Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Lottery, Pascal's Wager, etc.


The Lottery

Wow! Again this past week I was a lucky winner in the Arizona Mega Millions lottery. My ticket matched only 1 of the drawn numbers... but it was the Mega-Ball number, so I raked in a grand total of $2.

Better than nothing. Right?

Moving on . . .

Pascal's Wager says that it is better to believe in god and be wrong, as you’ve lost nothing, than to not believe and be wrong, thereby going to hell.

I've heard some supposedly intelligent persons use that argument to justify their own official memberships in various denominations of recognized organized religion. Some of these faithful churchgoers (the ones I have known quite well for a long time) do not so much believe as pretend to believe. And when pressed, they even admit to this pretense. Now, surely an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God would be able, with no trouble at all, to recognize the difference between believing and pretending to believe.

Don't you think?

Pascal’s Wager -- Why It Doesn’t Work is the subject of a Martin S. Pribble blog entry that is probably the clearest explanation you will find anywhere.

On YouTube, Aaron Evans from Milwaukee jumps over a car speeding at him at 30 mph. and it is awesome.

Something Surprising is Plasma Engineer's always interesting blog and is the first site, on December 7, 2011, at which I viewed the video.

Two new words

First new word:

An explanation of why a perfectly good, almighty, and all-knowing God permits evil.


Second new word:

(verb tr.)
1. To make pale by preventing exposure to sunlight.
2. To make weak by stunting the growth of.
(verb intr.)
3. To become pale, weak, or stunted.

What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Stronger.

Oh yeah?

In a Vanity Fair article I read a few days ago, Christopher Hitchens presents some of his interesting and always insightful views that are well worth pondering. The piece stimulated me to consider what changes in personal beliefs and attitudes may come about when one's brain (mine) begins to weaken or to otherwise lose some powers of thought by perhaps some trauma or through some natural brain deterioration such as growing old, senile, or suffering in agonizing (wholly unnecessary) pain.

That is a frightening possibility . . . to me, anyway.


My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.
--Michel de Montaigne

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