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Forum LockedIs gambling really sin...?

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    Posted: 03-Dec-2007 at 16:46

I understand the immorality of gambling to certain degree… but I am sure it could be justified if there’s a good intension behind it. Help me out with this dilemma…

     
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Dec-2007 at 16:52
Well, I don't consider it a sin in and of itself, but I may be wrong on this.
 
I think there are two problems inherent in gambling that can make it sinful. First, sometimes there is a temptation to view "luck" as an entity, and to place faith in "Fortune". Second, there is the fact that gambling, when institutionalized, generally prays upon the poor. That said, I will do some digging, and I'm sure this conversation will prove enlightening.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Dec-2007 at 16:59
It's all how our prospective works, but saying that gambling is sin is like saying that knife is a sinful tool. Knife can be useful tool in kitchen goods, and may even save lives in some situations. However, knife is symbolized for murder and evil because it is often used as a weapon.
 
I think I recall a crisis where one Catholic school experienced heavy pressure for using gambling as a means of fundraising for the good cause.
 
I will look more into this as well, Akolouthos. I never questioned this a lot until I began to see more and more gambling incidents...


Edited by pekau - 03-Dec-2007 at 16:59
     
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Dec-2007 at 17:16
When you take a plane ride you are gambling statistically it won't be the one that crashes. When you take a type of pill you for the first time you are gambling you are not one of the minority who will suffer severe side effects.
 
Everyone gambles all the time, it's just the ones who do it with money are a little bit more stupid than the rest of us.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian J Checco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Dec-2007 at 20:11
I like to throw down some cash on the roll of the dice, or a horse race or sporting event every once in a while... I don't see anything wrong with it.

By the way, Paul, wasn't that a postulate by William James? How we have to take a "leap of faith (i.e. a gamble, seeing as how faith cannot be empirical)" whenever we do anything, no matter how much risk-prevention/management one seeks to do beforehand?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Dec-2007 at 06:11
Well as I've worked many a church festival, I can certainly say that gambling is not inherently sinful. In fact many people would go, talking about how they were "donating" twenty bucks to the church. Gambling can be fun at times as long as it doesn't become an addiction.

As to the official position of the Catholic church on the matter:

Quote

In its moral aspect, although gambling usually has a bad meaning, yet we may apply to it what was said about betting. On certain conditions, and apart from excess or scandal, it is not sinful to stake money on the issue of a game of chance any more than it is sinful to insure one's property against risk, or deal in futures on the produce market. As I may make a free gift of my own property to another if I choose, so I may agree with another to hand over to him a sum of money if the issue of a game of cards is other than I expect, while he agrees to do the same in my favour in the contrary event.

Theologians commonly require four conditions so that gaming may not be illicit.

  • What is staked must belong to the gambler and must be at his free disposal. It is wrong, therefore, for the lawyer to stake the money of his client, or for anyone togamble with what is necessary for the maintenance of his wife and children.
  • The gambler must act freely, without unjust compulsion.
  • There must be no fraud in the transaction, although the usual ruses of the game may be allowed. It is unlawful, accordingly, to mark the cards, but it is permissible to conceal carefully from an opponent the number of trump cards one holds.
  • Finally, there must be some sort of equality between the parties to make the contract equitable; it would be unfair for a combination of two expert whist players to take the money of a couple of mere novices at the game.
Read more here.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian J Checco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Dec-2007 at 07:32
nice... so the church condones gambling on poker or blackjack? and all these years I thought I was living in sin...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Dec-2007 at 07:51
Not as long as you do it properly, Checco. Wink
 
-Akolouthos


Edited by Akolouthos - 04-Dec-2007 at 07:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Dec-2007 at 07:58
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and all these years I thought I was living in sin...


Well......you have just not due to gambling.

