A. Preliminary Questions
1. From the behaviors in the Gallup poll, I chose gambling. However, this behavior of gambling is limited only to the monetary and profit-based form of gambling, thus it does not cover “gambling your life” or “taking a gamble (referring to risk taking)” and other forms of gambling. In my personal opinion, I would say that this behavior is RIGHT.
Gambling is a game of probabilities. The player understands that there is a chance of winning and also a clear chance of losing. Gambling is much like taking risks, it is a risk; not everything will end up in your favor. There are no promised get-rich-quick schemes nor are lies told to the player. No, the player lies to himself, the greatest lie is that “I’ll will the next one”. It’s the person’s fault that he’s become a degenerate gambler, therefore, this specific behavior is rooted in personal mindset and not by gambling per say.
This is based on the very definition of gambling, that being “an act of gambling; an enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success” (New Oxford American Dictionary) and with reasoning.
As previously stated, most things in life are a gamble; everything is rooted in probability. Now as living beings, we can choose not to subject ourselves into these situations knowing that along with the possibility of a positive outcome, there might also be a negative outcome; much like choosing whether or not to participate in a game of blackjack or slots.
2. Acts are considered sinful if it meets the following criterions: causes serious harm, has adequate freedom, and has adequate knowledge. When a person is gambling just a small amount of money, then no, the act is not considered sinful; after all, there is not serious harm. However, the state in which serious harm is caused is debated since factors such as the personal financial state, family’s financial state, socio-economical factors, emotions etc. all have to be considered. At the same time, should a person (likely a child) be coerced into making a bet without full knowledge of the nature of gambling, then it is not bad or sinful.
3. With my answers as basis, I would identify myself as a Moral Rationalist. Rather than deciding the right or wrong of a behavior, I choose to examine the different evidences presented and attempt to form a conclusion of the situation itself staring from there. But I am not a follower of Rationalism (the exclusive use of scientific reason and and the insistence of certainty), no, I choose to follow Rationality (the use of reason).
Gambling is acceptable when the person fully understands the nature of gambling. However, it is not when the player is intentionally tricked/cheated and/or is addicted to gambling. But this conclusion can only be reached when all the necessary factors are considered.
B. “What if…?”
Dude, I heard that you just gambled for the first time. Did you win? Oh, kinda sucks that you lost, shouldn’t have bet on the Lakers when you knew that the Bucks were going to win. But back to the point, I don’t think that you should gamble anymore. Sure you might think that when you reason out gambling, it is good thing. After all, it presents you with the opportunity to gain money if you risk a certain amount in the beginning. But you can’t only utilize rationalism. There are so many other things to consider; things such as emotion. How do you feel about gambling? How do those around you feel about gambling?
When you gamble, you need to understand the truth, “There are some that win and some that lose”. You need to keep this in your mind at all times. There is no surefire way of winning when you gamble, otherwise, it wouldn’t be gambling! Still, your best shot is to stay away from it. You’ll be better off with you nine to five job versus that slim chance of ultimate victory in Vegas, followed by losing everything in consecutive ill considered bets that will eventually throw your ass onto the streets.
As a friend, just don’t gamble. Okay?