Lotteries, sin or foible?

Ethics, Morality, and Sin

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Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #1

Post by 2ndRateMind »

So, I play the lottery. Am I sinning?

The thing is, I am not generally in favour of concentrating wealth into the hands of a fortunate few. I would far rather all the world's wealth were equitably distributed, so that hunger, malnutrition and starvation were gone, and all of humanity shared an equality of opportunity.

But despite my principles, just now I paid my usual £2.50 for an infinitesimal chance of winning £110 million. Am I a hypocrite?

When I look at the annual cost of playing, it is £260 per year. And when I look at my finances, I find I really cannot justify that money out of my sparse income. But, then again, I do get a lot of pleasure in considering how I would spend the cash, the futures of my much beloved relatives I would secure, the charities I would support, as well as the occasional expensive luxury I would indulge in.

So, forum, over to you. Lotteries: good or bad? You decide.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #11

Post by MsAkagi »

I do not see lotteries as any kind of a sin. Just like someone said above, lotterries are a voluntary tax, that is how I prefer to perceive it.

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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #12

Post by Purple Knight »

2ndRateMind wrote: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:10 amBut despite my principles, just now I paid my usual £2.50 for an infinitesimal chance of winning £110 million. Am I a hypocrite?
No, you're not a hypocrite, not at this stage. Because you can share the money, give it to charity, or even refund (most of) it to the people who played, if you win.

Now, you don't have a moral obligation to punish bad actors, but if you want to, you probably shouldn't be encouraging the government to be in the business of exploiting gambling addicts to make their money. I live in America and I happened to be behind an addict in the convenience store who dropped more than $200 she didn't seem to have on scratch tickets and lottery tickets.

I was upset. I'm upset at anyone who wants to exploit this woman and make it a monopoly on top of that. They're not getting a penny from me. I'm not going to pay them to do that to her.

However, it can't be a moral obligation to punish bad actors. I can actually demonstrate that if you like. It's just something I feel like doing.

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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #13

Post by Dimmesdale »

[Replying to 2ndRateMind in post #11]

Gambling is perhaps the biggest waste of time there is. That's my opinion.

Sinning? Depends what your religion is. I can tell though that gambling really doesn't serve a good purpose; it's a waste of time once again, creates greed in the mind of desperate poor people, is addictive, etc, and so it doesn't serve any positive good, and actually detracts from other, worthier purposes. In that sense it is sinful -- because it saps us of strength and takes us outside the will of God.

So actually..... I'd say yes.
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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #14

Post by Tcg »

Dimmesdale wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:03 pm In that sense it is sinful -- because it saps us of strength and takes us outside the will of God.
How does gambling sap us of strength?

How do you know what the will of God is and that gambling "takes us outside" of it?


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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #15

Post by Dimmesdale »

Tcg wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:14 pm
Dimmesdale wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:03 pm In that sense it is sinful -- because it saps us of strength and takes us outside the will of God.
How does gambling sap us of strength?
We lose focus and concentrate on mundane earthly things. Whereas we could be meditating on higher topics. Actually, anything that is simply selfish and temporary is useless in the long haul -- and antithetical to true spirituality. However, things like food and air and light can be spiritualized because they are more natural and can't be avoided. Gambling can't be done so in the same way - it is less natural. More far removed from God's ordering.
Tcg wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:14 pmHow do you know what the will of God is and that gambling "takes us outside" of it?
Tcg
If you are always thinking of money and profit calculation, you won't pray or meditate as much. And it is the latter which is the main concern of true living. God wants us to live and be happy. Gambling, like any addiction, is destructive.
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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #16

Post by Tcg »

Dimmesdale wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:50 pm More far removed from God's ordering.
Now all you have to do is provide evidence that you know what God's ordering is and document how you know it is.
Tcg wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:14 pmHow do you know what the will of God is and that gambling "takes us outside" of it?
Tcg
God wants us to live and be happy.
Now all you have to do is provide evidence that you know that God wants us to live and be happy and how you know this is so.

