The Instigator
vi_spex
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Challengerqwerty
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Belief is pascals wager

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Challengerqwerty
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 810 times Debate No: 69204
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

vi_spex

Pro

are you sure, how do you know, so you are certain there are no ghosts? and your friends are not keeping secrets from you? the moon in the night sky
is not a hologram? your neighbour is not an alquida plotting to blow up the Capitol, while manifacturing the bombs right next door with unstable and shaky hands, and she is not making the bombs to blow aliens up at the capitol because the government is not run by aliens?
Challengerqwerty

Con

Pascal's Wager is an argument for believing that a certain thing exists, or at least acting as though it does because the penalty for disbelieving in that certain thing and being incorrect is much worse than the penalty for believing it and being wrong. Originally this argument was used an argument for believing in God (Christian in particular). The argument in this example would be that it is better to believe in God and be wrong, and suffer little to no consequence, than to disbelieve in God and be wrong, and suffer eternal punishment.

I am having a bit of trouble understanding the argument you are making, though. Are you making the argument that people should believe in ghosts, holograms, and terrorist neighbors because of Pascal's Wager? Or are you making the argument that we choose to disbelieve in these things because of Pascal's Wager? Or is it simply that any and all beliefs held are Pascal's Wagers? Or none of these?

This is my first debate here, and I would really appreciate it if you laid out your argument for me. I don't want to misunderstand your claim.

Thanks, and good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
vi_spex

Pro

belief is kinda like this, if you dont do x, x will happen, if you do x, x will happen. like if you walk pass the fence with the barking dog it might break free and bite you or something, so you go back and find a way around

all beliefs are pacals Wager, trust and paranoia, happiness and sadness, love and hate. belief is doubt, so as a balance of doubting i must believe the opposite is true, i must disbelieve to believe and believe to disbelieve

i have no beliefs, no doubt, so there is no reason, to trust or distrust
Challengerqwerty

Con

Alright. I think I can see the argument you are making now, so I will do my best to address all of your points.

Definition: Pascal"s Wager

Pascal's Wager: an argument based on probability theory and game theory as for why one should live as if God exists, even though this cannot be proved or disproved through reason. The main idea of Pascal's Wager is that belief in God is the best choice because it had the best relative payout.

Table of Outcomes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|You Choose To Believe|--------------------------------------|You Choose Not To Believe|------
----------------------------------------------------------------|||------------------------------------------------------------------------|||------------------------
God Exists--------------------------- Eternal Heaven: Reward of Infinity value----------------Eternal Hell: Penalty of (-Infinity) Value----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|||------------------------------------------------------------------------ |||----------------------------------------
God Does Not Exist------------Small Penalty of Error: Reward of (-x) value--------------------Small Benefit for Precision: x Value-----
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The conclusion of this argument is that a logical person should pick the the choice where there is Maximum Expected Utility (Best Outcome).

When P=/=0, and P=Probability God Exists, and P=/=Negative
Expected Value:E(Choose to Believe) = ((Infinity)*(p)) + ((-x) * (1-P)) = (Infinity)
Expected Value:E(Choose NOT to Believe) = ((Negative Infinity)*(p)) + ((x) * (1-P)) = (Negative Infinity)

The Main Point of this entire idea is to show that there is a clearly better choice when it comes to picking for maximum utility in this particular case, but this is where Pro's argument that every belief is a Pascal's Wager becomes obviously incorrect.
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Main Idea: There are no discovered variables in our universe with a value that equals infinity, therefore there are no situations within our universe that have ever been a real Pascal's Wager.

(http://en.wikipedia.org...)
(http://bigthink.com...)
(http://www.livescience.com...)
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Argument 2

Pro said " all beliefs are pacals Wager, trust and paranoia, happiness and sadness, love and hate. belief is doubt, so as a balance of doubting i must believe the opposite is true, i must disbelieve to believe and believe to disbelieve"

Response: I have already shown that all beliefs are not Pascal's Wagers because there are no observable instances in our universe where infinity exists as anything other than an abstract concept. Therefore: outcomes that can actually occur will never have an Expected Utility = Infinity, and so they cannot be the variables of a Pascal's Wager."

To show the relationship to be a Pascal's Wager, Pro must prove that belief in any of these pairs of opposites could result in an infinite gain or infinite loss associated with that belief, which is quite literally impossible. The Pascal's Wager is a thought experiment with a claim that is impossible to test, just like "trust and paranoia, happiness and sadness, love and hate."

(http://en.wikipedia.org...)
(http://bigthink.com...)
(http://www.livescience.com...)
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Argument Three

Pro has several contradictions in his Round 2 statement as well.

Pro said: "belief is doubt", but according to Oxford Dictionary:

Belief: An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists:
Doubt: Question the truth or fact of (something):

Pro said "i have no beliefs, no doubt, so there is no reason, to trust or distrust"

If Pro had no beliefs, we would have no debate. Pro believes that:
"all beliefs are pacals Wager, trust and paranoia, happiness and sadness, love and hate. belief is doubt, so as a balance of doubting i must believe the opposite is true, i must disbelieve to believe and believe to disbelieve"
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Pro:
To validate your position, you must now prove that there are physically existing variables, within our universe, with a value of infinity.

