Original Statement
Even science believes that in the beginning there was nothing and then came the biggest bang in history. Einstein said: 'Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind'. Personally, I'm with Pascal - though I am not betting on it.

Some Thoughts
1. Science believes there was something from nothing
Okay, this does get banded about allot, but sadly it's not totally true. Science can take us back to a big bang, to the beginning of our universe but no further. Science actually presupposes that there must have been something, but at this time given our scientific understanding and current inability to cross time we are unable to say what that is. Check http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/eng//id/232 for one possibility. However it does not mean we can simply label this god and have done with it. Once upon a time religion thought that the earth was the centre of the solar system and everything revolved around us, but it was science that proved otherwise.

2. The genius of Einstein
Einstein was not religious and this quote has been taken out of context many times as each 'side' battle to claim Einstein for their own. Perhaps some light reading is http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/may/12/peopleinscience.religion on Einstein’s beliefs some quoted directly from letters from his own hand.


"Like other great scientists he does not fit the boxes in which popular polemicists like to pigeonhole him. It is clear for example that he had respect for the religious values enshrined within Judaic and Christian traditions... but what he understood by religion was something far more subtle than what is usually meant by the word in popular discussion" - John Brook, Oxford University.

3. Pascal's Wager
Blaise Pascal reasoned that it is better to believe and be wrong, than to not believe and be wrong. For the consequences of being wrong if you don't believe will be an eternity in hell. (based on the Abrahamic religions!).


However believing is not something you can choose to do out of a matter of policy. Ergo, Pascal’s wager can only be an argument for pretending to have a belief in god. If god is as the good book says an omnipotent and omniscient being he will surely see right through our feigned belief and cast us to hell anyway. Would this kind of being actually reward a diligent seeker of the truth or someone who simply goes through life hedging his bets.

Now this does also beg the question, what if you believe in the wrong god, whose god is the right one? Doesn't the fact that the sheer volume of gods out there being worshiped kind of fly in the face of Pascal’s Wager anyway? Let's hope if there is a god, he isn't as vicious and malevolent as the god of the Bible, lest we all find ourselves in hot water (so to speak).

Personally, I am going to place my 'faith' in science rather than worship a god of the gaps. Perseverance in science will furnish us with the truth

 


Original Statement 

Even science believes that in the beginning there was nothing and then came the biggest bang in history. Einstein said: 'Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind'. Personally, I'm with
Pascal - though I am not betting on it.

Some Thoughts

1. Science believes there was something from nothing
Okay, this does get banded about allot, but sadly it's not totally true.
Science can take us back to a big bang, to the beginning of our universe but no
further. Science actually presupposes that there must have been something, but
at this time given our scientific understanding and current inability to cross
time we are unable to say what that is. Check
http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/eng//id/232 for one possibility. However it
does not mean we can simply label this god and have done with it. Once upon a
time religion thought that the earth was the centre of the solar system and
everything revolved around us, but it was science that proved otherwise.

2. The genius of Einstein
Einstein was not religious and this quote has been taken out of context many
times as each 'side' battle to claim Einstein for their own. Perhaps some light
reading is
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/may/12/peopleinscience.religion on
Einstein’s beliefs some quoted directly from letters from his own hand.

"Like other great scientists he does not fit the boxes in which popular polemicists like to pigeonhole him. It is clear for example that he had respect for the religious values enshrined within Judaic and Christian
traditions... but what he understood by religion was something far more subtle
than what is usually meant by the word in popular discussion" - John
Brook, Oxford University.

3. Pascal's Wager
Blaise Pascal reasoned that it is better to believe and be
wrong, than to not believe and be wrong. For the consequences of being wrong if
you don't believe will be an eternity in hell. (based on the Abrahamic
religions!).

However believing is not something you can choose to do out of a matter of policy. Ergo, Pascal’s wager can only be an argument for pretending to have a belief in god. If god is as the good book says an omnipotent and
omniscient being he will surely see right through our feigned belief and cast
us to hell anyway. Would this kind of being actually reward a diligent seeker
of the truth or someone who simply goes through life hedging his bets.

Now this does also beg the question, what if you believe in the wrong god, whose god is the right one? Doesn't the fact that the sheer volume of gods out there being worshiped kind of fly in the face of Pascal’s Wager
anyway? Let's hope if there is a god, he isn't as vicious and malevolent as the
god of the Bible, lest we all find ourselves in hot water (so to speak).

Personally,
I am going to place my 'faith' in science rather than worship a god of the
gaps. Perseverance in science will furnish us with the truth

Views: 122

Tags: faith, pascal, wager

Comment by Spartacus of Thrace on September 28, 2011 at 2:56pm

Julian Barnes on Pascal's Wager, from "Nothing To Be Frightened Of": 

 

"...[T]he primary wager, on God's existence, does depend on a second and simultaneous wager, on God’s nature. What if God is not as imagined? What, for instance, if He disapproves of gamblers, especially those whose purported belief in Him is dependent on some acorn-beneath-the-cup mentality? And who decides who wins? Not us: God might prefer the honest doubter to the sycophantic chancer."

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