Atheist chats with theist. (Some Skype chat from this evening – experimental piece)

Blaise Pascal first explained his wager in Pennsylvania

In my search for new blogging and media techniques, tonight, while chatting to a radio friend Fat Steve and noticing that the chat had become a nice cameo piece, I got his permission as you will see to try the following:

[22:44:09] Fat Steve: Davey, I was reading a thread on Amazon and this guy on there reminded me of you

[22:44:54] David J. James: In what way?

[22:45:29] Fat Steve: like you he predicted forced vaccinations within 5 years

[22:45:58] David J. James: When you say “on Amazon” do you mean in the discussion around book reviews?

[22:46:36] Fat Steve: precisely, it was a skeptical book, but people who believe strange things love to yell at skeptics

[22:46:58] David J. James: Do they?

[22:47:02] Fat Steve: what I found interesting about it was that he listed his timeline pretty explicitly
[22:47:14] Fat Steve: and that he was writing in 2005
[22:47:37] Fat Steve: so he basically had the entire country in these forced vaccination camps by 2010
[22:48:03] Fat Steve: (and he didn’t even know Obama was going to become president)
[22:48:39] Fat Steve: I just found it funny

[22:48:39] David J. James: Well there seems to have been an abortive attempt to introduce forced vaccination last year, but the powers that be backed off it because of the power of the internet making people too aware.
[22:49:21] David J. James: Nevertheless, governments spent billions on contaminated vaccines in the middle of a recession. Maybe Jane Burgermeister is to blame for saving humanity.

[22:50:46] Fat Steve: or, the whole thing was in the imagination of paranoids

[22:51:02] David J. James: Very possibly. I’m open to either interpretation.

[22:51:21] Fat Steve: you should be more open
[22:51:30] Fat Steve: it could be something totally different

[22:51:39] David J. James: It could be.

[22:51:44] Fat Steve: that’s the problem with pascal’s wager
[22:51:49] Fat Steve: only offers two options

[22:52:14] David J. James: Well, that was whether there is a God or not.

[22:52:27] Fat Steve: no

[22:52:50] David J. James: It doesn’t cover “there was one, but he let it all get out of control, and now he’s run off and is letting us get on with it”.
[22:53:07] David J. James: That’s the old Deus absconditus idea.

[22:53:12] Fat Steve: Pascal’s wager doesn’t take into account a god who wants people not to believe in him
[22:53:17] Fat Steve: or many gods
[22:53:29] Fat Steve: or maybe god not caring about ‘belief’

[22:53:45] David J. James: All of those options fall under “there is a God”

[22:54:09] Fat Steve: but Pascal’s wager implies belief in god is necessary
[22:54:16] Fat Steve: says it in fact

[22:54:24] David J. James: The prime question is if there is one, and then the secondary question is what might that God or those Gods be like.

[22:55:06] Fat Steve: no, because he offers two otions a) god who wants you to believe or b) no god

[22:55:34] David J. James: You can put it as this
[22:55:47] David J. James: 1) The God who offers salvation by faith in Christ
[22:55:54] David J. James: and 2) all other scenarios

[22:56:06] Fat Steve: that’s the exact thing I was saying

[22:56:25] David J. James: It kinda works for me that way.

[22:56:57] Fat Steve: but Pascal says the result of 2) is a wash

[22:57:15] David J. James: Either there is a God who offers salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, or all the other scenarios are much of a muchness, in that they would be outside my control.

[22:57:22] Fat Steve: so he is saying no god is the second most likely scenario
[22:57:50] Fat Steve: I’m talking about Pascal, not you

[22:58:19] David J. James: But I can take Pascal and rework the basic idea any which way, right?

[22:58:21] Fat Steve: I mean, his view towards every other religion than his own is the same as mine
[22:58:35] Fat Steve: well, if you rework it, it’s your wager
[22:58:55] Fat Steve: I’m just saying it’s poor

[22:58:58] David J. James: I’m patenting it, in that case.

[22:59:42] Fat Steve: If you’re going to spend money on a wager, bet on Arsenal to win the Premier League
[22:59:48] Fat Steve: if it happens I might believe in God

[23:00:38] David J. James: Sometimes I’m tempted, with your permission, of course, just to take bits of our little conversations and share them on my blog. The above would have been a nice one to do it with.

[23:01:18] Fat Steve: Fine, as long as you refer to me as ‘a prominent atheist’
[23:01:27] Fat Steve: that was a joke, by the way

[23:01:33] David J. James: Not “Fat Steve”?

[23:01:54] Fat Steve: Whatever – a rose….

[23:02:09] David J. James: Let me try it then, just to see if it can be done.

Your thoughts welcome, by all mean reply also to other community members!