J/k.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Dec-2007 at 08:05
If I'm not mistaken, gambling is considered a wrong in Islam (I'm not sure if in Islam "sin" is the right word for it). Simply because it enriches the few at the cost of misery and loss of wealth for the many.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Dec-2007 at 11:06
Gambling, for me is not a sin, unless you profit from it, but only in the betting sense of the word. Gambling in life choices, as Paul pointed out, for me is part of the necessary construct of life, and cannot be deemed sinful.
 
edit; spelling! Wasn't going to gamble on my intelligence being questioned Big%20smile


Edited by Dolphin - 04-Dec-2007 at 11:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 01:39

Casino Royal totally changed my prospective of gambling...Wink

     
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 02:16
Well, yes, technically it is a sin.

One issue is that the money that you will most likely lose can be put to better purposes. The short version on this is that why would you gamble money when there are people in need? Why wouldn't you use the money to save some from dying of hunger, or even to feed a homeless person.

The second issue comes with gambling addiction. The gambler is putting in peril their families' money so that they can have thrills.

The third issue has to do with the honesty of making money without any work. Do you really deserve to win money if you did nothing to earn it?

I would say that the one that is probably the most sinful is having a gambling addiction.

That said, gambling does provide some hope and limited happiness associated with hope to the people who do it. And if it is done in moderation, as most things in life, I see it as a legitimate form of entertainment.

And the reality is that many people like gambling, and they will gamble, whether it is legal or not. So I rather have it legal so that some of the money can go to pro-social work, such as gambling addiction rehabilitation, than it to go directly to the criminal world.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 03:45

Hugo, you can't say gambling is sinful because of gambling addiction..!

Is drinking sinful because of alcoholism? Or sex? Or etc etc ya get me..

 

This thread will have to face the inevitable question if it is to progress...What actually is sin? Because in my view of it, not one of Hugo's reasons constitute a sin at all..Why gamble when there are children in need?? Why buy a television, or carpet your floor, or drive a car, or etc etc ya get me. What about making money through no work..Whoever said that money must be made from work? It is merely a by-product under capitalism. And, from a different angle, you could argue that you actually did work for it, you placed some of your capital on the line for it, thus constituting  level of personal potential loss and individual endeavour. What about this...Are charities and religious organisations sinful under the same classification for accepting private donations? They didn't work for the money they received, so are they sinning?

Too many ways of looking at this without an accurate definition of sin, and for that matter, gambling itself..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 14:01
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

If I'm not mistaken, gambling is considered a wrong in Islam (I'm not sure if in Islam "sin" is the right word for it). Simply because it enriches the few at the cost of misery and loss of wealth for the many.


As far as I remember reading, qur'an states that gambling and intoxication are not good, but some benefit may arise from them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 14:05
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

If I'm not mistaken, gambling is considered a wrong in Islam (I'm not sure if in Islam "sin" is the right word for it). Simply because it enriches the few at the cost of misery and loss of wealth for the many.


As far as I remember reading, qur'an states that gambling and intoxication are not good, but some benefit may arise from them.


Yes that is correct from what I remember. I think I recall reading that the Koran mentions the two together, though anyone with greater knowledge on the matter should certainly feel free to clarify.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 15:23
Hi, Dolphin,

Why it is a sin.
My operating definition of sin is an ethical failure that hurt others. I believe that most will also include under sin ethical failures that hurt yourself. Others can tackle this angle since I am not too concerned with it. I rather focus on that that hurts others because third parties are involved. And whenever someone hurts others one is hurting oneself.

Gambling is a sin of omission, if you allow me to use Christian terminology, if you failed to help others by instead losing it in exchange for a thrill. As a puzzle case, wouldn’t you happily give up the thrill of gambling if the 5 dollar bet could save the life of a starving child? Your decision to get the thrill instead is hurting the starving child.

The issue of getting something for nothing has been considered a sin for the longest time. It happens that we have been fed so much pro-greed propaganda that we can’t see the injustice in the act. Here is the summary: someone must have created real wealth represented with money. That wealth was created by using natural resources and labor. The person who makes money through a gamble is not producing anything. It is, therefore, being disproportionably for his efforts. Since the wealth must come from someone labors, the person who is getting the disproportionate return is indirectly abusing the workers who actually worked to create the wealth. This is also an argument used against lenders and investors, by the way.

Now let me explore some other arguments for gambling being considered sinful, which I find that they are weaker the others ones.

