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Old 01-01-2017, 12:39 PM   #1
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game of chance

I read that games of chances are banned.
Does that mean gambling for money, and poker for fun is all right, or is funpoker also forbidden.

Greetings
Absolon
 
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Old 01-01-2017, 02:22 PM   #2
Minor Bloodsucker
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absolon View Post
I read that games of chances are banned.
Does that mean gambling for money, and poker for fun is all right, or is funpoker also forbidden.

Greetings
Absolon
Tonight I heard an anecdote from a member of an old noble family. He told me that, one day, one of his ancestors told his spouse "We no longer have two country estates. Last night, I lost one of them at the game table".

Having said that, I looked up this matter and found out that this prohibition is to be further elaborated by the Universal House of Justice. Meanwhile, I'd say that my understanding that gambling for money most likely is prohibited.

Best

from

gnat
 
Old 01-01-2017, 02:35 PM   #3
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That's fine.
Thanks.

Greetings
Absolon
 
Old 01-02-2017, 10:42 AM   #4
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I guess it is banned. I do not know about the new rules and orders but logically speaking, gambling and playing for money brings so many evils with itself, like lies and enmity, anger, injustice, laziness and so on.
 
Old 01-02-2017, 02:08 PM   #5
Jcc
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In the Notes added to the English edition of the Kitab-i-Aqdas the Universal House of Justice says:

169. Gambling # 155

The activities that are included in this prohibition have not
been outlined in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. As both
Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi have indicated, it is left to
the Universal House of Justice to specify the details of this
prohibition. In response to questions about whether
lotteries, betting on such things as horse races and football
games, bingo, and the like, are included under the
prohibition of gambling, the Universal House of Justice has
indicated that this is a matter that will be considered in
detail in the future. In the meantime, the Assemblies and
individuals are counselled not to make an issue of these
matters and to leave it to the conscience of the individual
believers.
The House of Justice has ruled that it is not
appropriate for funds for the Faith to be raised through
lotteries, raffles, and games of chance.

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 237)
 
Old 01-02-2017, 02:32 PM   #6
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@Jcc Last night i read the Notes that you citing.
I think everything like going in a casino and play until you loose everything you own, should be forbidden.
Sitting on a table with some friends and play for some tokens and no money is on the table should be no problem.
 
Old 01-03-2017, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absolon View Post
I read that games of chances are banned.
Does that mean gambling for money, and poker for fun is all right, or is funpoker also forbidden.

Greetings
Absolon
I would hazard a guess that it has to do with the money aspect rather than the chance aspect.

Gambling for money is just in general stupid (in my own opinion, in my opinion since before becoming a Baha'i, as the result of being a Computer Scientist and thus studying probability in school). In most gambling situations the odds are not in your favor (therefore, statistically you cannot make profit in gambling repeatedly). In some gambling situations (where you are the House), the odds are effectively stacked in your favor, so you essentially make profits at the expense of others by playing them in a game that advantages you (which just seems in poor taste and fairness to me). So there's no really good type of gambling in my mind unless the odds are exactly 50/50, and even in that scenario I wouldn't think the payoff worth the risk in the first place.

On the other hand most games have elements of chance. Even small, tiny elements of chance. Even card games that mostly involve skill have an element of randomness in shuffling. The only games I can think of that lack chance at the moment are chess and checkers. Almost every video game (barring a few purely multiplayer or exceedingly simple games) has a random number generator in it SOMEWHERE, just as a basic need of development. Even many sports have coin tosses and the like, or rely on chance in matter of favorable winds affecting the ball, or things like that. Chance in games is everywhere and is everywhere in many things in real life too for that matter, so it would seem ridiculous to think that is what is specifically wrong with gambling. Though I might be a bit biased because the members of the D&D game I run would not be happy if I suddenly announced I would no longer be running their game because I now think dice are blasphemous.

Last edited by Walrus; 01-03-2017 at 02:28 PM.
 
Old 01-03-2017, 04:51 PM   #8
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D&D is so evil
 
Old 01-05-2017, 02:36 AM   #9
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by absolon View Post
D&D is so evil
I got my Answer about participating in "games of chance" from the Tablet of Purity by Abdul'Baha - Bahá'í Reference Library - Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Section Only), Pages 333-336

Even though on another subject, to me in reality it covers all these pastimes.

"...O Lord! Give to the people of Bahá cleanliness and holiness in all conditions, purify and free them from all defilement, deliver them from the use of all that is execrated, liberate them from the chains of habits, so that they may be pure and free, clean and spotless, that they may be worthy servants of the Sacred Threshold and may deserve to enter into relation with God...... Make them companions of the holy breezes, in order that they may know the pleasures of the wine of the love of God, and that they may attain to the joy and the happiness of attraction to the Kingdom of Abhá!

Hast Thou not said, “All that thou hast in thy cellar will not appease the thirst of my love—bring me, O cup-bearer of the wine of the spirit, a cup full as the sea!”

Be well be happy and enjoy the journey.

Regards Tony

Last edited by tonyfish58; 01-05-2017 at 02:38 AM.
 
