Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

Pascal's Wager: 2 Peter 2:20-22, Hebrews 6:4-6 and Mark 16:16

I've added a chunk to "Pascal's Wager is Safer in Reverse: Picking a Religion is Dangerous Business" by Vexen Crabtree (2010) where I examine four versus from the Christian Bible:

2.3. Believing the Wrong Things

Even once a particular religion is chosen, there are frequently so many divisions and contradictory factions that the path to the "right" set of beliefs is a long way from being settled. The majority of these groups have battled murderously with one another in history. It seems like it's a very long and twisted path to stumble across the right set of beliefs: a dangerous path. Although in the Christian Bible the following verse says it is better to believe, further versus reveal that the truth is a little more complicated:
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. -- Jesus' words according to the author of Mark 16:16
So it seems at first, God will punish those who are not lucky enough to be convinced by Christian claims that you have to be baptized. However many people are at first convinced of their new, Christian, religion, only later to realize that some of it doesn't make sense, or, to come to believe some things wrongly within Christianity. So, take note of this verse:
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. -- Hebrews 6:4-6
What is this saying? If you start out believing the right things and take part in the Christian religion correctly, but then 'fall away', then it is impossible to be brought back into the fold. In other words, once you start believing, you have to avoid heresy and wrong-belief, otherwise you pay for it eternally. Serious stuff indeed. When I read passages like that, I wonder if Christianity is safe at all because how would any convert know if they believed the wrong things, given our reliance on shaky historical translations of the Bible? If you doubt the conclusion that it is better to avoid Christianity altogether than to commit to it, then, read one final verse:
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. -- 2 Peter 2:20-22
It is safer to be ignorant, innocent and doubtful. It is better to admit that you have no idea which concept of God is the right one, and which sets of beliefs are the safest. I personally suspect that as so much 'bad fruit' has come of human religions, that no religion has got the correct set of beliefs. Agnosticism and atheism are safer paths to tread than the dangerous road of theism. If you adhere to the wrong religion or have the wrong beliefs, classical religions have punishments in store just for you. Pascal's Wager turns out to be the wrong way round: For your own good, you better not believe in God because the chances are, you'll believe in the wrong way!

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Yup. That's about the strength of it. If godot is that intolerant of good works, as you're wearing the wrong colour jumper, would you want the bastards approval?

I hate pettiness. This inter-clan bickering only causes trouble. So many people see faith as fashion anyway. They're not taking it even remotely seriously.

My essays on modern paganism. If you're bored and that.

It's hosted on the server in my loft, so the connection drops daily at midnight for 1 minute :)

Edited at 2010-07-11 06:27 pm (UTC)

There's something queasily disingenuous about Pascal's wager. All else aside, if whichever Divine power can see into people's hearts, isn't He/She/It going to be unimpressed at being embraced on the balance of probability?

Given that, if there was an omniscient creator-god, it created everyone's personality in the first place, all that really happens is that each person makes the choices that their god-given personality inclines them to take. So whole idea of god's judgement based on our choices or personalities contradicts the idea of an omnipotent creator-god. IMNSHO!

This just convinces me even more that the Bible was not divinely inspired. You are right, what if I spend my whole life devoted to Christianity and say the Hindus had the answer all along. This would leave me in a very bad way. It seems to me that a loving god would make his plan of salvation a little more clear.

A silly thought struck me. I think this shows that god is a woman. If you need to ask what's wrong then you're wrong, but if you don't know what's wrong you're wrong. And if she says nothing's wrong, and something is wrong, you're wrong. We need Joseph Heller on this.

The More You Know, the More You Are ACCOUNTABLE...

(Anonymous)
to God. First of all, YOU, YES, YOU, VEXEN CRABTREE cannot interpret scripture from the Bible becasue you are NOT born again. Jesus states that Him and His Word are foolishness to those who are not born-again and do not believe in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So, do us all a favor and STOP interpreting scriputre for us. You do a horrid job of it. However, keep this in mind, the more you "injest" God's Word and REJECT it, the worse off you will be too. All the scriptures mean that you were doing a horrible job of interpreting, is that those of us who are born-again and then give into the "temptations" of this world (our sinful nature), which we still have after being born-again, grieve the Holy Spirt which indwells us and grieves our Lord, we will be disciplined on this earth for our disobedience; however, WE WILL NEVER LOOSE OUR SALVATION. The Lord our God will never let us "rest" while we are giving into sinful desires and He always beckons us back to repentance. However, since we are not His "robots," we have the "free will" to continue on in our disobedience. And our Father, Father God, like ANY GOOD FATHER, disciplines His children whom He LOVES. That's all these scriptures mean. You are not indwelled by the Holy Spirit and CANNOT discern "spiritual things." So, knock it off and do us all a favor. Ask a born-again Pastor to interpret for you next time if you are going to go down that road.

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