Reflections on the Round Table on Gambling

| 02/08/2010

I was privileged to be among the small audience that supported the round table discussion on gambling, sponsored by Generation Now, which was held last evening (July 29th) at UCCI. Aside from the awful acoustics, which made it difficult for both panellists and audience to clearly hear what was being said, it was an evening well-spent. It was one of those occasions that offered more light than heat, for a change.

All panellists appeared to have done their homework, at least sufficiently to support their positions, but I was especially impressed with the arguments of Dr. Frank McField (whose position I do not support) and Mr. Billy Adam. They gave the evening the spark that was needed to hold our focus.

Dr. Frank, in reflecting on the question as to whether Christians are right in opposing gambling on moral grounds, rightly stated that moralconvictions change. Consider slavery, for example (my example, not his). It thrived for hundreds of years because the church and society in general saw nothing morally wrong with it. Yet it was because the church and society changed their moral stance on slavery that it was eventually abolished.

Dr. Frank suggested that what we need is more empirical evidence as to the costs vs. the benefits of gaming in order to make an informed decision. Morality alone was not sufficient grounds to prohibit the legalization of gambling, was his point. But, if I may be permitted to use the example of slavery again, I would remind Dr. Frank (and being the astute man that he is, I’m sure he would see my point) that the abolition of the slave trade by the British parliament was due to the relentless advocacy of William Wilberforce, who used empirical evidence to show that slavery was morally reprehensible. In other words, empirical evidence is not self-serving; it is the ammunition that wins the war, or to use another analogy, theevidence that proves the guilt or innocence of the accused.

Touching also on the worth of empirical evidence, Rev. Nicholas Sykes, responding to the question as to whether a decision could be made on the basis of comparing economic benefits to social costs associated with gambling, rightly stated that the question itself was based on a faulty premise, that one could compare economic benefits to social costs; it would be like comparing apples and oranges, he noted.

As none of the panellists denied that there are ethical or moral issues associated with gambling, I was left wondering exactly what quality or quantity of evidence gambling advocates would need to quell all arguments in their minds. A chance meeting today with another member of last night’s audience shed some light on that for me. It seems that the real answer is money, lots of money. So, in the end, it is all an exercise in situational ethics: gambling may be morally suspect, but if it can inject sufficient money into the Cayman economy, then the ends justify the means—presumably if there is an astounding amount of money then the moral issue totally evaporates.

As I stated, it was a most helpful experience. I am left, however, with the clear conviction that every single panellist was conscious that the subject of gambling has implications beyond economics, that there are considerations in the moral or ethical domains that must be contended with as well. And that being the case, do we want to be the generation that legalizes what is at least morally questionable, only to have it abolished by future generations after it has wreaked havoc on our society?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (138)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Marek says:

    What is the draw to having a casino in Cayman???

    In days of old to gamble you had to go to Las Vegas, then they added Atlantic City… since then something like fifteen states have full blown casino operations.

    South Florida, has no less than a dozen casino’s with poker, black jack and slots.

    Nassau has two huge casino’s…

    Why… would somebody want to come to Cayman to gamble?

     

  2. Marek says:

    Gambling in Cayman is just plain silly!!!

    The company that did the survey estimated the Government would net $1.2 million a year… read that number again… $1.2 million per year. That’s $`100,000 a month, $25,000 a week.

    Compared to our overall economy this is literally … pocket change and not worth the effort.

    The argument is just math, we simply DO NOT HAVE enough population to justify having a local lottery.

    As for land based casino’s… we can’t have a 2,000 hospital (and) a casino.

    We can have one, or the other… but not both.

    The hospital is already approved, has the UK blessing, financial backing and would be considerably better for Cayman than any casino operation.

    Gaming is a dead issue… stop talking about it and move on.

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    The world would be such a better place without the Bible, Quran..and all the other "delusional books". Imagine if each Sunday (globally) was spent on science discussions, and collaborating new discoveries/breakthroughs in all areas of science, and technology. At the minimum you would have “brains” trained from an early age to be more objective, and therefore likely to be more tolerant of others, as an educated society would most likely befall a more peaceful society.

    These infectious religious ideologies are more dangerous to mankind than any viruses, or other microbesevolution has ever unleashed.

    Replace the Pastors with Science Lecturers.

    “Yes! I went there”

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      It will soon be overrun by idiots, just like the internet.

    • Henry says:

      A much more loving society would be the result.  Have you notice prior to Science advancing and helping humanity, the religious faiths would oppose their findings. Look at Christopher Columbus who said the world was round and the Church said it was flat. God is a God of reality, and beliefs are mental viruses that only causing division in the world. Look at the Taliban and their rediculous beliefs!  Beliefs is just a mental idol when taken for real! 

      But God is a God of Science and all things of the natural order. If many church members ever realize this, all the ministers would be out of work – they won’t be taking the people’s monies.

      Peace

    • Anonymous says:

      Your obvious hatred for religious people is a serious threat to the civil liberties of mankind. You would like to create a ‘master race’ who think only about science and technology, despise religion and persecute those that practice it on the basis that you deem them to be a threat to mankind. Eliminate the undesirables. Control the thoughts of everyone to conform to a system which only values science and intellectual achievement. You could even set out your vision and philosophy in a book and call it ‘Mein Kampf’.  

      Of course Christians know that the Great Tribulation is coming and dangerous lunatics like yourself will be at the forefront preaching persecution in the name of peace.  

      • cleo says:

        Ummm…

        Who said anything about creating a "master race"???  lol… please try to read what your critic is saying before you respond!  Non-intelligent remarks just weakens your defense.

        • Anonymous says:

          My post explained the comment ‘master race’.

          Try to read what your critic is saying before you respond. Non-intelligent remarks just weaken your defence. 

      • Anonymous says:

        the one who is a lunatic is you : )

        Show me a time in history the scientist and technologist gathered together to persecute Christians. Don’t be ignorant!  Instead, I can show you a godzillian of instances where Christian groups gathered together to persecute scientists and average people!

        • Anonymous says:

          I am not talking about scientists and technologists. My comments were directed at the posterand his sentiments, and were entirely correct.  

      • Anonymous says:

         Hatred, Lunatic, Master Race…hmm…now that I am aware that such words can be used to describe my ideology, and personality traits, Perhaps, I should try to seek out Dr. Kevorkian. Better yet, I could post my name here, then you and your friends could come “stone” me to my much deserved miserable end. I’m sure you would find a passage in your “good book” to justify your actions.

        But my friend (because you are my friend), as I would not turn the other way, if I ever had to afford you emergency medical assistance, (despite the fact you may seek to have my head when you have recovered) the science community on a whole is about peace, and helping others. The atrocities, suffered by mankind as a result of religious ideologies are too numerous to mention (and I am not about to start a history lesson).

        Perhaps, you didn’t notice more benefits for civilization comes out of the laboratories, rather than the Churches, Mosques…etc.

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree 100%!!!!!!! 

    • Anon says:

      May I add, replace the Politicians as well. Then we will have no problems with neglect to our environment. If one of the criterias of the legislature of a Democratic government is to have a degree in the field of Science, imagine the logical and rational laws that would be made for the benefit of mankind. I guess we would have to wait another 1000 years of foolish wars in order to learn from our mistakes. I wish I could live to see that day when there will be Peace and the world One

  4. Anonymous says:

    The issue is broader than whether there is a scripture passage. There are plenty of grounds on which to object outside of scripture, in particular the serious adverse social impact.  But even if one is approaching the issue on the basis of Christian morality the issue is not answered by merely asking whether or not there is a specific passage in scripture prohibiting gambling. There is a great deal of morally repugnant behaviour that is not mentioned in scripture.    

  5. Hallowe'en Jack says:

    I want to calltime on this thread on the grounds of Godwin’s Law. 

    Google it little bloggers.  Google it and know that Mr. H. Jack is very disappointed in your behaviour this weekend.  Very disappointed indeed.

