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Maria, I'm not sure where. I find it hard to nail down. I'm starting with the counter argument to Pascal's wager that a bet-hedging belief can't be sincere. But it seems believers who present the wager wouldn't care, at least not in others. But if a believer did care, what would make them think their own belief couldn't be insincere, by bet-hedging or something else?
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Maria, "god should be able to tell the difference" Yes, presumably God could tell the difference but that doesn't help a believer. Is there an identifiable difference? How could believers identify an insincere belief inside themselves? It wouldn't make sense to "ask God" if your belief were insincere?
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What is the difference between a "true" believer and an insincere believer? Is there always one? Could someone act like a true believer thinking they are and still be insincere in their belief, or be a true believer without acting much like one? I sometimes wonder about the difference.
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Sean, Greta: OK, I reread a bit. I can see it as an effective admission by them but might have said "It's an admission to us ...", but maybe I should have inferred that. Also, I really had not considered Pascal's Wager being used by some believers in lieu of any argument for knowing God exists. I can maybe give (few I would guess) such believers a little credit if the explicitly admit they are have ruled out arguments for God existing. I always took the wager as going along with existence arguments they would all use. Thanks for the discussion. It has clarified things a bit for me.
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Eclectic: Greta says: "It's an admission that you've got nothing." One of my points is believers don't make such an admission. That is the non-believers interpretation of the use of the wager argument itself. It seems believers really think they got something, or at least they act that way, and wouldn't ever acknowledge, much less argue, that the wager is a bad reason. They think it's a good, easy to understand, scare tactic that should at least push you through the door of a church if you won't buy any of their other "better" arguments.
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Hello. First post here. I can't see Pascal's Wager as an excuse or as an admission of having no better argument. Some believers seem to think it should work as the best argument for pulling people in, but then I wonder if they really think non-believers will jump to the cheapest form of belief. It seems they would be content to have others believe on the basis of the wager but wouldn't themselves and really wouldn't expect others to either. But then again I wonder if they really do believe out of fear.
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Feb 15, 2011