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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: Which statement best describes you?
I wear helmet, am Protestant 20 12.20%
I wear helmet, am Catholic 14 8.54%
I wear helmet, am Jewish 1 0.61%
I wear helmet, have Eastern religion/philosophy 5 3.05%
I wear helmet, am non-believer 83 50.61%
I don't wear helmet, am Protestant 5 3.05%
I don't wear helmet, am Catholic 2 1.22%
I don't wear helmet, am Jewish 2 1.22%
I don't wear helmet, have Eastern religion/philosophy 2 1.22%
I don't wear helmet, am non-believer 30 18.29%
Voters: 164. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-17-09, 12:14 PM   #1
tallard
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Is believing in helmets akin to believing in god

A point of curiosity has been raised by a couple of posts regarding the nature of skepticism (by user Trombone) and helmet life saving notions being compared to the value of believing in prayer and god imparting a chance of "saving" lives, such as described by the concept of Pascal's Wager http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager, which states that if you "believe" or "wear", behaving so has everything to gain, and nothing to lose, then why not do it?


Please forgive any odd choice of options, but the poll tool only allows 10 choices so I realize some people may feel excluded, please post all comments.

Last edited by tallard; 08-17-09 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 08-17-09, 12:30 PM   #2
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My argument w/r/t helmets is this. Sure, they offer limited protection, but I find claims that they make things worse not credible for the most part. So because I can get a helmet cheap (~$15) that fits well, and it probably gets me *some* protection, I choose to use it.
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Old 08-17-09, 01:49 PM   #3
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I suppose this is like the Catholics in Mexico that also practice devil worship, playing both sides.

I wear a helmet because it improves my odds in many collisions and falls, no faith required. I grant that if I die because someone ruptures my spleen with their hood ornament, my helmet is not going to save me. OTOH, I broke a helmet in two when I slammed my head into a truck running light, and I'm pretty sure I would have sustained a severe injury had I not been wearing that helmet. I also got 28 stitches on the back of my head due to my chain slipping when I was sprinting without a helmet. Almost any helmet would have kept me from sustaining that injury, even a leather hairnet. If I had to pay cash for the treatment I received due to that injury, it would have bankrupted me at the time.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:14 PM   #4
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interesting concept! I guess I apply Pascal's Wager in this way: I believe that due to my route, riding style, traffic, local laws and environmental factors, I have very little risk of any accident, therefore I behave as though I'm not in enough danger to need a helmet.... so I don't wear one. I think that works?
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Old 08-17-09, 02:18 PM   #5
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when faced with a bonk on the noggin, for protection, would you choose:

a) a stiff bout of prayer
b) some reassurance about how, statistically-speaking, you really shouldn't be hurt or, at the very least, not in that way
c) a helmet.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:19 PM   #6
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There's no doubt there are helmet proponents that preach with the zeal of religion.

Faith (aka - extremely poor evidence) is often cited as the reason for their belief

Last edited by closetbiker; 08-17-09 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:33 PM   #7
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I don't use a helmet out of belief. I use one because I was persuaded by evidence.

If you don't use one because the evidence hasn't persuaded you to do so, that's cool.

Kevin
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Old 08-17-09, 02:55 PM   #8
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I bought, and started wearing, a Bell Biker helmet in 1983 because it was obvious that wearing a helmet would save my life in an accident. I've been wearing helmets of increasingly modern vintage since then. Along the way I've come to question just how effective they are. I still wear a helmet because there is some usefulness, and I feel somewhat naked without it. Except when I was vacationing in the Netherlands where I did not wear a helmet. I don't think that anyone choosing to not wear a helmet is being stupid or reckless.

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Old 08-17-09, 03:30 PM   #9
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I see bike helmets every day, but I still have to see god. So I believe in helmets. I believe in god because there is as much evidence for god as there is evidence for no god. If there is no god, I will be in no worse situation when I die if I had believed, but if there is a god, I will be in trouble if I hadnt believed.
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Old 08-17-09, 03:37 PM   #10
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiki
Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.[1][2] ...As with "trust", faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes, and is used conversely for a belief "not resting on logical proof or material evidence."

Faith is often used in a religious context, as in theology, where it almost universally refers to a trusting belief in a transcendent reality, or else in a Supreme Being and/or said being's role in the order of transcendent, spiritual things.

Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true.[5] It is the belief and the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, based on his or her authority and truthfulness.[6]

soooo, because someone says it's true, it is?
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Old 08-17-09, 04:00 PM   #11
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soooo, because someone says it's true, it is?
Sounds as if you're describing all the self-righteous nuts here on A&S.

-Kurt
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Old 08-17-09, 04:53 PM   #12
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well, some nuts...
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Old 08-17-09, 05:35 PM   #13
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I wear a helmet, though I'm realistic about the level of protection it offers. I think there is no god, or need for one. Besides, religon cuts into the spare time available for cycling.