  6. Pastor B says:

    People

    About Gambling – there is no passage of scripture mentioned in the Bible. The Bible mentions about "casting lots," which I confessed is not like the modern day gambling, but reveals God’s view of betting and resolving a situation by chance. Modern-day Gambling is done for the purpose of making a profit or recieving a profitable reward – doesn’t have to be monies. But there is not one Bible passage found to condemn the practice. The Bible establishes principles which apply to the topic.

    Now the real problem with gambling is that it is based on greed, covetousness, and worldliness and that the lifestyle of a gambler is not a lifestyle of righteousness.

    "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Timothy 6:9,10).

    But note, I am going to say this as a Minister of the Gospel to the members of my church and other Christian people:

    We need to be careful to not be legalistic when considering whether it is okay for a person to buy lottery tickets (for example). We should seek the Lord when making decisions about whether to participate in such activities and we should be careful not to judge others for their decisions in such matters. It is the SIN of Gambling – not Gambling itself that is condemn in the Bible.

    Peace and Love to All

    Pastor B

  7. Pat says:

    *****

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

    Please can someone give me a Bible verse or passage where it states that GAMBLING is wrong???

    If you can’t please do us a favor – SHUT UP!

    *****

     

    • Anonymous says:

      When a poster starts typing with block capitals, exclamation marks and demanding that others who disagree "shut up", you know they have lost the debate.

      • Khan Dhu says:

        I was always told that if you cite Hitler or Jesus in a debate you are on to a loser.

        • Anonymous says:

          That is too broad a generalization. Wikipedia says "in many cases, those who are compared to Nazis (particularly if the comparison is apt) erroneously and/or mendaciously try to invoke Godwin’s law as proof that their opponents have lost the debate/discussion regarding the topic at hand, the comparison being nullified without the comparison being substantively refuted".

          A valid point is being made that we should not judge the morality of an action by its popularity. The Nazi policy of Jewish persecution was indeed popular with the German people and could not have been carried out without their tacit approval. Indeed the church was criticised for failing to speak out against this policy. The concept of humans rights exists precisely because the majority cannot be trusted to act morally with respect to minorities.      

          On this topic in particular, people are demanding bible verses.

          • Hallowe'en Jack says:

            I called Godwin on this thread because of the nonsense Hitler postings further down the thread.  It had become inane.  I didn’t say anything about anyone "winning".  The level of argumentation on all sides was down to elementary school debate team before a decent coach got near the kids.

            The Hitler/Jesus point of Khan Dhu pre-dates Godwin (and the internet).  I was taught the same principle at one of my first high school debate coaching sessions. 

             

            • Anonymous says:

              My point is that it is a silly generalization and not a principle.

              I have already explained the point of the illustration and that is not negated by appealing to whatever silliness you were taught for your high school debates. Lol.   

              • Hallowe'en Jack says:

                What sort of person types "LOL" in response to their own post? 

                My point was that the illustrations are inane and so detached from the issue at hand as to be meaningless, which most Nazi references are.  This should be obvious to children let alone adults.  Sadly I have sat through heated discussions on legal positivism at the highest academic levels which always degenerate into references to laws passed during the Third Reich.  The Nazi reference may have validity but it lacks persuasiveness – that is the crux of my point, which seems to have missed you.

                One does not need to quote Hitler to point out the concept of the tyranny of the majority.  In fact it is better to avoid doing so if one can avoid it.

                 

                • Anonymous says:

                  This is of course an entirely different argument from saying, as you and other posters previously suggested, that if a poster mentions Hitler or Jesus then they have lost the debate. 

                  I have used the example of Nazism precisely because it is extreme, notorious and not obscure. Using an extreme example to demonstrate the fallacy of an argument is a well established rhetorical technique. The only reason not to find it persuasive is because you hold on to this ‘principle’ that one should never/rarely mention Hitler in debates.     

  8. Anonymous says:

    I suggest that you study German history in this period before you post. Hitler did not come to power as head of the military, but as the leader of the Nazi political party. Hitler was very popular with the German people.He became a dictator on the strength of his personal popularity.      He blamed the German defeat in WW I on the Jews and made them a scapegoat for many problems in Germany. He appealed totheir baser instincts and in the process these overwhelmed any sense of morality with respect ot their treatment of the Jews that the majority may have had. 

    I have therefore established the point that because something is popular does not mean that it is the right thing to do.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    Nassau and Aruba are continually touted here as the model to follow without any real investigation as to the impact the legalized gambling has had and is having there. Apparently the only thing that matters is that they make money out of legalized gambling. This is shallow thinking driven by panic. Panic seldom leads to sound decisions.  

    Dr. Myles Munro, a prominent Bahamian clergyman, is quoted as saying the following about the casino gambling industry in the Bahamas:

    "Issues of prostitution among not only men but women have encouraged the sex industry. There’s been suicide in the hotels related to the casinos, but we keep it quiet. The Government tries to play it down, but it’s in our newspapers. People have shot themselves, jumped off balconies because of the money they have lost. The hotels ask us to come in and provide us with the names of people to meet with to counsel them, we have had to set up a ministry to deal with this activity."

    I know that as soon as we say "clergy" some will dismiss these comments out of hand, but that simply amounts to prejudice.

    Did you know that the Excelsior, the Aruba casino where Van der Sloot met Natalie Holoway, is run by convicted high-ranking Chicago mobster, Michael Posner?

    Laws prohibiting or restricting locals from gamblings in the casinos in the Bahamas and Aruba simply do not work. In Aruba, the law dictates that residents are allowed to visit a casino only eight times a month.  If and when they exceed this number of visits, the Internal Department of the government will send them a letter at home with the warning that the maximum standard for casino-visits has been reached.  If this warning gets ignored, the resident is banned from casino-visits for one year. However, the Social Economic Council (SER) came to the conclusion, after they did an inquiry analysis on gambling on the island, that despite having 92 casino inspectors and 8 clerks, together 100 persons that ought to conduct the checking at the entrance of each casino, local visitors are almost never checked . Indeed, if the motive is for the govt. to maximise revenues one can expect it to turn a blind eye to violations. 

    Please, let’s inform ourselves fully on the issue.This is too important an issue to be trivialized in the manner it is by most posters who try to erect the straw man of ‘church trying to force their morality on the rest of society’ issue.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       We are still talking apples and oranges. The Bahamian and Aruban models allowlocals in Aruba and limited connected Bahamian politicians and friends access to casinos. This creates an environment for locals to mingle with tourists which creates connections for unsavory activities. Non free standing Hotel only foreign guest only casino’s IMHO will not create anymore unsavory activities in Cayman, that Cayman already has at this time. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Lachlan, re apples and oranges you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth since you, amongst others, have hailed the Bahamas and Aruba as models to follow.  

         "Submitted by Lachlan MacTavish (not verified) on Wed, 08/04/2010 – 12:58.
         …. I have been to the Caribbean casino models in The Bahamas and Aruba. Very nice visitor only casino’s staffed mainly by locals making very good money".
        But of course we are not talking apples and oranges at all. The fact is that a casino is on the ground here it will not be a simple matter to police to ensure that residents do not play and there will be little political will to do so if we are relying upon the casino as a major source of govt. revenue. There would be a conflict of interest and duty. How do we distinguish between Caymanians who are resident abroad and those resident here? It won’t be stamped in their passports. Do you really think casinos would go to the trouble of distiguishing between an American here as a tourist versus one on a work permit? This would simply open another door to corruption. How exactly do you propose to isolate tourists from locals? Would that even be lawful? This is beginning to sound more like Cuba.
        I have therefore made my point.  
        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

           Yes you made your point and well said. That is what an independent non political gaming authority must do. Licensed casino operators must police their patrons or face the closing of the facility and a hefty fine which is paid to the Government OR the doors don’t open. 1) Yes we will license hotels with 250 rooms or more with internal non free standing casino’s for visitors/non residents only. 2) Form a non political independent gaming authority. 3) Create regulations and policies custom tailored for The Cayman Islands. 4) Make sure there is an independent gaming monitoring service. 5) Direct the license fees and income directly to education, stay over tourism and social services.

