FrGamble
FrGamble
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August 29th, 2011 at 1:20:16 PM permalink
I am somewhat surprised to hear that the wizard and many of the people in this forum have a problem with a "Higher Power" or God. The interesting article you link to is about someone who believes that our life is just random and so there is no inherent purpose or meaning. For people who seem to know about probability I would think everyone here must say that the chances of us being just a random coincidence make the odds of a fire bet, your local progressive, or even Keno look like a sure thing. I like gambling because I am trying to get an advantage over random acts by counting cards, dice control, or just making good bets with low house edges. I think this is maybe what we are all trying to do - find purpose and meaning behind the actions and circumstances of life, even the losses. God is the ultimate way to know that what I do and how I live matter and to remind us that this life is not all there is. To not understand or believe that is to condemn ourselves to a sad conception of reality that nothing really matters and I am a cosmic accident - I'd rather play Keno that think that!
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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August 29th, 2011 at 1:30:06 PM permalink
FrGamble -

I think you're proceeding on some bad assumptions.

First, those of us that are non-believers, generally, are not profesing that belief on others, and vice versa. Everyone here is free to believe what they will.

Second, we may indeed be the result of a cosmic long shot. But you have to remember, for this one success, there were millions of failures.

Third, the fact that this one cosmic long shot succeeded, does not change the chances of winning at Keno. Just like the one successful cosmic long shot, somewhere, someone will win the max prize at Keno.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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August 29th, 2011 at 1:51:45 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

God is the ultimate way to know that what I do and how I live matter and to remind us that this life is not all there is. To not understand or believe that is to condemn ourselves to a sad conception of reality that nothing really matters and I am a cosmic accident - I'd rather play Keno that think that!


That's a very concise, elegant statement -- but it's also a statement of faith. If you're honest, you admit that you have no way of testing or falsifying that belief. There's nothing wrong with faith per se, and many people find comfort in the thought that life has meaning because of X (God, higher power, the idea of a better afterlife, etc.)

But perhaps there's a more fundamental question to be asked. Why would it be a sad conception of reality if you and I were cosmic accidents?

Let me give you an analogy. For about 130 years, human science has been able to create rubies in chemical laboratories. You can go to any big-box retailer today (Target, Sears, etc.) and find lab-created ruby jewelry for very low prices. These rubies have the same chemical structure as "real" or naturally-occurring rubies. But natural rubies are among the most prized gemstones on the planet -- they only occur under very specific circumstances and are incredibly rare -- far rarer than diamonds, for example, and often more expensive.



A lab-created ruby is a common-place trinket while a naturally-occurring ruby is one of nature's wonders.

So how would you rather see yourself -- as a lab-created trinket or a naturally-occurring wonder?
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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August 29th, 2011 at 2:15:21 PM permalink
I for one am willing to give a very wide latitude to what has been created by chance. I can imagine all the rules were laid out and that the Earth and all life on it subsequently came about without further interference from a Creator. I can also accept that the nature of God is not known to mere mortals, that He is aloof [or profoundly holy], and much more, but ultimately I have to say God exists. Yes, this untestable belief.
The Dice, the cards, they not only have no sense of justice but are actually endowed with a sense of cruel irony. This devolves from the 'nature of random'. Ironically so, don't you see. 
Ericayne
Ericayne
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August 29th, 2011 at 2:15:35 PM permalink
I'm a lab-created trinket??????
Face
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August 29th, 2011 at 2:19:22 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

So how would you rather see yourself -- as a lab-created trinket or a naturally-occurring wonder?



Well put, ME.

/excercises self-control to postpone religion discussion ;)
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FrGamble
FrGamble
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August 29th, 2011 at 2:22:29 PM permalink
So how would you rather see yourself -- as a lab-created trinket or a naturally-occurring wonder?

That is a really cool question. I imagine that there is always some way to tell the lab created trinket from nature's wonder. If it isn't the chemical structure than maybe it is the unrepeatable uniqueness of the way it was formed. Wouldn't being made on purpose add to the value of a ruby if it was still eternally unique? In my humble opinion we are all wonderfully and purposefully made unique so that there is not, nor will there ever be, another human person just like us. If naturally occurring rubies are valuable because they are so rare imagine a living, breathing creation that was one of a kind and will never be found again - look in the mirror and you will see such an awesome creation whose value is far beyond rubies and diamonds.

By the way, I am very conscious that I was making a statement of faith earlier and I'm not trying to proselytize or anything - heck I'm still just trying to learn the ace-five count - but if I'm being honest we should all be honest and recognize that any statement for or against a belief in God is one of faith.
Face
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Face
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August 29th, 2011 at 3:22:46 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I imagine that there is always some way to tell the lab created trinket from nature's wonder.



If only we could do the same for people =) Would save a lot of nonsense bickering, but if you COULD definitavely find out for sure, WOULD you? Who would really want to know?
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Nareed
Nareed
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August 29th, 2011 at 3:49:00 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

but if I'm being honest we should all be honest and recognize that any statement for or against a belief in God is one of faith.



If we're being honest, that's the faithful's way of dragging everyone down to their level.

You begin with the assertion that there is a god of some sort, offer no evidence, and then say that not believeing the assertion requires faith.

As for random chance, the average man produces a huge amount of sperm every day. When he couples with a woman, the chances that any one sperm will find an ovum and fertilize it is small. The chances that a fertilized ovum will attach to the uterine wall are also small. The chances that the attached embryo will grow to term are good, but not certain.

In other words, the odds don't favor anyone's existence in particular.

It's like blindly throwing a dart at a board. The board is made up of a gigantic number of points equal in diameter to the dart's point. The odds of striking a point is near 100%. The odds of striking a particular point, though, are close to zero.

So if small odds mean something can't happen, then you don't exist. Since you do, then the premise is wrong.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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August 29th, 2011 at 3:52:06 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

That is a really cool question. I imagine that there is always some way to tell the lab created trinket from nature's wonder. If it isn't the chemical structure than maybe it is the unrepeatable uniqueness of the way it was formed.


Yeah, that's about it. Lab-created gems are almost always perfectly-formed, because if they're not, they can just get melted down and remade. Natural gems have all sorts of flaws, inclusions, and unique distinctions.

But if the analogy holds, doesn't the above imply that man is not lab-created?
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563

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