I once in a debate with my catholic friend. He used pascal wager argument and bid on jesus but then i told him its useless, because:
- There are many gods across all religions, not just one god, christian god.
- We cannot worship all gods because there at least 2 gods which says "Worship just me or burn" (christian & islam)
But then he told me all other gods is less likely to be true than christian's god because:
- On muslim, those who are in heaven will enjoy unlimited sex with 72 virgins with erection that lasts indefinitely. "That just so wrong their god must be a joke", he says.
- On buddhism, the buddha can see the future and the past while meditating.
There is no human can see the future nor past. If there is one, then that must be a work of satan, because the same thing happened when jesus tempted by satan. That time jesus gone blank-minded, a similar state to meditation, so he is implying that the buddha can see future and past because he is under the "touch" of satan.
- On Hinduism, they worship many gods, even animals. "Its ridiculous" he says.
- Therefore, even though there are little or no evidence, we should "Pascal's Wager" on christian god, jesus because other god is false.
Is what he says correct? Did i just get owned by Pascal's Wager? How to debunk this argument?
His evaluation of other religions is just his opinion, worthless and equably applicable to Christianity.
Pascal's Wager admits that we don't know whether Christian theism is true while saying that, because the wages of not being a Christian in a world in which Christianity is true is eternal suffering in hell and the wages of being a Christian in a world in which Christianity is not true is nothing at all, then we should certainly bet on Christianity to avoid the possibility of eternal suffering in hell.
yes. it is a problem for Pascal's Wager that there are many gods and many religions, each with mutually exclusive proscriptions and prescriptions for how we are to live, and most of them dictate destruction of some sort for non-believers.
and, as i've written before on TA, on the odds, since there are thousands of gods and religions that dictate destruction for the followers of all other gods and religions, there's a very high probability that when we pick a religion and a god to worship, we're picking the wrong one and will therefore piss off the right one resulting in our destruction.
but see the link above for more problems with The Wager.
but you know need to address his counter objection.
he alleges that certain features of other religions render them absurd and that this fact should lead us to conclude that we should believe in Christianity over all the other religions.
but, as Doug has rightfully pointed out already, this is his opinion. the followers of those religions find no absurdity in their religion and plenty absurd in Christianity. he must come up with an argument that can't be used to defend all other religions. because an argument that defends everything, defends nothing.
there's certainly an entire fleet of dump trucks worth of absurdity in the Christian religion. outsiders see this quite easily. just as he's able as an outsider to the see the absurdity of other religions.
moreover, whether a religion has features that seem absurd says nothing about whether or not they are true. why is it that, for instance, though it seems a joke that Islam describes 72 virgins and an eternal erection for the faithful in heaven, this means that Islam is automatically false? though certainly it is silly, it's still logically coherent. there's nothing inherently wrong with the idea that the faithful get to have sex for eternity in heaven.
so, you provided a good objection to Pascal's Wager. his counter objection is essentially a special pleading fallacy, saying, as he does, that there's something different about his religion that should cause someone to suspend the judgment of absurdity given to all other religions. he has no reason to recommend Christianity on evidence or even, pragmatically, on the assumption that there is no evidence.
He looks at other religions from the point of view of Christianity. He can do the same with every other religion and he would always get the same conclusion.
In short: no, you did not get owned, just temporarily bamboozled.
Pascal's Wager doesn't work even with the Christian God alone. There are three (not entirely discreet) issues to consider, as far as I'm concerned.
The point is, Pascal's Wager assumes that the consequence of accepting God (if God exists) is to be rewarded in the afterlife, but that's not a reasonable assumption. It could very well be backwards. Religion could be a test: those that flock to it like sheep fail, and those that exercise free will and resist it pass. Or perhaps nobody passes and we all go to Hell. Maybe everyone passes, but the reward is being turned into a goldfish. The possible outcomes are as limitless as God's power. Any Christian who argues to the contrary is essentially trying to place constraints on God.
This argument may not seem compelling at first, but it's actually the way we deal with all wagers. You meet a mentally ill man who has been living on the street. He says, "If you shake my hand, I will give you one hundred thousand dollars." If you apply the same reasoning as Pascal's Wager, you should shake his hand. If the million dollars is real, you're golden; if it isn't real, then you've lost nothing more than the time it took to shake the man's hand. Many of us would think twice about shaking his hand though. First off, the money probably isn't real. Second, the man is unpredictable, so the worst case scenario is not that you'd loose the time it took to shake his hand; it's that he might try to bite you, or attack you or do some other unpleasant thing.
