pascal - Pascal's Wager Phil 10100-01, -05 13 February 2008...

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Pascal’s Wager Phil 10100-01, -05 13 February 2008 Murday
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A 7 is rolled 7 is not rolled You bet on 7 High payoff. Small loss. You bet against 7 Moderate loss. Small gain.
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What should you do? The odds of a 7 are 1 in 6. So the payoff of betting on 7 is (1/6)*(high payoff) + (5/6)*(small loss). That’s better than the payoff of betting against 7, so obviously you should bet on 7.
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God exists God doesn’t exist Believe in God Infinite reward. Minor loss. Don’t believe in God Infinite loss? Or maybe merely no gain. Minor gain.
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What should you do? Pascal: believe in God.
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Worry #1: God won’t reward a person who believes on these grounds.
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Worry #2: The odds aren’t 50/50. In fact, we have no way to determine the odds, so it’s impossible to use this kind of cost-benefit analysis.
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Worry #3: Given the uncertainties mentioned in #1 and #2, we should just remain agnostic.
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Worry #4: Is belief voluntary?
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Worry #5: Isn’t it wrong to trick yourself into believing something?
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Worry #6: the many gods objection.
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pascal - Pascal's Wager Phil 10100-01, -05 13 February 2008...

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