zjoere wrote:Isn't the lottery very much like voting in that case? The chance that your individual vote swings the election is probably smaller than the change you win the lottery don't you think?
If you want to make the analogy (I don't think it is a good one, but whatever), then voting is stupid. However, giving people the ability to vote (analogous to selling a lotter ticket, I suppose) is not immoral, as granting the right to vote is not exploiting those that are voting.
ynbniar wrote:I disagree about the stupid thing, unless you actually expect to win and get upset when you don't...I buy lottery tickets because I might win, I definitely won't win if I don't buy a ticket.
The probability of winning is zero to several decimal places. On average, you will make more money by keeping a savings account that pays 0.5% interest. Sure, you could win, but it is stupid to believe that you will. You are free to spend money on stupid things (I know I do), but that doesn't make them any less stupid. That said, the point was not that gambling is stupid (I happen to think that it is, but intelligent people of good will can disagree on the point), but that government sponsored gambling in the name of funding public projects is immoral.
ynbniar wrote:Over here our major lotteries are not charities but do pay a percentage to "good causes", so that's nice too.
If the point is to get money to good causes, then why not give to those causes directly? Instead of getting a one dollar lottery ticket that pays 10 cents to the local school district (or whatever), why not just give a dollar to the local school district (or whatever).