          Hey……you think I’m this Casino advocate. I am a "new income stream, new jobs advocate" , because the elected power brokers do not want to reduce the cost of the CIG or create any new income streams. They want to increase the debt and increase duties and fees which does nothing but increase the cost of living. 

          • Anonymous says:

            "an independent non political gaming authority".

            Do you really think such a thing could co-exist with the current administration?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gambling is no different than alcohol. It can become additive if abused. We, as adults capable of making our own decisions, should be able to control ourselves. Not everyone that drinks alcohol becomes an alcoholic just as not everyone that gambles becomes addicted. For the majority of people, drinking and gambling are just a social activity.

    • Mat says:

      So apparently the ministers would rather us abolish alcohol as well!  We saw in history that it was impossible for the United State’s Congress to abolish alcohol. It was a waste of government time and monies.

  11. Lucus says:

    Ministers of Cayman, Pastor Alson Ebanks, Reverend Nicholas Sykes… I too will speak out against the evils and sins of gambling. Like Martin Luther King Jr., I will even take to the streets and protest like he did against racism in America. Or protest, "speak out," exercise my freedom of speech like the Indian, Mahatma Ghandi, who through peaceful protest managed to overthrow the colonial British Empire during the years 1918 to 1947.

    Jesus taught one mus fight sin with good. And his remedy agianst ignorance and sin is simple –

    "Go ye into all the world and preach [and teach]" the truth. Tell it like it is!

    In other words, speak out agianst the "addiction and vice of gambling" in love and humility; educate other about the pros and cons.

    But Ministers, that is as far as I will take it. Just like I would not use my freedom of speech and expression to cause harm to anyone, I will not use itto go against "democratic representation."  What is democratic representation? A form of government where governing power is derived from the people and for the people (whether good or bad). 

    It is this form of government that has protected the Church, religious body, and race of people from persecution and oppression. Everyone has a say and the laws of the land, are drafted in a way that it does not infringed on the rights of everybody else. You have the right to do whatever a free citizen does so long your right does not harm or infringe upon the rights of other citizens or people. There should therefore be no unification of church and state policies. In terms of belief and personal conviction, there should be a keen separation of those things from the government.

    Today, what scares me is that you have religious leaders, relying more on the government or law-makers of the land to MORALLY CHANGE the world to mimic their MORAL CODE – than you have leaders who rely on the "power of their message" or the "power of God" to so.

    So… to the Ministers of the Cayman Islands, I will join hands with you in speaking out what I see is a sin, not because I am intending to join your church, but because I see myself as a moral person. However, I am wary when I see certain Ministers wanting to have laws pass to enforce a moral code.

    But let’s ge this clear – I will never go against any democratic representation – never!  Because it protects me and you!  I will protest against such a religious, taliban-like endeavor!  And I hope you Pastor Alson Ebanks and Rev. Nickolas Sykes do likewise

    Peace and Love

    • Anonymous says:

      "But let’s ge this clear – I will never go against any democratic representation – never!  Because it protects me and you"

      What you are saying is that you will go along with anything if it is sufficiently popular. That is not a moral or principled position. This is precisely happened in Nazi Germany – it was popular to persecute the Jews. The Nazis only exploited that popular sentiment. Doing what is right may often mean that you are unpopular and maligned.  

      Jesus said "Blessed are you when people hate you, avoid you, insult you, and slander you because youare committed to the Son of Man!" (Luke 6:22 ISV).  I think he must have many posters on CNS in mind. Just watch the thumbs down to prove my point.  

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Hello!

        That’s because Adolph Hitler was a DICTATOR!  How could their have been any "democratic representation" of the people if he, being the head of the military, was pulling all the strings!!!  You can’t tell us that a whole nation just woke up one morning and decided to kill the Jews! That’s rediculous!

        I for one am sure that if power was taken out of the hands of Hitler, the people of Germany would not have went down the route of having a dictator who declared war on the world and exterminated millions of Jews.

        So your argument of associating "democratic representation" with Nazi Germany regime, is a joke!

        :o)

        Why don’t you try to enforce your morals on everybody some place else!!!  

        • Pauly Cicero says:

          Hitler was democratically elected.

          • Pat says:

            Ding Dong!

            Afterwards, did not that democratic representation eroded by Hitler’s dictatorship???

            • Pauly Cicero says:

              Yes, you’re right, I think.

              • Snoopy dog says:

                Ignore the thumbs-down!  Of course the commenter is right!  Too much religious nuts here would want it to be otherwise

              • Anonymous says:

                LOL. i.e. "Oh no, I just figured out that pointing this out helps the Christians’ case about morality. Better retract real quick".  

            • Anonymous says:

              Please, give it up. Don’t try to obfuscate the issue. The persecution of the Jews happened with the consent of the majority of the German people. Period.

        • KY says:

          Why don’t you try and read some history. Hitler and the Nazi party were democratically voted into Power by the German people on their playing on the fears of the people over the Jews and Communists.

          It was a couple of years later they managed to ban all other parties and form a dictatorship

          The persecution of German Jews goes back to the 1300’s when they were accused of causing the Black Death by poisoning the wells. Look up the Hep Hep riots of 1819

          Infact he is a lovely link to educate yourself over plenty of pre Nazi anti Jewish laws

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Jewish_legislation_in_prewar_Nazi_Germany

          So no the nation didn’t just wake up one day to think Lets kill Jews. It had been happening for over a thousand years before that.

          I think maybe you should have stayed back a grade or two you may have learned more

          Why don’t you try to enforce your IGNORANCE on everybody some place else!!! 

  12. Anonymous says:

    Vice is evil; however it is with us and will not go away.

    All vice has social downsides. Drugs like alcohol and nicotine are prime “legal“ examples. Alcoholics and smokers are “drug addicts“ just like heroin, cocaine and crack addicts.

    Vice creates a vice mess. Broken homes and child neglect are the tip of the iceburg.

    Making a vice illegal does not stop the consumption of vice. It only enriches criminals and does nothing to clean up the vice mess.

    Making vice legal provides tax revenue to the government which hopefully will make a percentage of the tax revenue available to mitigate the vice mess.

    However, if the government promotes vice so that it makes a big profit without putting money into vice mitigation programs, then it becomes the criminal.

    The best course of action is to legalize vice, all of it, so that vice is regulated and provides government revenue to provide counselling services to those poor mis-guided individuals that need it.

    Given the high crime rate in Cayman, get the churches out of the debate because they, to date, have clearly failed.

     

    • Anon says:

      It is obviously ridiculous to try to blame the churches for the high crime rate. The crime rate has proved that doing it man’s way has failed and it is time to try it God’s way.

      It is preposterous to argue that you should legalize all vice so government can make money. That would lead to a truly degenerate society as hard drugs and prostitution etc. are legalized.  

      It does not even make economic sense as the costs require to regulate and mitigate the effects would outweigh any gain. Of course it is impossible to quantify the social costs.

    • Adam Smith says:

      This has been The Economist’s editorial line for years, and the detailed annual articles arguing the legalisaption of drugs makes a very powerful case.

    • Slowpoke says:

      There is in fact longitudinal evidence that decriminalizing and regulating drugs does work, in terms of reducing crime, lowering policing costs and does not lead to mass substance abuse problems.  Check out the evidence from Portugal. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Rev. Nicholas Sykes, in his desperation to lay bare the supposed "evils" of gambling did what most religious people do best: he majored on minor issues.

    Case in point: While Sykes had somewhat of a point in saying that comparing "economic benefits to social costs; …would be like comparing apples and oranges", all he accomplished by his babbling was to show his ignorance;he was nitpicking on a matter of mere semantics. A better framing of the issue would be to "weigh economic benefits versus social costs". I am sure that is what was meant but instead of accepting this, Sykes makes an issue of it.

    Sykes himself claims to do such an analysis with each passing moment of his life. He must weigh (or compare) his actions in this temporal existence against the measure of God’s expectations. Our human will versus the eternal majesty of the Godhead are indeed like "apples and oranges". But the subjective measurement or "comparison" is not incorrect, inconsistent or impossible.

