Help Me Think Please

For those, who like me, enjoyed the Logical Fallacies listing at nizkor.org, you may have noticed they’ve gone missing. No worries! I found a site that discusses logical fallacies and much more.

At hebrew4christians.com is this page on informal fallacies and many other goodies, such as Names of G_d, Blessings, Humor – go see it:)

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The Rooftop blog takes the high road and presents why gambling could be breaking the tenth commandment.

My mother plays the lottery, so I know how this “game” plays on the psyches of those who can least afford to lose. I really, really dislike the gambling scene, but now I am wondering… is there more to my repugnance than just personal dislike ?

Have any thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Help Me Think Please”

  1. You might also like to check out http://www.christianlogic.com

    As fas as the gambling thing goes, I agree that in general it produces a lot of negative side-effects which we’d be better off without.

    However, I don’t think I could feel comfortable calling gambling a sin in and of itself. Can it feed our natural covetoueness nature? Yes but arguing on a possibility seems kind of weak.

    The blog you reference also seems to say that making money(property) in a manner which asumes risk is wrong. It lists, gifts, payment, and exchange as the only valid options. Would this not rule out the stock market, 401Ks, mutual funds? All of these have an element of risk which could cause you to lose or make more money than you originally had.

    Whaddaya think?

  2. Oh goody! I love sites that help me with understanding more about logic… many of my favorites have bitten the dust.

    On gambling… I could just be saying this because I finally have some stock ( inheritance from my dad), but I don’t think it was including valid investments. You underwrite something that you believe has value and you get interest on your investment. Isn’t that what the talents parable was about?

    Like I said, I could be subjectively finding validation here. But gambling is -if not outright sin by name in the Old Testament, in bad company when you think of Purim and of casting lots for Jesus’ garments.. Maybe Purim was more related to fortunetelling casting of lots, I don’t know.

    I tend to sidle away from naming more things as sin than I am sure the Bible does…. so I see your point. But there are things on the subject of prostitutes that might be closely related… and I know the case I would make against that.

    Here’s another hard one: do we call slavery sin?

    Now, Sozo -back to you, what do you think?

    Are we just on the wrong track of trying to draw minimums instead of taking the high road of what leads to maximum good?

  3. You’re probably right investments not being included. However, from a technical standpoint, I still can’t see a real difference in “gambling” and in putting money in the stock market(for example). Some people do it for leisure, some to make money. There is an inherent amount of risk in both. People waste money on and develop addictions to both. It seems the difference is in a matter of degree. If we decided to draw a line, where would we draw it? I don’t have a good answer.

    Now. don’t let me give the picture that I’m in favor of organized gambling. I think a very good argument can be made against it because it has a tendency to bring bad things along with it. But can I say that 5 buddies that get together once a week and win or lose $20 are sinning? I just don’t feel comfortable going there, because I feel that scripture doesn’t either.

    Considering slavery…. uhhhh, ummmm, might need to think about that one. I would say that the institution of slavery we saw in our country was wrong. But what about termporary indentured servanthood in order to pay a family debt? With the possibility of going free after a certain amount of time? I’m not sure about that.

    I grew up in a legalistic tradition(chuch of Christ – which you’re familiar with) so I tend to be sensitive towards adding restrictions which really aren’t scriptural. Perhaps I am guilty of “drawing minimums”. But I pray that what I believe simply lines up with scripture. Nothing more and nothing less.

  4. “I pray that what I believe simply lines up with scripture. Nothing more and nothing less.”

    That is our goal,definitely. It just takes a bit of working it through, and none of us gets it right 100%

    In terms of risk, all entrepreneurship involves risk, everything except salaried work. The stock market is something like gambling in risks taken, but you are contributing to real growth ( jobs, products, etc). What does lottery or Las Vegas-style gambling contribute? Everything is revolved around separating someone from their money. That is the product.

    My opinion on slavery is that it goes against God’s principles, even though it was tolerated under the Law – rather like divorce.

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