Adding additional unsupported assertions to support earlier unsupported assertions is a logical failure as I'm sure you well know.


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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #17

Post by Dimmesdale »

Tcg wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:09 pm
Dimmesdale wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:50 pm More far removed from God's ordering.
Now all you have to do is provide evidence that you know what God's ordering is and document how you know it is.
Tcg wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:14 pmHow do you know what the will of God is and that gambling "takes us outside" of it?
Tcg
God wants us to live and be happy.
Now all you have to do is provide evidence that you know that God wants us to live and be happy and how you know this is so.

Adding additional unsupported assertions to support earlier unsupported assertions is a logical failure as I'm sure you well know.


Tcg
I'm just giving my take, whether gambling is a sin or not. I can go into further detail, but I don't see why I have to. I think its best to simply focus on the fact that its a waste of time and the benefits don't outweigh the cost (anxiety, greed, distraction, etc.)

Have a good day.
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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #18

Post by Purple Knight »

Tcg wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:14 pmHow does gambling sap us of strength?
Instead of creating anything, we spend an inordinate amount of time just transferring and re-transferring money.

Gambling is based in greed but it actually doesn't serve greed. If everyone gambles then as a whole, people have less, not more, for each unit of effort that was spent on gambling and trying to get somebody else's money rather than actually generating something of value.

You can say the same of most games, but I have to think that you can have a positive experience in even the biggest timesink, moneygrab MMO grinder that can influence your life in a positive way, whereas I can't really imagine sitting in front of a slot machine mindlessly pressing a button over and over because your brain has been tricked, can have remotely the same effect.

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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #19

Post by Tcg »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:17 am
Tcg wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:14 pmHow does gambling sap us of strength?
Instead of creating anything, we spend an inordinate amount of time just transferring and re-transferring money.

Gambling is based in greed but it actually doesn't serve greed. If everyone gambles then as a whole, people have less, not more, for each unit of effort that was spent on gambling and trying to get somebody else's money rather than actually generating something of value.

You can say the same of most games, but I have to think that you can have a positive experience in even the biggest timesink, moneygrab MMO grinder that can influence your life in a positive way, whereas I can't really imagine sitting in front of a slot machine mindlessly pressing a button over and over because your brain has been tricked, can have remotely the same effect.
One of my very few gambling experiences was in my college days. A few friends and I drove to Atlantic City shortly after gambling had been legalized there. We played the nickel slots which involved a total investment of $2. I felt quite energized even knowing that I'd certainly lose my 2 bucks. Never became addicted, never lost any energy, it was quite a bit of fun.

Edit: I should add that at that time movies were about $2. View the spectacle of an operating casino or go to a movie? I'd rather experience reality.


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Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #20

Post by Dimmesdale »

Tcg wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:33 am
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:17 am
Tcg wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:14 pmHow does gambling sap us of strength?
Instead of creating anything, we spend an inordinate amount of time just transferring and re-transferring money.

Gambling is based in greed but it actually doesn't serve greed. If everyone gambles then as a whole, people have less, not more, for each unit of effort that was spent on gambling and trying to get somebody else's money rather than actually generating something of value.

You can say the same of most games, but I have to think that you can have a positive experience in even the biggest timesink, moneygrab MMO grinder that can influence your life in a positive way, whereas I can't really imagine sitting in front of a slot machine mindlessly pressing a button over and over because your brain has been tricked, can have remotely the same effect.
One of my very few gambling experiences was in my college days. A few friends and I drove to Atlantic City shortly after gambling had been legalized there. We played the nickel slots which involved a total investment of $2. I felt quite energized even knowing that I'd certainly lose my 2 bucks. Never became addicted, never lost any energy, it was quite a bit of fun.


Tcg
Maybe you're stronger than the average sucker?

Not that you're a sucker. But, potentially, anyone of us can get sucked into suckerdom... if we're not careful. :P
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein

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