Lotteries, sin or foible?

Ethics, Morality, and Sin

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
2ndRateMind
Site Supporter
Posts: 1450
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:25 am
Location: Pilgrim on another way
Has thanked: 53 times
Been thanked: 49 times

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.

twobitsworth
Student
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:25 am

Post #2

Post by twobitsworth »

The lotteries are a voluntary tax, so why not have them? If you want to play, then play.

If you were to win a huge amount of money on a lottery, your view of spreading it equally among everyone else would disappear like smoke. Life is much better with wealth. The "equal wealth' position is held by those who have little and want some of other people's wealth handed to them.

User avatar
Tcg
Savant
Posts: 7157
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:01 am
Location: Third Stone
Has thanked: 1290 times
Been thanked: 1514 times

Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #3

Post by Tcg »

2ndRateMind wrote: So, I play the lottery. Am I sinning?
Sinning? That's a joke, right?
So, forum, over to you. Lotteries: good or bad? You decide.
If you are one who benefits from the collection of lottery fees, then it's great.

If you are one who wins the lottery, then it is great.

If you waste your whole paycheck buying losing tickets, it's bad unless you enjoy losing lots of money.

If you want to invest in my lottery, then it's great for me. How much money do you have?

imhereforyou
Scholar
Posts: 384
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:02 pm

Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #4

Post by imhereforyou »

[Replying to post 1 by 2ndRateMind]

Not sure it really matter what anyone else thinks - what you think should matter. But the question was asked and I don't have any issue with it personally (I play as well).
Seems silly for anyone to claim it's a sin really.

User avatar
2ndRateMind
Site Supporter
Posts: 1450
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:25 am
Location: Pilgrim on another way
Has thanked: 53 times
Been thanked: 49 times

Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #5

Post by 2ndRateMind »

Tcg wrote:
2ndRateMind wrote: So, I play the lottery. Am I sinning?
Sinning? That's a joke, right?
Not entirely. Many denominations consider any sort of gambling a sin.

And it has to be recognised that lotteries are far more attractive to the poor (who really need the money) and mathematically inept (who can't calculate how unlikely it is that they will win), than to those who are already rich and also capable with numbers.

So the macro-economic effect is to make many poor people poorer, for the dubious benefit of making one person rich.

If it is a 'voluntary tax', then it is a regressive one.

The saving grace, of course, is any money raised for charitable purposes.

Best wishes, 2RM.

User avatar
Tcg
Savant
Posts: 7157
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:01 am
Location: Third Stone
Has thanked: 1290 times
Been thanked: 1514 times

Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #6

Post by Tcg »

2ndRateMind wrote:
Tcg wrote:
2ndRateMind wrote: So, I play the lottery. Am I sinning?
Sinning? That's a joke, right?
Not entirely. Many denominations consider any sort of gambling a sin.
You'll need to find the someone else to discuss the concept of sin with. It is a meaningless term to me.

For someone like you, who claims that there is absolute morality, I have no idea why you'd care about what "many denominations" consider sin. All you need to do is reference your source of absolute morality and follow what it reports is sinful. It should be an exceedingly easy task to accomplish, if your claim is true.

User avatar
2ndRateMind
Site Supporter
Posts: 1450
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:25 am
Location: Pilgrim on another way
Has thanked: 53 times
Been thanked: 49 times

Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #7

Post by 2ndRateMind »

Tcg wrote:
For someone like you, who claims that there is absolute morality, I have no idea why you'd care about what "many denominations" consider sin. All you need to do is reference your source of absolute morality and follow what it reports is sinful. It should be an exceedingly easy task to accomplish, if your claim is true.
That's OK. That's what I'm doing. For me, the source of morality is the democratic consensus, as mediated by the best of philosophically sound ethical discovery. I do not regard any denomination position as decisive, any more than I regard any denomination (or, indeed, religion) position as irrelevant. Wisdom may strike from any direction.

Best wishes, 2RM
Last edited by 2ndRateMind on Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
2ndRateMind
Site Supporter
Posts: 1450
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:25 am
Location: Pilgrim on another way
Has thanked: 53 times
Been thanked: 49 times

Post #8

Post by 2ndRateMind »

twobitsworth wrote:
If you were to win a huge amount of money on a lottery, your view of spreading it equally among everyone else would disappear like smoke.
I doubt it.
twobitsworth wrote:Life is much better with wealth.


I am sure it is.
twobitsworth wrote: The "equal wealth' position is held by those who have little and want some of other people's wealth handed to them.
Speak for yourself, as you find yourself to be.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Bust Nak
Savant
Posts: 9459
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:03 am
Location: Planet Earth
Has thanked: 117 times
Been thanked: 182 times

Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #9

Post by Bust Nak »

2ndRateMind wrote: Am I a hypocrite?
In a sense you are spreading part of that £2.50 amongst many worth while charities.
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.
You can still do all of that without spending a penny. Just imagine...

User avatar
2ndRateMind
Site Supporter
Posts: 1450
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:25 am
Location: Pilgrim on another way
Has thanked: 53 times
Been thanked: 49 times

Re: Lotteries, sin or foible?

Post #10

Post by 2ndRateMind »

Bust Nak wrote:
You can still do all of that without spending a penny. Just imagine...
Ha Ha! That reminds me of a Jewish joke I heard, I think from the Rabbi Lionel Blue.

Every sabbath, Aaron goes to the synagogue to pray. And he prays to the Lord: 'Please God, let me win the lottery!'

After some years of this, there is suddenly a crack of thunder, and a booming voice is heard: 'Aaron, at least meet me half way. At least buy a ticket!'

And now I am away for Christmas, and wishing you all a merry and happy time, and good fortune in the new year.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Post Reply