    • Anon says:

      Rev. Sykes was of course correct. The only sociologist on the panel (who happened to be supporting casino gambling if it excluded locals) agreed with him on the point that social costs are not measurable in the same way as economic benefits.

      Ironically, it is your post that is truly babbling with irrelevance about human will versus the eternal majesty of the Godhead.  But since you are on the subject, the issue of sin and falling short of God’s glory is something that I would expect that Sykes and every Christian clergyman is fully aware of. We can never measure up to God’s standards and therefore never earn salvation. That is what grace is about. 

         

      • Anonymous says:

        OK, Mr. Sykes Disciple: In your passion to denigrate  my contribution you actually supported my basic premise and exposed considerable folly on your part. I concede that social costs are not measurable "in the same way" as economic benefits. And, in my reply, (Did you comprehend it at all?) I suggested a different way to frame the issue that was more semantically concise.

        Social cost are not measurable in "the same way" as economic benefits. So what’s your point?

        What I took exception to was the idea that it is "…a faulty premise, that one could compare economic benefits to social costs". Any babbling to the contrary notwithstanding, that remains a silly and baseless idea.

        Here is the way tings bees in the Cayman Islands: Weighing social costs versus economic benefits is a major focus of several of the various boards of the Cayman Islands. The Central Planning Authority does it in conjunction with development. The Immigration Board does it relating to granting of work permits and in balancing the ethnic mix of the country. The Liquor Licencing Board does it. The Cinematographic Authority does it. All of the public and private Human Resource departments do it as a part of what HR pros do. The list goes on and on.  To undertake such analyses, some form of metrics must be utilised. The metrics may be quite subjective in nature, but we as humans "measure and weigh" issues on a social versus economic scale all thetime. For example: You do it when you decide to go to work rather than hang out with friends and family or pursue your hobby all day. In this case economic cost is weighed against social benefits. Get it?  If you do please forward this to Sykes, OK?

        To put it bluntly, if a sociologist (or anyone else) babbles that an analysis of social costs versus economic benefits is not one viable approach to the issue of gambling, I say that person is a dunce.

        Just because someone said that social costs are not measurable in the "same way" as economic benefits does not mean their interaction cannot be analysed and an opinion rendered.  Is it the "same way" part you are having trouble with? Here, try this: In a motor vehicle, passenger load, recommended tire inflation pressure and a driver’s perception of vehicle handling are not measured in the "same way". However, in this case all three factors may be taken into account when determining  how much air to put into the tires. Throw in air temperature and we have four factors.

        From what I learned in my classes on sociology – and taking our society as a whole – it is incorrect to treat economic and social issues as disjoint factors with no correlation and no method of comparative analysis. Economic realities profoundly impact and are an integral part of the social fabric of our country.

        Moving on: While on the subject of semantics (since your babbling seem – like Sykes – seems to focus on the minor issues of word play, I beg to differ with you: The issue of sin and falling short of God’s glory is something that every Christian clergyman is NOT "fully aware" of. To be "fully" aware one would have to have a full knowledge and awareness of the glory and mind of God since His mind, glory and will is essential to the subject. Your Bible says it is impossible for man to "fully" comprehend the mind, will and glory of God.  My scriptural advice: Take care with your metrics; the measure you use may be used to measure you. Mene, mene… you have been found lacking if you expect that "the issue of sin and falling short of God’s glory is something that I would expect that Sykes and every Christian clergyman is fully aware of."

        Ok, Sykes was simply silly to focus on his "apples and oranges" argument. THIS is what I related in my original reply. So now you and I have gone full circle and returned back to agreement on my original idea that focusing on semantics is silly and futile.

        No amount of babbling will lend any support to the idea that one cannot weigh social costs against economic benefit. It is done all the time in many aspects of life. Perhaps you neglected to don your reading glasses when you read what I wrote? Maybe you just forgot your thinking cap when you crafted your reply. Otherwise I would have to count you among the babbling brain-dead. (Your call.) Your babbling seems to put man as being capable of being "fully aware" and totally comprehending the issue of sin. Gee. At least my babbling is based on facts.

        So: Does Mr. Sykes Disciple have any more babbling based on the issue of semantics? Or can we put word-play behind us now? 

        PS: Oh darn, I almost forgot. If you do not believe in absolute predestination and the total lack of free will of man, then the concept of man not "earning" salvation is also a game in semantics. (Wanna play?)

        • Anonymous says:

          With you, bombastic phrases take the place of logic and serious thought.

          You’ve had a few classes in sociology (probably in some Mickey Mouse liberal arts college) and suddenly think you are a sociologist and can denounce others as "dunces".  

          Obviously one does not have to have complete knowledge of the mind of God to be fully aware that we can never measure up to his holiness. That is just silly.  

          • Anonymous says:

            Do you really want to go there? OK. You already have, so here goes:

            I have achieved one of my purposes with you – and a quite predictable one at that: I got you to change your semantics to further your argument!  It shows that you agree with me that the structure of a statement is of essential importance. Good show! It is something I like people to do. Open your mind, even if involuntarily.

            Please note that your latest statement was not congruent to your earlier one. You substantially changed things. Improved things actually, which is what  I like to see. I like to get people to think critically and change their foolish, closed-minded ways. You first said:"…the issue of sin and falling short of God’s glory is something that I would expect that Sykes and every Christian clergyman is fully aware of." (An impossibly unrealistic expectation but quite typical of churchites.)

            The problem is with the  "fully aware" and "every Christian". Sykes being included makes it even more far-fetched.

            Assuming the Bible is true and assuming it can be taken at face value (which is quite debatable), I can agree with (the spirit of) your statement that "…one does not have to have complete knowledge of the mind of God to be fully aware that we can never measure up to his holiness."

            But you got that "never" thing going again. You stuck another unconditional universal qualifier into the mix, so your statement is still lacking. Depending on the semantic construct of your definition of "we",  your statement could become absolutely untrue from your very own religious standpoint. But the good news is that you’re getting there!

            I do understand: It is merely the spirit of the statement that you wanted to convey. Am I correct?  Yes or No? (Careful of your answer here because it is a potential trap.) The definition of "we" is a crucial condition to the truth of the statement.

            [NB: Do not get your knickers in a big knot about my religious views. I have a rather low regard respective to a lot of organised religion’s take on things. For example, far too many unenlightened fundamentalist thump their Bible and call it the "inspired word of God". The collection of books we call the Bible cannot claim the inspiration claimed by the original writings. Organised Christianity through the ages could not even reach a consensus on what writings should be included in the Bible, and stuff like the Trinity is a fairly recent addition to mainstream Christian doctrine.]

            Now back to de tings at hand: Since you seem to think you are bent towards "logic and serious thought", let’s go there. I see my moot about these dunces still stands as you have not, in all your passionate offerings, done much of anything in a logical and thoughtful manner to refute my opinion that such people are dunces.

            Now here is where your foot went into your mouth quite firmly: You berated my offering as "bombastic" rather than thoughtful or logical and then, BOOM, your very next statement threw logical and thoughtful argumentation right out the window! (You got an "F" in logic class, or slept through it, right?)

            A chink in your logic? Here: Lack of professional qualifications of the proposer does not constitute a logical or thoughtful argument against the proposition. Nor does it prove the proposer of being incapable of sound argument. (So what happened to your logic there, Plato? Did it take a break for a moment?)

            You right, I had a "few" classes in logic, and stuff like that. Considering the Mickey Mouse institutions I attended, I guess I was quite fortunate, huh? But I guess you know how those "Mickey Mouse" educations are, eh? Like most people I just go with the flow in an informal debate and have fun, reserving the formal logic stuff for a more formal and professional setting. But if you want to go there, I say "Game On!" whenever you are ready, which you do not seem to be. Yet anyway.

            Sorry, I digressed. Let’s get back to the juicy bombastic stuff! One does not have to possess an equivalently advanced degree in the same discipline to denounce a degreed professional as being negligent or incompetent (translated in my informal and bombastic vernacular: "a dunce").  For example: Courtroom juries (and judges) do this in malpractice cases involving highly trained professionals with advanced degrees and many years of experience. ( I fail to see this scenario as being a "jury of one’s peers" but that is how the system works.)