And that's just a homeless guy. Mentally ill or not, there are still limits to his power and unpredictability. He's still comprehensible on some level. Not remove all those limits. Use a being that has limitless power (as far as you know) and is beyond comprehension. Make it the same being to which we attribute natural disasters, disease, and all other manners of incomprehensible suffering. Trustworthy? Shouldn't be.
Nope, no owning present.
"On muslim, those who are in heaven will enjoy unlimited sex with 72 virgins with erection that lasts indefinitely. "That just so wrong their god must be a joke", he says."
First, he neglects the fact that the god of the Muslims is the same as his god, just with a different plot for the sequel to the Old Testament. Second, how is his belief that ritual cannibalism is a key to eternal life any less of a joke? All religions look crazy to those outside of them.
"On buddhism, the buddha can see the future and the past while meditating.
There is no human can see the future nor past. If there is one, then that must be a work of satan, because the same thing happened when jesus tempted by satan. That time jesus gone blank-minded, a similar state to meditation, so he is implying that the buddha can see future and past because he is under the "touch" of satan."
He's begging the question. He's assuming that his god and its adversary are real in his 'Satan did it' claim. The claims of the Buddha are just as valid as his claims of satanic influence.
"On Hinduism, they worship many gods, even animals. "Its ridiculous" he says"
And he worships a god who is actually three gods. Again, all religions look ridiculous from outside.
"Therefore, even though there are little or no evidence, we should "Pascal's Wager" on christian god, jesus because other god is false."
Nope, still no evidence for his make-believe god. The divinity of Jesus is just as lacking in evidence as the divine inspiration of Mohammad, the mystical abilities of Buddha, or the Hammer of Thor.
First of all, the odds are NOT 50/50. After all these millennia, if there’s still no concrete evidence of God (or anything else supernatural), the odds are vanishingly small that any exists.
As for Pascal’s wager, it’s already been debunked a long time ago. Pascal’s wager assumes that one can choose to believe. That is not the case. As Arthur Schopenhauer pointed out, “Man can do what he wills, but he cannot will what he wills.“ If there is a God, does anybody really think we can hoodwink him into thinking we believe in him when we don’t? It’s not necessarily delusional to believe in (a cosmic) God but thinking you can fool him is just plain nuts.
Then there’s the matter of subordinating your life to fear. If you act as if you believe in God because you’re afraid of the consequences of not believing, then the core of your identity is wrapped around fear. It is far better to get off your knees, stand upright and seek answers.
And finally, I’ll turn Pascal’s wager around. What if there’s NO God and this is the only life you’ll ever have? Will you surrender your quest for truth and understanding to the authority of a single religion? After all, there’s thousands of them. NOW what kind of odds are we talking about?
If I’m wrong and there really is a personal God who will condemn me to eternal torture in hell, then I’ll be proud to have lived my life without paying homage to such a monster. I’ll have all eternity to mock him.
If I’m right and there really is no God, then my purpose in life won’t have been wasted on an imaginary sky daddy. I will have lived without surrendering my quest for truth. And trust me, believing in impossible things (God, heaven, miracles, angels, etc.) IS surrendering your quest.
It’s not necessarily delusional to believe in (a cosmic) God but thinking you can fool him is just plain nuts.
Any doG would obviously know this and would promptly send the trickster to hell.
Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder!
You could also suggest that gamblers go to hell.....
All's I know is that Pascal's Wager predicates "god's"™ decision about the conditions of my further existence on MY decision about whether or not to believe. I control "god"™!!
Pascal's wager is even more improbable than it seems. You not only have to guess the right god, you also have to pick the correct sect. Ask your catholic friend how he knows Mormonism or 7th day adventists or <fill in the blank> protestant evangelicals are not the "true faith". And what if the Jews were right and Jesus was not the son of Yahweh?
He dismisses the Buddha's power as being derived from Satan? On what objective evidence? And why is worshiping 1000 deities any more or less ridiculous than worshiping his? And can he be sure his deity is even a "he"? Assigning sexuality to a singular uber-powerful being is ludicrous. If there is only one, Yahweh isn't a he, Yahweh is an "it". The maleness comes from the patriarchal society that invented him. And what of all the thousands of other gods (Thor, Zeus, Ra, Quetzalcoatl etc .) man has invented?
He is twisting the debate to be reflected in the mirror of Catholic branded Christianity, which is just as ridiculous as any other faith sans evidence.