Letter: From Plato and pagans to ping-pong balls

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The Independent Online
From Ms Anna Freeman

Sir: It is possible and prevalent to oppose the National Lottery for reasons that are neither Calvinist nor rationalist, to use Niall Ferguson's crude terminology, but ethical.

What is most objectionable is not the size of the prizes or the profits of the organisers, or the effect on charities, or the waste of time and money, or the defiance of the laws of God or of probability, but the basic principle of a lottery - trying to get something for nothing, relying on luck rather than judgement or effort, gambling rather than thinking or working.

Even if all the churches approved and all the odds against winning were shortened, it would be wrong. The success of the National Lottery is the failure of the society that makes it so.

Yours faithfully,

Anna Freeman

Leighton Buzzard,

Bedfordshire

8 January

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