            Your rebuttal essentially implies that unless the participants in the evaluation process and the relevant debate are equivalently qualifiedthen they have no right to render an opinion or are incapable of rendering a valid conclusion as to the "correctness" regarding one who possesses higher qualifications? Did I get this right? Yes or no?  (Either way you are most likely going to jump into a hole here, because you have already dug it and set your course.) But try to answer anyway. Hint: Watch syntax and semantics and rephrase if prudent.

            Now that I have your attention, if you want a (fairly) good line for a logic-based (or is that "bombastic" based?), thoughtful rebuttal try this: Inquire of my basis in formulating my opinion of Sykes’ statement. I will reply that I depended on the information supplied here on CNS. Now it gets interesting.  I have assumed that that Sykes’ statement was reflected correctly. But this is only an assumption because Sykes’ words were not quoted directly; the article paraphrased Sykes’ words. If these are the conditions then I was depending on hearsay. See where I am going?  Now run with the ball because I have to get back to attending to my wuk tings. (But be careful this time, ok Plato? I would not wanting you to put your illogical foot in your thoughtful mouth again.)

            Reversing the aim of your gun but with the same powder loaded: "Obviously one does not have to have complete knowledge of the babbler’s discipline to be fully aware that the babbler is a dunce."

            (If you play chess you can appreciate that you are already several moves behind in this game, but I can assure you that you can avoid checkmate and can catch up if you really thinkkkkk! I have given you good stuff to work with, ok? I will be waiting for your logical and thoughtful reply.)

            • Anonymous says:

              It is rare to witness so much conceit and narcissism at play in one individual. I’ll sign off here as I refuse to be the cause of you eating up more bandwidth with more patent nonsense.  

  14. Anonymous says:

    These people need to grow up. We are not kids fighting over crayons or who sat in that chair first. We are supposed to be adults and everyone is entitled to their opinion so I don’t see why you are critisizing others for what they think is right or wrong.

    I think that legalizing gambling is a good thing. You got Men and Women walking around this Island with there pockets fat with money from selling numbers and na work a lick for the day but write down a number on a piece of paper. No matter what the Government does people are going to continue to sell numbers and play cards and dominoes for money so why not allow the Government to fatten their pockets too. It is going to happen whether it is legal or not so the best thing in my opinion is to legalize it and have the government control it and get a percentage of the profits. That makes perfect sense to me. And as I said I am entitled to my opinion and I am in no way agreeing or dis agreeing with anyone.

     

    • Anon says:

      "No matter what the Government does people are going to continue to sell numbers and play cards and dominoes for money so why not allow the Government to fatten their pockets too".

      You could apply the same logic to selling drugs and prostitution. No matter what the Government does people are going to continue to sell/consume drugs/engage in prostitution so why not allow the Government to fatten their pockets too (e.g. by licensing brothels or drug dealers for a cut of the take).

      I hope you now realize how ridiculous that argument is.      

      • Anonymous says:

        GOOD IDEA lets get some proper whore houses in addition to the casinos maybe there will be less domestic violence.

        • Unwanted says:

          And alot more unwanted pregnancies…so let’s legalize abortion too while we are at it!

          • Whizz Dom says:

            No but the abortion ban is a cunning subsidy for Cayman Airways, with all those girls going on "shopping trips" to Miami.

      • Adam Smith says:

        Rather, I don’t think you realise how harmful the criminalisation of narcotics and prostitution is.  Like gambling prohibition simply funnels profit into criminal groups.  The irony is bars to these activities are the foundation of organised crime.  Legalisation paves the way for revenue generation, regulation, protection of those involved in the activity and it undermines the very framework for organised crime. 

        You will never stop a large group of people really liking sex, drinking, getting high and gambling.  In terms of behavioural economics the case for legalisation of "vice" is overwhelming.

        With legalisation one can move to are more focused debate.  For example, the case for "supercasinos" is not a good one, but that debate is more effectively made as a comparative impact assessment of different sizes of gambling establishment than in the context of "gambling" or "no gambling".

         

        • Anon says:

          Thank you for demonstrating where the thought process towards legalizing gambling leads. I can only hope that right thinking people will see the abyss since you obviously don’t.  

  15. Anonymous says:

    It isn’t immediately obvious why there is a moral difference between gambling and investing in any other asset in the hope that it will appreciate. If I buy shares, they may go up in value or I may lose everything. If I purchase a house, it might be worth more in 3 years or the proeprty market might collapse and I could lose a lot of money. If I invest in a business, it may make a profit or it may fail. And if I buy a lottery ticket it may produce a return on my stake, or it may not. In the UK the Commissioners of the Church of England are a major investor with over 4 billion pounds under management. Presumably this isn’t regarded as immoral

    In fact, the risk you take in gambling is far easier to accurately quantify than it is in other transactions. I know that the chances of my number coming up at roulette are 1 in 37, and if it does come up I will be paid at 35 to 1. I know that this means in the long run the odds are against me. I would struggle to calcualate the probability of my share portfolio making a defined (or any) profit with anything like this degree of accuracy.

    So does the morality point come down to the fact that you are more likely to lose than win? If that is the case then it calls into the question the morality of making profits at all- after all, whatever I lose, the casino gains. And as long as I know that this is the case (and there can’t be many people who walk into a casino believing that the odds are in their favour) shouldn’t I be free to decide what risks I take with my own money? And if it’s a sin to speculate, when are we closing the stock exchange/

     

     

    • Anon says:

      Gambling is simply waste – waste of time and money. It serves no proper economic function. It builds nothing.   

      • Anonymous says:

        It creates jobs. It generates government revenues. How is that a serving "no proper  economic function"?

        All kinds of things are a waste of time and money- fashion, dominos, changing the wallpaper in your house because just you don’t like the colour. That doesn’t mean they should be banned. If I enjoy "wasting" my money in a particular way, why shouldn’t I be able to do so?

        • Anonymous says:

          Because as a gambling addict you become a burden on society. You (and your family if you have one) may become destitute and have to rely on social services. You may turn to crime to feed the habit or to pay off your loan shark. Much like a junkie. The same reasons apply. Your children may then follow your example.  It is estimated that in the U.S. each problem gambler costs society an estimated $13,000 to $52,000 per year. 25% of problem gamblers attempt suicide.  

           

      • Carl Merckx says:

        Fun is a valid economic good. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I love playing poker. The function it serves is entertainment. When the urge hits a trip to the Indian reservation casino near Miami or Tampa is in order.

        Here in the islands a good night’s entertainment with movie, meals and drinks runs at least $200 or more. What purpose does this spending serve? Considering I can eat  better food at home (I am good in the kitchen) and I can mix my own drinks.  I can stay at home and enjoy better repast at 1/4 of the cost of a better restaurant in Cayman. Add movie tickets to that rather than renting or downloading a movie and I am out plenty bucks. For the same money I can have a night till dawn session at the poker tables at the Hard Rock casino in Tampa. Drinks are dirt cheap around the slots and tables. I get at least 10 or more hours of entertainment for the same initial outlay. Considering that when I leave the casino I am usually money ahead as I am a much better than average player, the night at the casino costme less than zero. And I have lots of fun.

        I spend money on casino gambling for the same reason I go out on the town here, for a diversion, for entertainment. So far my lifetime balance sheet shows me being $$ ahead in winnings. So I have reaped economic benefit as well.

        Speaking personally, I think your statement is a very ignorant blanket condemnation.

        However, I cannot support a casino proposal in which locals like me are allowed access to gambling. That would be an absolute and complete disaster for the country. I fully support introduction of casino gambling in the islands and I will be perfectly happy buy a CAL ticket to Florida when the poker urge strikes.

  16. Anonymous says:

    While on the face of it, it would make sense to assess the economic and social benefits/costs of legalised gambling or even to muse about how morally objectionable gambling is, there is an important point that is often overlooked.

