Monday, April 09, 2007

Why Gambling is Wrong

So what if I bet my friend a coffee that I can make three trash-can baskets in a roll? The price of a coffee is not going to hurt anyone.

So what if I put a dollar down for a lottery ticket? Who's it going to hurt?

In both cases, it won't really hurt anyone. But what's the motivation?

The only way I can win is for you to lose. Therefore, my motivation (assuming I want to win) is for you to lose.

Hardly the epitome of the Golden Rule, now, is it?

He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.
-- Jesus, Luke 16:10

1 comment:

Chyntt said...

I've since had discussions on this issue with others, and they point out that the goal of a football game is to win at the expense of the other team losing. Does that make playing football wrong?

The purpose for both parties is entertainment, not to hurt the other guy. And the other guy knows the risk, and deems the entertainment and/or reward worth the risk.

Yes, the only way for me to win in some "games" is for you to lose, but that in and of itself does not violate the Golden Rule; the Golden Rule is violated when my I treat you in an unfair manner in which I would not want to be treated. To the extent that I'm willing to lose a dollar on the lottery for the value I get out of playing it, as long as I'm playing fairly, I can assume that's the extent you're playing the lottery, and my winning therefore does not hurt you.

I'm not explaining it very well, but suffice it to say, I see now that my reasoning in the main post is flawed as to why gambling is wrong.