One says that engaging in gambling can lead to an addition which can destroy your family. So it is better not to ever be tempted by it by prohibiting it. I believe that many Baptists in the U.S. subscribe to this belief. Many Catholics in strongly religious and puritanical parts of Mexico do as well. It is weak because it assumes the worst case scenario.

Another one says that gambling is tempting God. The idea is that you are teasing God to make the outcome work on your favor. This is a fully religious argument that others may decide to explain it more.

Why it isn’t in most cases.

The above comes from a strict analysis. But is it really that bad in real life? No, I don’t think so. Most people gamble very little money compared with the rest of their wealth. And they do it as entertainment. They could have used that money to go to the movies instead. All kind of entertainment would have to be off limits, and humans need entertainment. It is a necessary psychological rest.

Earning something for nothing can be used against investment and lending if it is done without any control, but it doesn’t apply that well with gambling. Most gambling happens in places where people will most likely lose their money. What is being sold is not the opportunity to win big since the systems are rigged against people winning. What is being sold is the thrill of winning.

Like most of these things, the problems occur with proportions. The only sinful state is if you are a gambling addict because then you are harming your family in exchange of thrills. And I would say that the sin is not as much as the actual act of gambling, but not doing enough to take care of the addiction.

As I said before, most people enjoy gambling, and most people are not addicts, so it is not a big deal.

Religious people should decide how strictly or pragmatic they want to lead their lives when it comes to this issue, being careful to understand that our own decision to do something doesn’t translate in the whole world having to live up to our rules :

Maybe I will start a thread on sin and fallibility later, Dolphin. The puzzle case of the addict is interesting, and it will be fun to further explore it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 15:40
When we talk about stuff like sin we need to remember where the word originated from and its religious connotation.
 
Within the relm of a religion like Islam, for instance, the Qu'ran has two passages relating to gambling being a sin. In one verse, both gambling and intoxicants have both harm and benefits yet the harm outwieghs the benefits. In another passage, the words 'to Cover' is translated from 'Hmar'. What is meant by this is that intoxicants cover the mind. Though there are provisions that allow alchohol, there exists the prohibition of its intake but not its usage (depending on the value of its usage). The same verse not only describes intoxicants as being abominations but gambling (games of chance) and alters of idols. For instance even though moslems focus prayers in one direction towards the Kaba, which was built as a temple to worship God, moslems do not worship it. Same goes for the black stone, Muhammad's grave or holy shrines. Moslems should not pray to those objects in their heart for they would then become idols. Prayer only goes to God.
 
Regarding gambling or games of luck, they not only cloud the mind but bring harm to those who actively pursue benefit from such activities. This could fall in the realm of magic also. Such behaviors are not actions of monotheists. All power still revolves around God's grace and mercy. Hence the focus of wishes and prayers.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ahmed The Fighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Dec-2007 at 18:34
I consider it as a sin for the following reasons:
1. Gambling is addictive and many people stake their hard-earned wages in forms of gambling and lose their wealth and even homes, while their families go hungry. This leads to many social ills, including the break up of families, and all religions or the liberal or any kind of reformation movemet are about building families and providing for them, not neglecting them and destroying them.

2. In all forms of gambling, including the National Lottery, only a very small proportion of people wins. The majority is losers. In effect gambling takes money from the vast majority of people

3. Intense jealousy begins as losers look enviously at the winners. This causes hatred among people.

4. Gamblers spend much time and effort in dreaming " what I would do if I won a million", longing and wishing that time and effort could be better spent in looking after their families or do something good for his community.

5. Civilized societies wants you to rely on yourself and earn your income with your feet firmly planed on the ground, and not rely on dreams!

finally if we disagree about it is sin or not, we must admit it is  a destructive factor inside communities and families.

so Dolphin if it is not a sin(you might be true) that is not mean it is good or I should practice it.
there are no limits, you can't know how far you can go in gambling then you will see yourself lost almost the cases.


Edited by Ahmed The Fighter - 05-Dec-2007 at 18:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote longshanks31 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Dec-2007 at 18:48
nope, everythings okay, if you dont pay in this life you wont pay atall.
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