     

    In the Cayman Islands we do not have a choice between gambling and no gambling.

     

    We can only choose between legalised gambling and illegal gambling, which, if any evidence was needed, has been well illustrated by the GTECH report.

     

    Saying that legalised gambling will wreak havoc on our society, completely ignores the fact that gambling has existed in the Cayman Islands for quite some time.

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Why limit such thinking to just gambling?

      We have legal drugs and illegal drugs. Illegal drugs have existed for as long as we have had illegal gambling. We could start by legalising ganja for the locals and cocaine for the expats, thatway the police could still arrest a few people now and again.

      Of course we also have the world’s oldest profession. That exists in every country and has done throughout the ages, so why is prostitution illegal here?

      • Dennis Smith says:

        Our Dirty Secrets

        Given the weak enforcement of our laws and the widespread awareness by the public of all illegal activity I have to assume that keeping any activity illegal protects the monopoly of the people involved. Making an activity illegal keeps honest people out of the game.

        Prostitution is one example. My understanding is that the "Ladies" are brought here on temporary work permits held by local businesses. What has always concerned me is not their profession but the fact that since it is an illegal activity there is no medical control.

        I have even been told that temporary work permits are issued without a medical exam. If that is true we are importing all type of diseases to Cayman, spread by the people most likely to maximize their distribution.

        Little wonder that Caymanians seldom report the crimes that they observe, either nobody is listening or corruption is so widespread and tolerated that reporting is futile.

        If government actually got serious about crime, all crime,maybe the population would get serious as well. Making all criminal activity legal would solve the problem and make us less hypocritical but I would first like to see Cayman become a proud country that enforces it laws.

        • Anon says:

          That is pretty hilarious. I hope you were writing in jest. Reduce the crime rate by making all criminal activity legal. Genius.  

          • Dennis Smith says:

            Either I can’t write or you can’t read, I’ll be more careful next time.

            • Anon says:

              I think "making all criminal activity legal would solve the problem" is pretty clear.  

      • Anon says:

        Excellent points.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly why is prostitution illegal here? Has keeping it illegal reduced it in any way?

        The same applies to drugs. If drugs were not illegal the drugs business would not be as lucrative and much less violent.

        To a certain extent the same can be said about gambling. Criminalising something that will exist anyway, if legal or not, will only attract criminals.

        Legalising it will at least assume a certain degree of control of a so far unmanaged situation. 

        But aside from that do you really believe that prostitution and drug use are comparable to gambling? Why is no one in uproar then when the first thing our elected representatives do on their foreign trips is to go to the casino?

         

      • anonymous says:

        Actually California is thinking about legalizing Ganja at this point.

        Next question…what makes a drug “illegal”? Why should the oldest profession be “illegal” anyway? I can rent my car or house but not my body?! ever thought of that?…It was once ‘illegal’ to think that the earth was flat, was ‘illegal’ to serve alcohol, was ‘illegal’ to drive over 25mph in Cayman.

        Society changes and so does what it considers ‘illegal’. Nothing more and nothing less.

  17. nauticalone says:

    What i find unpalatable is direction from most representatives of "the church" about "morals and/or ethics".

    We need look no further than the gross consistent cover-up of child molestations by its clergy for decades. Where is the champion for morals and ethics & right and wrong from the church in this matter?

    And if the church is truly interested in morals and ethics then should it not do so for ALL?…including human rights for ALL human beings?…Should the judgement not be left to God?

    Unfortunately it seems that the question of morality completely evaporates as easily for "the church" as it does for most Wall St. Companies (depending on the odds/gamble).

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately, you are stereo-typing by pulling all Christ followers under the umbrella called "the Church".

      True Christ followers, people that live their lives trying to follow the example of Christ when he was on earth 2K years ago, can not possibly engage in this and/or approve of this. Yes, judgment must definitely be left to God, but it’s not judging somebody if you tell them that you disagree with them or disapprove of their sin. No human being is perfect, we are all sinners, and as such we must not and can not judge. We are, however, instructed to be on the lookout for each other and call out sin and its dangerous consequences when we see it. I have a small group of trusted friends that I rely on to tell me when they see me doing or going in a direction they perceive to be in the wrong direction. Do I like it, no, because it goes against my indepedence. It’s very easy to come up with a million reasons to justify a small let up in morality, which eventually leads to it completely evaporating. That’s why we have to be and live so carefully and call a spade a spade; gambling will lead to many other issues, no matter how much we dress it up or down. Majority of people dont like to hear the truth, as a matter of fact Christ is a clear example of someone whom suffered hatred and death because he continuously and consistently spoke to the truth.

      The bible clearly warns of of many prophets and people that will conveniently use the term Christian in order to discredit the people that are true Christ followers and are living examples of what it means to be a true Christian. Furthermore, true Christ followers should not expect much better than to be hated by this world, given the impopularity and sharpness of the truth.

      Question for you as an individual is, will you rely on this earth’s evaporating moral compass, or will you rely on Christ’s eternal and true moral compass?

      • Anonymous says:

        A compass unequivocally points toward magnetic north. It is subject to slight correction for navigational purposes but its pointing is not subject to interpretation by groups and cults.

        So: What, objectively, does your "compass" (supposedly the Bible) say about gambling?

        (Just wondering.)

        • Anonymous says:

          Very silly. The Bible does not expressly condemn many things but the principles contained in the Bible tell us the are wrong. Gambling is one of them.    

      • nauticalone says:

        I suggest you reread my post, as i said "most" not all.

        Furthermore, why i find "the church" suspect as a moral or ethical copass, is it’s choice at being sooo voicerous against select sins like gambling and/or gays, while sooo silent on many other sins like official or other corruption…or child molestation or other abuse?

        And if your argument is that "the church" is not "all under one umbrella" but is truly against all sin or otherwise immoral behavior, then why is the only audible voice always of the same choir?

        I too have a small group of trusted friends (along with prayer and meditation) to help me to grow (in mind, and in soul…or spiritually) and believe in and study morals and ethics…but i do NOT believe those that simply claim christianity or being of the church, as having a monopoly on such!..or of having the right to make laws for others.

        Especially when these same people turn a blind eye to so many other wrongs!

        • Anonymous says:

          Your premise is of course false. The church preaches against these things all the time. However, no one has suggested that we should legalize child molestation etc. and therein lies the difference in terms of public statements. That is a total red herring. 

    • Anon says:

      The RCC is the only church of which I am aware which has a pattern of covering up child molestations. Funny enough it also does not hold gambling to be inherently evil.

      You are also confusing the secular humanist agenda of human rights with the church’s mission. They are not the same.  

      • nauticalone says:

        I would bet (pun intended:) that most of us humans are increasingly confused about the "church’s mission"…other than collecting money and judging others that is.

        Don’t get me wrong. I’m not for nor against gambling…nor "the church" for that matter. I am against those individuals of the church whom are sooo intent on judging "some" people, while turning a blind eye on others wrongs!

  18. Dennis Smith says:

    I’m thinking out loud here.

    Will someone enlighten me? I’m trying to understand this question of "Morals” as it applies to legalizing games of chance. It feels like a nebulous and convenient word to justify a group stance on the issue, but it doesn’t give me much guidance.

    I had a quick look for a definition and found this: “Morals are principles and beliefs concerning right and wrong behavior.”

    So presumably morals depend on the principles and beliefs held important by a dominant group of people in a particular society. If this is true then this might be a time when I have to agree with Frank McField, that it is a moving target, especially since “belief” or “belief systems” are greatly influenced by the human need to form and join groups for protection and advancement, and group beliefs are generally designed to protect the group’s existence.

    Thus groupthink becomes the foundation of belief. Based on that understanding the dictatorial actions of a government is “Moral”, if it has the supported of the majority of its population. China, Iran and Cuba all have the “support” of the majority.

    Looking at Cayman’s participation in the numbers game, it drug use and its sexual freedom practiced from an early age it would seem that the Cayman already has a definition of morality that is reflected by its culture.