Old 01-05-2017, 04:39 AM   #10
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Greetings Absolon,

This is a very interesting question. While all Bahá'ís are encouraged to apply Bahá'í laws it is important to understand that the Universal House of Justice refuses to legislate in some areas at this time. To help put this into context you might find a few more responses to letters published within Lights of Guidance to be of additional interest here. Do note that there is a need to identify the aim of gambling. In brief if the aim is for raising monies for the Bahá'í Fund it is discouraged, whereas individual gambling is a matter for each person to decide for themselves https://bahai.works/Lights_of_Guidance/Gambling

I must admit I was originally quite surprised the first time I witnessed some Bahá'ís gambling in a casino environment, especially when I knew these people had wealth and international credibility. However I also learnt a great deal of wisdom from this too. Namely it is always important to assess people for yourself and not place too much faith in the way others choose to portray people. Trust in your own intuition and it will often protect you better than you might realise.

Given the guidance offered from the Universal House of Justice it is pointless to offer a cordial argument to those that choose to gamble. Instead the right course of action is to offer no comment at all. Indeed you will find that mature Bahá'ís rarely contradict any view that another person chooses to hold. Instead they will merely offer their own and allow others to choose for themselves. This is because all people are entitled to hold viewpoints. The onus then is to allow people to offer viewpoints in the confidence they will not be attacked for expressing them. When this transpires conflict begins to give way to consultation, but in reality there is a little more to it than this because the first action is to acquire knowledge of the subject matter in hand, not to cherry-pick material that just suits different viewpoints. At this point in time it is only really possible to obtain such information from the Bahá'í World Centre. This is why the Universal House of Justice accepts questions about the Bahá'í Faith. So try to appreciate that just because the Universal House of Justice has chosen not to legislate on gambling it does not mean there can be any wisdom in gambling, rather there can be no wisdom in challenging any Bahá'í that chooses to do so. Hopefully this will allow you to see that Bahá'í laws are not as black and white as they might at first appear.

Bahá'í laws were never designed to alienate people from each other, instead they were created to bring people together based on recognising the evolving needs of society. When employed with loving kindness they can have the sweetness of honey. Indeed this is how the Kitáb-i-Aqdas The Kitáb-i-Aqdas | Bahá originally started. Yet despite this, as a complete series of works, it was not actually published until after the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh. This is why it contains commentaries from 'Abdu'l-Bahá to help put some phrases into correct context.

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas was not officially translated and published within the English language until the occasion of the Centenary of the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh in 1992. So 2017 is the 25th anniversary of it being available in the English language. Before this time Shoghi Effendi produced a small codex of laws. As many Bahá'í translations are taken from official English translations, do appreciate that it is still being translated into some languages.

Earth

PS. With regards to some comments on role playing games I have used some gaming publications to plan and produce historical and fictional adventures set during the 19th and early 20th century. These have usually gone down quite well with participants because it is an exciting way to learn about the early believers and the challenges they faced. It is therefore very easy to teach the Bahá'í Faith through tabletop role playing providing one has a game system that bests suit the genre. I have found The Call of Cthulhu https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call...e-playing_game) to be an ideal system providing one prepares new character templates and modifies the sanity stat rules to become a spirituality stat instead. This turns it from a game of horror into a game of courage where characters need to find the spiritual virtues to overcomes their fears to help serve the Faith. So like real people, characters can grow through spiritual tests too. Naturally some of the non-player characters represented historical figures. Once these figures were crafted in miniature and painted along with acquiring some settings in which to place them, the atmosphere came alive. One of my favourite campaigns revolved around the players being selected to serve 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His western travels. This gave all participants the incentive and opportunity to learn about the lives of some notable early believers. The only difference of course, being a work of historical fiction, is that they helped to change the course of human history through their characters. Such is the joy of participating in roleplaying games.

I was never into level based games like D&D because they continually repeat themselves with each progressive level. So risks and rewards, to my eyes at least, appear artificial. This is why I prefer skill based games. I find them more realistic. My favourite fictional game is Harn Harn However I base it in the historical world too and use it to help teach Judaism, Christianity and Islam instead.

Never underestimate the power of games. Indeed 'Abdu'l-Bahá once explained that one of the best way to teach children and youth is through games. Do note however that He meant this to be in moderation. A real tabletop roleplaying session that is well run is infinitely superior to any experience you may find online because it offers genuine hospitality, friendship and good food too. It is a natural pleasure that is shared by a number of gamers around the world.

The pioneers of modern tabletop gaming started in the 19th century. Back then it was designed as a tool to train Prussian officers in the real art of war. Indeed few people realise that this system was modified to train officers of the major powers in the First World War too. Indeed these gaming set can still be acquired in auctions today for a modest price. Unfortunately the game design mechanisms still employed an early 19th century mindset and rather than test modern obstacles and modern firearms (like barbed wire and machine guns) to offer a realistic simulation, they were estimated instead. This is why the battle mentality and casualties were so high. Indeed it can be argued that the casualties of troops that were killed or wounded in action was down to gambling on the outcome of a military game. This should help you to look at your original question in a slightly different way because gambling simply means taking a chance. It is not necessarily connected with the hope of acquiring money. People can and do have their lives continually placed at risk by the decisions made by others. Politicians are perhaps the largest casino players of all, for their gambles shape the lives of all people.
 
