. It is not a matter of will or c=
> benefit analysis.
Ahh, thus, the reason for the smiley face. Can anyone who believes
in God take Pascal's Wager seriously? As a Christian, I shall speak for =
and none other. [Virus alert!] Christianity is a relationship not a religi=
"Religion" means "to enter again into bondage" if my memory serves me
correctly. It is the antithesis of Christianity. It was this very
idea of "bondage" which Christ sought to address. In effect, He told
us, you try so hard to keep the law and you can't. You bind yourself
to the law, it is, indeed, a heavy yoke. Come unto me, and "I" will
give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. My burden is light. Christ,
thus, holds out his very being to me. Therefore, I cannot use the term "r=
eligion" with Christianity.
Religion is Promise Keepers, cults, and ancestor worship. Religion
is man striving to become God. Christianity is God becoming man.
These are just a few of the differences I see between Christainity
and religion.
So you see, it would do me no good to try to "fool" God into thinking that=
I love
Him or even believe He exists if, in fact, I do not. It is absurd
to assert such a idea. God is not so easily mislead. In addition,
my relationship with God is not one of fear. If Pascal were serious
with his wager, which I doubt he was, then he had the wrong notion of

> Formally speaking, the argument consists of four statements:
> 1.One does not know whether God exists.
> 2.Not believing in God is bad for one's eternal soul if God does exist.
> 3.Believing in God is of no consequence if God does not exist.
> 4.Therefore it is in one's interest to believe in God.
> There are two approaches to the argument. The first is to view Statement=
1 as
> an assumption, and Statement 2 as a consequence of it. The problem is th=
> there's really no way to arrive at Statement 2 from Statement 1 via simp=
> logical inference. The statements just don't follow on from each other.
> The alternative approach is to claim that Statements 1 and 2 are both
> assumptions. The problem with this is that Statement 2 is then basically=
> assumption which states the Christian position, and only a Christian wil=
> agree with that assumption. The argument thus collapses to "If you are a=

> Christian, it is in your interests to believe in God" -- a rather vacuou=
> tautology, and not the way Pascal intended the argument to be viewed.
> Also, if we don't even know that God exists, why should we take Statemen=
t 2
> over some similar assumption? Isn't it just as likely that God would be =
> at people who chose to believe for personal gain? If God is omniscient, =
> will certainly know who really believes and who believes as a wager. He =
> spurn the latter... assuming he actually cares at all whether people tru=
> believe in him.
> Some have suggested that the person who chooses to believe based on Pasc=
> Wager, can then somehow make the transition to truly believing. Unfortun=
> most atheists don't find it possible to make that leap.
> In addition, this hypothetical God may require more than simple belief; =
> all Christians believe that the Christian God requires an element of tru=
st and
> obedience from his followers. That destroys the assertion that if you be=
> but are wrong, you lose nothing.
> Finally, if this God is a fair and just God, surely he will judge people=
> their actions in life, not on whether they happen to believe in him. A G=
> who sends good and kind people to hell is not one most atheists would be=

> prepared to consider worshipping.

Well, when I joined this list, I was ignorant as to what it was
trying to accomplish--Church of Virus--little dna buggers that affect
one's thinking, etc. I am getting a better idea but I still don't
have the background down. I'm going to have to read the books;
I made some assertions that were not on
point for the theory. Perhaps this is a field in which you don't have
all the facts. Therefore, you say God would and would not do this or
that if he were a fair and just God. If we had designed the
world, we would have done a much better job--seeds on one end of the
watermelon, for instance.

I do not believe that God desires to send anyone to hell. While I do
not pretend to know the ways of God, I think he gave his all, his
only son, and he warned us that He had only one son to give.
But, of course, intelligent creatures that we are, we should
straighten Him out and let him know that we don't like the
way He chose to communicate with us, that we don't like
the way, in fact, He has done anything.
Dare I post such a statement on a list named "lucifer"? Why
not--Lucifer himself believes and trembles. C Hardin
> --
> David McFadzean
> Memetic Engineer
> Church of Virus