    Principles are perhaps firmer but even there I’m not sure since they seem to change from one culture or time to another. The example of “Slavery” might be a good example.

    If morality and cultural principles where not constantly being adjusted by power groups we wouldn’t need laws and a constitution with precise definitions of freedoms and human rights. We could just declare ourselves a moral culture and be done with it.

    As far as participating in a game of chance is concerned. Should I have the freedom to decide to risk my money by trying to beat the dealer at 21, or out-bluff someone at poker? It’s my money and I frequently take risks with it in my day-to-day business decisions, some of which are not too well understood. Maybe I shouldn’t be allowed that “wrong behavior” either if it’s immoral to risk my money in a "chancy" adventure.

    Maybe I’m more concerned about having my “morality” imposed upon me. Obeying the law is much easier to understand. Perhaps I would be more impressed if “morality” was focused more on solving the real social issues that are hurting young Caymanians right now.

    For example: Is it immoral that our children are not educated and prepared for employment in the competitive future that they are facing? Is it immoral that we are setting them up for a lifetime of poverty and social dependency? Is it immoral that we are investing vast sums of money in our country and getting so little for it return?

    The list of possible immoral actions could go on and on. Of course if we don’t believe in such things than they must be moral since the majority appear to be complacent about such problems. (complaining doesn’t count)

  19. Honest Dave says:

    "And that being the case, do we want to be the generation that legalizes what is at least morally questionable, only to have it abolished by future generations after it has wreaked havoc on our society?"

    If you want to bet on this, you know my number.  I am offering 5/2on that you will be the generation that legalises what is at least morally questionable. 

    Honest Dave – the man with the best odds, no questions asked, morally or otherwise.

  20. Anonymous says:

    For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

    • Halloween Jack says:

      I sold my soul quite a while ago so for me this seems quite a good deal.

      • Anon says:

        You will only recognize that it is not a good deal when you pass from this life.

        • Halloween Jack says:

          And that is the big gamble you take with the whole Sky Fairy mularkey.

          • Anon says:

            I am not gambling. I am on to a sure thing. Not a thing to lose. But you are surely gambling with everything to lose.   

            • Halloween Jack says:

              Oh come on, give me a single argument in favour of a Sky Fairy who has conscious control over what happens in my life (i.e. the classic Judeo-Christian concept of Sky Fairy).

              • Anonymous says:

                 Halloween Jack,

                I hope you are "catching my drift".

                For the avoidance of doubt: I am 100% Atheist.

                 

                • Halloween Jack says:

                  I do but something has gone wrong with the "reply" alignment, so it looks like I am responding to myself and disagreeing with you.  I tend to leave self-justification and internal inconsistency to the Bible, so please please don’t think I missed your drift.

                   

            • Anonymous says:

               Then please share your insight knowledge of certainty. I am guessing you are on to the "Pascals wager" thing? 

              • Halloween Jack says:

                I think you are giving the poster too much credit there.  A more likely explanation blind faith as a result of childhood indoctrination. It is usually that or a mid-life crisis followed by the need for a crutch.

                Of course Pascal’s Wager does not try to make any case for the existence of a god, rather it creates a game theory approach to belief in a god when the pay-off in the model is eternity in heaven and applies probability analysis to the relative benefits of belief or non-belief.  It is quite cute though.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Thought it would fit right in with this whole discussion of gambling. maybe they can make that a casino game as well:

                  1 to 1 on Darwin

                  35 to 1 on Pascal

                  ….Lol.

              • Anonymous says:

                At least you are clued in.

                Poor Halloween Jack just looked it up on Wikipedia.

                • Halloween Jack says:

                  I didn’t need Wiki because I spend my time studying the real world rather than the Bible.  The last time I recall coming across Pascal’s Wager was in Ellen Kaplan’s book "Chances Are" (there were a few copies in Books and Books), although I first came across it was in high school when we were looking at infinity.  I like studying probability and game theory because I would rather make life decisions based on scientific assessments than by putting faith in a fictional sky fairy. 

    • Anonymous says:

      " For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

      Sorry, Cayman lost it’s soul a long time ago, think Ritz Carlton.

  21. Pastor B says:

    But hold on Pastor!

    But gambling cannot be compared to slavery. Your comparison is not a "good" one. There was no choice for the slave in slavery!  But there is choice in the game of gambling and taking a risk. There is choice whether to allow gambling to turn you into a "slave of gambling" or not one.

    Remember when Judas betrayed Christ and there were 11 disciples left, in the Act they "cast lots" like rolling dice to find out who would make up the 12th disciple. And the lot fell on Matthias. See!  Gaming goes back to Bible days. We have church raffles where I’m from every month. No one in the church or outside is effect by the raffles. It is a matter of choice! Also, you don’t see any direct passage of scripture against gaming. Rather, you see scripture against greed, lust, and irresponsibility or sloth. But again those sins are a matter of choice!  You cannot compare slavery to gambling, but you can compare it to the slavery of greed, lust, and sloth.

    You and Reverend Nicholas should have considered the QUESTION of CHOICE when it comes to SIN!  But somehow in order to win your arguments, you have deflected from that question.

    Pastor B 

    • nauticalone says:

      So very well said!…

    • Anon says:

      There is no choice for the gambling addict either.

      There was however a choice of slave owners (the persons making the immoral choice). Society could have taken the view that it was up to each slave owner to exercise his own morality and free his slaves or not as the case might be. 

      Sins are always a matter of choice – that is what makes them sins. Saying that you have freedom of choice does not negate the fact that there are good choices and bad choices, moral choices and immoral choices. The law does act to restrain some of our immoral choices. For example, while on the face of it it appears to be a private matter between two consenting adults the law says that prostitution is illegal. Why should taking drugs be illegal if it is all just a matter of personal choice which should not be restrained by moral considerations?  We can and must take into account the impact on society as a whole.

      You should know better than to suggest that if no express injunction against it appears in scripture then it must be fine. It is the spirit rather than the letter that we must capture.  

      Casting lots to choose a disciple is not of course gambling. It was not motivated by greed and did not result in dishonest gain.

       

       

      • Sky Fairy II says:

        So if there is no choice for the alcoholic either, I assume you are supporting banning alcohol.

      • leslie says:

        Anon

        You just don’t understand! Of course, an addict is controlled by his addiction, was there not a choice of many consumptions before he became an addict? And isn’t his addiction more of a matter of ignorance and a lack of education? Such drugs like alcohol; there is nothing wrong with the drug!

        So with gambling – nothing is wrong with it. The wrong is people and their uneducated choices they make! The only remedy is education and prevention. Of course,dangerous drugs, you will have to make laws protecting children and the weak from them. But to say that because some thing makes people addicted is bad, is not rational. The bad is the choices they have made that has made them addicted. 

        And yes, you can be addicted or attached to anything. That is why there is the old saying, "eveything in moderation" 

        • Anon says:

          You are right that I don’t understand what point you are trying to make. 

          So you are now making the case for legalising drugs as well? 

          The point I am making is that where there is a social cost to filthy habits the law has a right to intrude. You are simply seeing the issue from an individual perspectivie and that is where you are going off the rails.     

          • HandsOff says:

            Hmmm…

            "filthy habits"

            You sounds like an anti-social person who locks up in his/her room or religious pent house; everyone on the outside is "filthy."  So I guess if I smoke in front of you, I am filthy too. Oops I guess you will also be making a law to get rid of people like me from your "perfect society"

      • Sam says:

        You said, "Casting lots to choose a disciple is not of course gambling. It was not motivated by greed and did not result in dishonest gain."

        WOW!  I got you checkmate!

        That means I can always roll dice and cast lots likew the disciples, because I do it for fun and not for greed!!! 

        Thank you Anon!

        :o)

        • A Theist says:

          They know what is in your head even if you don’t.  Not only do they believe in God but fundamentalists (stress on "mentalists") have superpowers of mind reading too.

          Don’t like that?  Then forgive me.

        • Anon says:

          Not sure why you think there is any checkmate. If we play a game of cards, roll dice, play bingo or do whatever for fun (and not for money or money’s worth) then it is not gambling. As soon as there is any prize of value involved then it is gambling.   