Old 01-05-2017, 07:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earth View Post
PS. With regards to some comments on role playing games I have used some gaming publications to plan and produce historical and fictional adventures set during the 19th and early 20th century. These have usually gone down quite well with participants because it is an exciting way to learn about the early believers and the challenges they faced. It is therefore very easy to teach the Bahá'í Faith through tabletop role playing providing one has a game system that bests suit the genre. I have found The Call of Cthulhu https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call...e-playing_game) to be an ideal system providing one prepares new character templates and modifies the sanity stat rules to become a spirituality stat instead. This turns it from a game of horror into a game of courage where characters need to find the spiritual virtues to overcomes their fears to help serve the Faith. So like real people, characters can grow through spiritual tests too. Naturally some of the non-player characters represented historical figures. Once these figures were crafted in miniature and painted along with acquiring some settings in which to place them, the atmosphere came alive. One of my favourite campaigns revolved around the players being selected to serve 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His western travels. This gave all participants the incentive and opportunity to learn about the lives of some notable early believers. The only difference of course, being a work of historical fiction, is that they helped to change the course of human history through their characters. Such is the joy of participating in roleplaying games.
The knowledge that someone has adapted CoC to teach concepts of the Baha'i Faith makes me laugh and love the world all the more.
 
Old 01-05-2017, 11:56 AM   #12
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Hello Earth

Trust in my own intuition; if i see people putting money in a slotmachine i think they are acting stupid.
 
Old 01-06-2017, 10:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
The knowledge that someone has adapted CoC to teach concepts of the Baha'i Faith makes me laugh and love the world all the more.
I feel the same way. I've seen roleplaying games used to teach Christianity before, but never Baha'i. And quite frankly, CoC is one of the last games I would have thought to use to do it.
 
Old 01-07-2017, 10:50 AM   #14
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Greetings Walrus and Scribe,

If you like the idea of using gaming to help promote positive values you might want to take a look at some works from the first two people to obtain a PhD in researching online games:

Nick Yee's HomePage

https://janemcgonigal.com

McGonigal's publication entitled Reality is Broken offers an interesting explanation as to why there is such phenomenal growth within gaming at this time. Namely she argues it is caused through the disillusionment people have with human society that naturally attracts them to find new abstract realities. In a spiritual context this should make perfect sense with what is transpiring within the wider world. People do not give up in life as societies moves towards more dystopian values, instead they naturally seek creative new ways in which to express their spirituality instead. In a sense religions offers a new abstract reality, so there are more similarities between adopting games and religions than some people realise.

Good to know there are a few more gamers on this forum. So here is wishing you well with the games that you enjoy playing.

Earth

---

Greetings Absolon,

I have just read on another forum that English is not your first language, so my apologies for the long text response to you here. Your summary sums up it up quite well mind

Earth

Last edited by Earth; 01-07-2017 at 10:54 AM.
 
Old 01-07-2017, 05:33 PM   #15
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Hello Earth,

my englisch is not perfect, but good enough to read here and play english D&D Boardgames. But please dont expect so huge postings from me like yours.
 
Old 01-09-2017, 07:44 AM   #16
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Further on the topic of tabletop games and the Baha'i Faith:

This weekend in my D&D game the party was going through a haunted crypt. I had them, near the end of the crypt, encounter a necromancer. But not a typical, cliche, or evil necromancer. He was instead a peaceful yet eccentric character who just hung out in graveyards and practiced death-magic because he saw some sort of profound beauty in death.

So at one point in their conversation with this guy, I decided to have this NPC elaborate that "Death is a Messenger of Joy" in explaining his odd worldview on what was normally seen by society as evil magic.
 
Old 01-10-2017, 02:53 AM   #17
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Greetings Walrus,

Exploring death is becoming more and more of a valid genre in recent years; especially within gaming. This is because religious undertones manifest themselves within the mechanics of games. Yet despite any restrictive mechanics it is certainly possible for games masters to shift the boundaries to allow players to experience playing their characters while in a state of death. In this respect it is possible to shift virtual realities providing it offers some form of benefit to characters. For instance, meeting your necromancer can allow you to instigate flashback adventures for your party when they face a potential party wipe. During these flashbacks of living in the world of the dead under the influence of the necromancer they can acquire the experience necessary to defeat a larger boss that would have precipitated their death. In this respect you have introduced a hook that permits you to morph your adventures between the two worlds. In simple terms you can now employ death adventures to serve as prequels to help the players defeat an opponent that would have originally been beyond them. This can actually be a winning formulae because it builds on promoting real life trust between the players and the games master. So it promotes unity between real people. Which is of course the core aim of gaming.

Good luck with your D&D party as your necromancer sounds like a very interesting character.

Earth
 
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