I once answered the front door, not realising the Jehova's Witnesses were paying their routine call When they asked if I was religeous, I responded that I was a practising cyclist
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Old 08-17-09, 06:18 PM   #14
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Those JWs annoy the hell out of me.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:23 PM   #15
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I wear a helmet because i'm bald and don't want scars if I hit my head on something.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:25 PM   #16
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I wear a helmet because my mommy told me to in 2nd grade.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:40 PM   #17
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I find that hair is a poor protecter of the head from injury. Helmets may not be the best, but something to dissapate the energy is more useful than nothing.
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Old 08-17-09, 07:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
...I once answered the front door, not realising the Jehova's Witnesses were paying their routine call When they asked if I was religeous, I responded that I was a practising cyclist
Did they then strap on a lid and ride away?


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Old 08-17-09, 08:17 PM   #19
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Did they then strap on a lid and ride away?

That is the Mormons. The JW's show up with a child as an attempt to curb the worst verbal abuse.

Years ago (1950s) one JW showed up at the door and immediately started spouting scripture to my father, an agnostic. He had also positioned his foot so dad could not close the door. After a short interval dad opened the door a little wider, quoted back "Even the devil can quote scripture" and slammed the door forcefully enough so that if the JW had not gotten his foot out of the way rapidly he would have regretted it.
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Old 08-17-09, 08:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallard View Post
A point of curiosity has been raised by a couple of posts regarding the nature of skepticism (by user Trombone) and helmet life saving notions being compared to the value of believing in prayer and god imparting a chance of "saving" lives, such as described by the concept of Pascal's Wager http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager, which states that if you "believe" or "wear", behaving so has everything to gain, and nothing to lose, then why not do it?


Please forgive any odd choice of options, but the poll tool only allows 10 choices so I realize some people may feel excluded, please post all comments.
This is hilarious. Substituting one word for another word that has nothing to do with the first word and is in no way analogous to it. Did you actually read what you linked to?

I assume by your quotation marks around the word "saving," that you are referring to Pascal's Wager in a derogatory way - probably because someone who follows the Wager would not have true faith in religion and hence would likely not be "saved" by god. I don't see at all how practicing a religious faith despite lacking belief in it, and hence possibly living in hypocrisy and sin, can be compared to wearing a helmet despite doubting its ability to save you in an accident.

The moral problem with the Wager regards hypocrisy and faith despite a lack of faith - the faith that would save you is in fact feigned by you, hence destroying the value of the Wager. As far as I know, my helmet is not endowed with its powers or lack thereof because of my faith in it. You can't just take a philosophical argument like this and apply it to something as trivial as a helmet. Sorry if I sound insulting, but I just wanted to explain clearly how your comparison absolutely fails.
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Old 08-17-09, 09:54 PM   #21
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That is the Mormons. The JW's show up with a child as an attempt to curb the worst verbal abuse.
Ha ha! that's true. The poor little fellow they were dragging along on this occasion looked thoroughly miffed. But then so would I if my parents ruined every Saturday morning dragging me through the streets.
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Old 08-17-09, 10:02 PM   #22
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There's no catagory for me in the survey...

...being a Christian who doesn't protest(ant) against the Catholic Church and who doesn't wear a bicycle helmet.


Greg

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Old 08-17-09, 10:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
This is hilarious. Substituting one word for another word that has nothing to do with the first word and is in no way analogous to it. Did you actually read what you linked to?

I assume by your quotation marks around the word "saving," that you are referring to Pascal's Wager in a derogatory way - probably because someone who follows the Wager would not have true faith in religion and hence would likely not be "saved" by god. I don't see at all how practicing a religious faith despite lacking belief in it, and hence possibly living in hypocrisy and sin, can be compared to wearing a helmet despite doubting its ability to save you in an accident.

The moral problem with the Wager regards hypocrisy and faith despite a lack of faith - the faith that would save you is in fact feigned by you, hence destroying the value of the Wager. As far as I know, my helmet is not endowed with its powers or lack thereof because of my faith in it. You can't just take a philosophical argument like this and apply it to something as trivial as a helmet. Sorry if I sound insulting, but I just wanted to explain clearly how your comparison absolutely fails.
You have missed the analogy. Helmets' life saving efficacy is a matter that is not thoroughly demonstrated through reason, some cyclists wager on it as though the life-saving efficacy is truth, because so behaving has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

For honestly devotedly religious people Pascal's wager should be ridiculous, but the inquisition, among other events, has demonstrated that religious people do not require honesty when humans pledge to god. All religious people seem to want to hear is the word.

So yes we ridicule followers who behave as those of Pascal's wager, and many helmeteers use the exact same argumentation against MHL opponents (wearing a helmet won't hurt you, so why wouldn't you, on the off chance that it will save your life?)

You say the point of PsW is related to hypocrisy and faith, but if you reread Wikipedia's lead, you will understand that PsW was a philosophical turning point for probability theory, pragmatism and their function in the decision making process.

And finally, if you wish to not see the analogy, that's your prerogative.
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Old 08-18-09, 02:36 AM   #24
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Actually there is a huge ****ing difference between using a helmet and believing in a deity. It's called SCIENCE!
I'm sorry but I'm more likely to take the advice of a brain surgeon over some moron who can't actually back up their reasoning behind helmets being useless.
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Old 08-18-09, 02:49 AM   #25
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I believe 79% of the people who take this poll are nonbelievers.

I believe cyclists who don't wear full face helmets are not true believers.

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