          • Orion says:

            Ummm… There was a prize of value involved!

            The disciple Matthias

            Please read your Bible!

            • Anonymous says:

              I know my bible very well and unlike a number of you I am not rummaging around for proof texts to support my preconceived ideas.

              Obviously that is not money or money’s worth. What was his salary as a disciple?

              One person who seemed to think it had monetary value was Simon Magus and we see what happened there. 

              I can tell you what the cost was – persecution.

              • Anonymous says:

                Wages do not necessarily have to be money or money’s worth. They can be paid in valuable consideration, much like payment of a contract.  A Christian’s "covenantrelationship" is much like a contract. Covenant = contract.

                Christians actually profess in exchange for what is, to them, "valuable consideration". Thus, Pascal’s Wager" becomes a gambling scenario.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Err… the point is that in order to be gambling it must be for "money or money’s worth". See Gambling Law.  The rest of your post is therefore irrelevant.    

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Whether for monies or monies worth, there is nothing wrong with gambling!

                    I think what Pastor B and many others are saying is that "COMPULSIVE GAMBLING, an urge or addiction to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop, is where the real wrong lies. Harm is experienced by the gambler or others rather than by the gambler’s behavior.That is where sin comes in – not just on a payday when I responsibly use a certain portion of how much I can afford to make a reasonable bet in order to win monies, and go home satisfied of the results whether I lose or win. There is nothing wrong with a game of chance unless you be irresponsible and take losing to heart.

                    The choices are there – you don’t need to make laws to control people’s choices!

    • Orion says:

      Ha ha!

      Love it!

    • My2cents says:

      There may be no choice for the slaves themselves, but there is certainly ample choice for the slave owners as to whether they owned slaves and how they were treated.

      And also ample choice for those who went into Africa to kidnap the inhabitants and transport them on slave ships.

      These are the groups of people who had the power to make choices, and ultimately to make changes for the better.

      • Orion says:

        hmmm… your 2cents indeed!

        You attempt to defend Pastor Ebanks. What a weak defense! You stated, "no choice for the slaves themselves, but there is certainly ample choice for the slave owners."

        Well… listen to me, at least in terms of gambling, there is both ample choice for both "gambler" and "owners of casinos." Pastor B is still correct! 

        How can you compare slavery to gambling?  How can Pastor Ebanks do such a thing?  You have too much choices available in gambling!  I am stunned that he would use slavery to make his point!

  22. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    The Vegas, Reno and Atlanta gambling models which allow the local residents to gamble away their hard earned money would be a poor choice for small country like Cayman. The Caribbean gambling model which only allows for registered tourists to enjoy would do nothing but create very well paying, excellent benefits jobs for Caymanians. I go further and add that the Independent Cayman Gaming Association policies would dictate that all casino’s would have to be within the confines of a 250 room 3 star and higher hotel and that ALL employees would be Caymanian. There would be a training period of 6 months for dealers, 1 year for ass managers and 2 years for managers. All bartenders and wait staff Cayman immediately. This model provides enormous income for the country, increased tourism and excellent jobs for the locals. The licensing of lotteries actually eliminates corruption within Cayman’s social structure now. And it also provides money for education and social services to fight the present addicted individuals in Cayman that are not being cared for through social services now. It seems that the "against" group are quietly ignoring the existing and growing problem of illegal gambling in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lach! Do you proofread before you post?!

      ass managers??

       

      And can you imagine a casino in the likes of Comfort Suites?? Or would you not consider that a 3 star property.

      Casinos belong in 4-5 star properties.

      Go big or go home

      • Dennis Smith says:

        Maybe "first class" is what you were thinking. Always liked the British and Monti-Carlo style but maybe that was all those James Bond movies when I was a boy.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

           You know whocares….it doesn’t have to be 1st class James Bond Monti Carlo. All it has to do is create income for the countryand create jobs……oh and bring tourists…..

          • Anon says:

            Oh so tunnelled vision, Lachlan. For you the only issue is more money, eh? Society can go to hell so long as govt. revenues increase. That thinking is what has got us to where we are now – inflicting serious damage on the environment and spiralling crime. 

            It is a complete illusion if you think Cayman would be another Monte Carlo. If it were the situation would be less unsavoury and less likely to increase crime than the far more likely Atlantic City model.      

            • Lachlan MacTavish says:

               Anon….read my post….I do NOT think Cayman will ever be a Monti Carlo. I do believe that Cayman needs income and badly. The debt keeps rising. The politico’s will not stop spendin. It seems that the Civil Service will never be down sized. Increasing fees and duties will not work. No one will go for a land tax. We have a floundering stay over tourism industry. Cruise biz will not save Cayman. So Anon I respectfully ask….where will the dosh come from? 

              • Dennis Smith says:

                Thanks Lach for pointing out the truth of our economic reality.

                I think asking folks to dress with a touch of class might be a good strategic move and more in keeping with Cayman’s exclusive offshore image.

                Since we are not a cheap destination elevating our Casino style would separate us from the competition. Most of the people who come here would happily pack their best wardrobe if there was a chance to wear it: Caymanians and residents included.

                To address the comment made that Cayman is not Monte-Carlo I agree but Monte-Carlo like all first class destinations was created from a bit of rock and a strategic vision that focused on attracting the rich.

                All people see the world through their own eyes. The problem with being middle class is that one sees the world from the viewpoint of a middle class person. The rich see the world differently. Cayman needs to think richer not poorer. Lets be careful not to dumb-down our good fortune.

              • Anon says:

                I don’t accept your premises. Further, if you are correct that govt. spending etc. won’t stop then revenues from casinos will be like throwing red meat to a hungry lion. Reserve the revenues from the casino for education, they say. How will this stop a govt. from then diverting other funds which would have been used for education to their pet projects?   

                • Lachlan MacTavish says:

                   We are going around in circles. Just because we keep electing leaders who continue to bankrupt the country doesn’t mean that something needs to be done about the economy. It seems that Bush has a strangle hold on a district and enuff votes to get elected over and over. Bush’s plan is to allow people he is close to to "develop" the country thus creating inward revenue. It seems to me peoples choice is, allow Bush and cronies to become more wealthy OR find different revenue streams to pay for the borrowing to pay for the Civil Service. To say creating more CIG income and it will be thrown away so why do it is not the answer. You can’t just give up, or can you and just let one man rule.

            • Anonymous says:

               Did you ever thought a "desert town" could become what is now Las Vegas?

              • Anon says:

                You just don’t get it. Again you are only seeing $$$. Do you have any understanding of how much prostitution, loan sharking and organized crime in general is involved in Las Vegas? God forbid that we should ever want to be another Las Vegas.

                • Lachlan MacTavish says:

                   Anon…..with all due respect Cayman is not and never will be Vegas. Do you really believe that with guest only casino’s in our hotels that drug dealers and prostitutes will be setting up shop in the lobbies. I have been to the Caribbean casino models in The Bahamas and Aruba. Very nice visitor only casino’s staffed mainly by locals making very good money.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    I think you missed my point. I was responding to the  poster who suggested that we could, like Las Vegas, emerge as a gambling mecca from nothing. My point was not that we could or could not but rather that we should not want to.

                    Most definitely. Sex is often used to attract gamblers, especially young men.

                    If you think there are no issues in Nassau and Aruba you are mistaken. Please see my futher comments above. 

                     

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

        Assistant Managers…….my apologies……and hey….why not a small visitors only gaming facility in Comfort Suites……. 

        • Anonymous says:

          ass managers ….hilarious!

        • Anonymous says:

          Careful with the proof reading again, Lach.  Why limit a gaming facility to small visitors?

        • Anonymous says:

          I wouldn’t bother with these yahoos, even less to apologize to them – they seem far too immature to talk about things in a civilized manner.  Everyone with half a brain should know that you meant assistant… 

      • Anonymous says:

        If you have casinos, you will also need ass managers ( or "wranglers"). There are several kinds of ass you can see in Las Vegas that require this.