Matrix: Reloaded Explained
The essay
Selected reader comments

Matrix: Revolutions Explained
The essay
Selected reader comments

Archive for July 2009

Dismembering Blaise, #2

31 Jul, 2009 | Brian |

I continue from where I left off last time. In this episode, I turn my withering gaze upon Part Deux of Pascal's Wager, which is that belief in God is a forced decision. According to Pascal, I must decide which side of his false compromise I will throw in with. Well, that doesn't feel very exciting: betting which 0% probability will come true. My math skills may be insufficient for the task, but I somehow expect to come out the loser every time when faced with those odds.

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Dismembering Blaise

29 Jul, 2009 | Brian |

I know there has been a lot said in the world about Blaise Pascal and his Great Hedge against a bad roll of the cosmic dice. It is highly likely that I cannot add anything new, and probable that I cannot add anything worthwhile. (Was that funny?) Anyway, I have not seen a criticism of Mr. P's wager formulated according to my style of cogitation, and although that owes principally to my ignorance, I will nevertheless pretend otherwise and burden society with my thoughts on the subject.

The wager has three basic parts. (1) There is no evidence for or against the existence of God. (2) Belief in God is a forced decision. When you die, it's too late to change your mind; the consequences will be upon you. (3) Because we cannot discern which is the right choice, and the choice must be made, it is rational to choose whichever has the best risk/reward profile.

Now, let the massacre begin.

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In Defense of Danbury

20 Jul, 2009 | Brian |

I would like to take to task the following concept:
What began in the early days of our country as the freedom of religion has today become freedom from religion, which clearly has nothing to do with the meaning of religious freedom that was laid down in the constitution.
The implication that there is a Constitutional forbiddance of atheism is not clear by any means. The Establishment Clause to the First Amendment says only that Congress is prohibited from making laws that establish a state religion, and the Free Exercise Clause says only that Congress cannot tell me how to practice my religion. Nowhere are the words "freedom of religion" found in this document.

But even if it did say those words, the idea that it is a legal obligation to believe is hard to digest. The First Amendment also provides for freedom of speech. Does this prohibit me from remaining silent?