Birthday wishes...

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
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Apr 27, 2010
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go out (a day late) to the late Blaise Pascal, born June 19, 1623.

Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, philosopher, and theologian. A child prodigy, Pascal is credited with creating one of the first mechanical calculators. Additionally, he helped to expand on our knowledge of geometry and probability theory. He continued to work in mathematics and the natural sciences, despite being in poor health, right up to his early death in 1662.

Despite all his work in the sciences, Pascal is perhaps most remembered for his philosophical-religious argument known as Pascal's Wager. For those not familiar with it, the argument, in simple terms, goes something like this:

If you believe god exists, you accept and follow him. Your life of faith and servitude to god will be rewarded by going to heaven.
If you don't believe god exists, you should still follow him, because it is a safer bet. If you are wrong, you will be rewarded for living a good and faithful life by heaven. If you are right, you will still have lived a good and faithful life.

The actual argument is a much more complex probability matrix. However, even in his lifetime, Pascal's Wager faced a fair amount of criticism. Since then, it's been pretty much debunked, though there are still a number of Christian Apologists who fall back on it when cornered.

So at day's end, when you pop the top on a cold one or pour yourself a glass of wine, take a moment to send wishes into the nether regions of history for Blaise Pascal.
 

R0binHood

Habitué
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Nov 23, 2011
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I'm not far off his age at his death, and I've got 844 postive post ratings on TAZ. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

 

R0binHood

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Now I just need to figure out where I can trade in all my internet points for philosophical and scientific breakthroughs.
 

PoetJC

⚧ Jacquii: Kween of Hearts ⚧
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If you believe god exists, you accept and follow him. Your life of faith and servitude to god will be rewarded by going to heaven.
If you don't believe god exists, you should still follow him, because it is a safer bet. If you are wrong, you will be rewarded for living a good and faithful life by heaven. If you are right, you will still have lived a good and faithful life.
I love this philosophy and simply paraphrase it as this: There's a great distinction between being a genuinely kind, empathetic person and being an intentionally hateful, miserable human being that enjoys sharing his/her misery! CHOICES!!!!!

Only I would replace "good and faithful life" with "kindness and empathy towards other human beings"
But then the question becomes ==> Which religion among the myriad is correct? And by faith - does that include what the GOP is currently doing by enacting some of the most hateful legislation against the LGBTQ+ community because of their so-called faith?...

This could be an interesting conversation. Doubt it will last on TAZ.

But I do so admire this philosophy of treating people with kindness, living a good life and allowing your neighbor to also lead a good life!

J.
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
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I love this philosophy and simply paraphrase it as this: There's a great distinction between being a genuinely kind, empathetic person and being an intentionally hateful, miserable human being that enjoys sharing his/her misery!
Trying not to sink into a religious discussion, I simplified the argument perhaps too much. It's perhaps expressed more correctly by stating it as a logical probability, which is more in line with Pascal's field.

You have a choice: either you believe God exists or you do not believe God exists.

If you believe God exists, and God in fact does exist, then you will gain infinite happiness. However, if you believe God exists, and God in fact does not exist, then you will have no payoff.

If you do not believe God exists, and God in fact does exist, then you will gain infinite pain. However, if you believe God does not exist, and God in fact does not exist, then you will have no payoff.

Therefore, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by believing in God, and you have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not believing in God. On these grounds, one would be foolish not to believe.
The biggest issues with this argument are:
  1. Pretending to believe, just for the payout, isn't the right motive to believe. An omniscient god would know you are pretending, defeating the purpose of the pretence.
  2. The only way to guarantee the reward is to be certain you are following the correct god. Since there is no way to be sure, the risk remains greater than the reward, defeating the purpose of the pretence.
 

MarkFL

La Villa Strangiato
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If one can be punished for sound epistemology, then I would rather be punished than sacrifice my intellectual integrity. I don't think I could even make myself believe something without good reason to do so, and I certainly wouldn't want to be able to do that.
 

R0binHood

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I prefer to believe in people rather than believe in a specific God. Do right by the people you encounter on a daily basis.

My motivation comes from wanting to help, please and improve the lives of those on this planet with us so we can all benefit and live our best lives in the moment now, rather than do things on the premise someone is watching and it might pay off for me personally in some afterlife when I pop my clogs.

If there is a God, I have faith they won't hold it against me for not believing in them ;)
 
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PoetJC

⚧ Jacquii: Kween of Hearts ⚧
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The biggest issues with this argument are:
  1. Pretending to believe, just for the payout, isn't the right motive to believe. An omniscient god would know you are pretending, defeating the purpose of the pretence.
  2. The only way to guarantee the reward is to be certain you are following the correct god. Since there is no way to be sure, the risk remains greater than the reward, defeating the purpose of the pretence.
Touche. And it's a mixed bag so to say...
Which is why -- while a believer in Jehovah God -- I tend to adhere to the following edict over even faith in an all-knowing, omnipotent, higher power.

My motivation comes from wanting to help, please and improve the lives of those on this planet with us so we can all benefit and live our best lives in the moment now, rather than do things on the premise someone is watching
Exactly... When you treat people with the kindness that you want for your own self and those that you love - you inherently spread that much more joy into a world where many are only too willing to share their misery. Having a genuinely empathetic, caring demeanor is probably only one of the reasons I'm still alive. That and just pure will and stubbornness to keep trying to better my life LOL

My MO though tends to be exactly this: wanting to help & improve lives so that we can all benefit and live our best lives in the moment right now!!!
In fact - it's what the premise of my new TSSN project is all about.
So... Well said dude! :tup:

J.
 

fixer

I'm In My Prime
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Jan 28, 2010
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Sprinkles ... Sprinkles ... all i want for my birthday
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
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Apr 27, 2010
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I really hope you mean the kind you get on cupcakes and not the ... er ... "golden" kind.
 

PoetJC

⚧ Jacquii: Kween of Hearts ⚧
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I really hope you mean the kind you get on cupcakes and not the ... er ... "golden" kind.
He's "conservative"
So.... Yer betcha: There's gotta be some pee on it.
We don't make these things up out of thin air...
Ask the pontiff ... Bad joke.

J.
 
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