You must show how the value of " trust and paranoia, happiness and sadness, love and hate" can be somehow derived from the potential for belief in them, and that it is a physical, existing, observable characteristic from which an infinite gain or infinite loss associated with that belief can be proven.

Finally, you must fix the discrepancies in your argument, and explain clearly some proof for your stance. Right now all you have supporting your argument is gibberish.
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The burden of proof is now on Pro.
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Debate Round No. 2
vi_spex

Pro

im getting at, pascals Wager is way more then just that.. yet it isnt, as god is information, so whatever i believe is belief in god, theism, as theism is belief

a god claim=i just looked at my dog

pascals Wager isnt real, like belief isnt real

creation is endless information

belief=Be lie, as i have to imagine it=a position on an imaginary claim
kNow=now

i already gave you several Wagers, are you sure ghosts dosnt exist in reality?

this is math:
pascals Wager=belief=love/hate=trust/paranoia=theism/atheism=religion=god=evil=vampyre=demon=zombie=satan

unless one can love without belief, like unless one can love based on only knowledge, then i am right
Challengerqwerty

Con

I saw a couple of your other debates, and sometimes you write quite clearly. I'm not sure if you're messing with me right now...

Might as well give it a shot anyway, I suppose.

Pro said "im getting at, pascals Wager is way more then just that.. yet it isnt, as god is information, so whatever i believe is belief in god, theism, as theism is belief"

Honestly, I'm not sure what to make of this. To me it seems like you are saying that you believe in a god, but earlier in Round 2 you said "i have no beliefs, no doubt, so there is no reason, to trust or distrust". So somehow you believe things when belief doesn't exist, and while maintaining that you have no beliefs.

Pro said "pascals Wager isnt real, like belief isnt real"
Response: You have provided no evidence of any kind for this statement. If it were true, I would win. Things that don't exist aren't each other.

Pro said "belief=Be lie, as i have to imagine it=a position on an imaginary claim"
Response: Definition of gibberish: unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing; nonsense.
(http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Pro said "kNow=now"
Response: Con says "................"

Pro said "i already gave you several Wagers, are you sure ghosts dosnt exist in reality?"
Response:You gave me pairs of opposites, but in no way defined any mathematical relationship between them, nor did you explain a way to observe any actual, physical, data relating to your argument. Also, no, I am not sure ghosts don't exist, but I have never seen or heard of valid evidence of a ghost, so I do not believe in them. I am 100% ghostnostic.

this is math:
pascals Wager=belief=love/hate=trust/paranoia=theism/atheism=religion=god=evil=vampyre=demon=zombie=satan
Response: Does penguin=sqrt(awesomeflightlessbird)?

unless one can love without belief, like unless one can love based on only knowledge, then i am right
Response: That's up to you to prove. Also: Non-Sequitur.
Debate Round No. 3
vi_spex

Pro

im talking about if i believe in god, not that i do

talking about beliefs is not a we thing, i can never know if you have a belief

know is physical, and beliefs are mental

belief is nothing, i cant believe in Things only about Things kind of, i can imagine my neighbour is sleeping and believe it, where as i dont have to imagine that im reading these Words on my screen and writing them on my keyboard

i cant believe in reality, and i cant know imagination

belief is non sense, you are right, i have to imagine it

penguin=nature=life=animal
Challengerqwerty

Con

Pro said "im talking about if i believe in god, not that i do"
Response: If you do not believe in God, then you believe that god doesn't exist, or God might exist. All of these are beliefs too. You keep saying you have no beliefs, then you say a bunch of stuff you believe... And without any evidence... Even then, belief in God is not the topic of this debate, and is actually the only belief that the Pascal's Wager decision matrix applies to. All of the other examples you have given so far have been disproved. Your premise "Belief is Pascal's Wager" is still unproved.

Pro said "talking about beliefs is not a we thing, i can never know if you have a belief"
Response: Agreed. Really, you can't even know that I exist. You may be dreaming, or a computer simulation, etc. You choose to believe that I exist, or that your computer exists, or that Pascal's Wager exists. But this doesn't help your argument. It actually hurts it...

Pro said "know is physical, and beliefs are mental"
Response: Mental processes are physical. Neurons and electricity. Everything we see and hear and measure is interpreted by our brains first. The same brain which decides to "believe" or "disbelieve". Anything you say you "know" is just you believing in it. The idea that we can know anything is a belief. It can't be proven that what we experience coincides with what is real. Its just a lot healthier and much more sensible not to deny everything.

Pro said "belief is nothing, i cant believe in Things only about Things kind of, i can imagine my neighbour is sleeping and believe it, where as i dont have to imagine that im reading these Words on my screen and writing them on my keyboard"
Response: This doesn't prove anything or even address the topic. You're just saying that you think that stuff you see is true and stuff you don't see is "belief". What you "know" and what you "believe" have no impact on the debate. It's about whether or not Belief is Pascal's Wager. Pascal's Wager can not apply to any situation other than the existence of God. It's a specially designed decision matrix.

Pro says "i cant believe in reality, and i cant know imagination"
Response: I can actually see the beginning of an argument in this statement. Pro seems to be saying that "belief" is only about things we are unsure of, and that everything else is "imagination". Anything Pro sees occur is "knowing". Again, this doesn't even remotely pertain to whether or not Belief is Pascal's Wager, but at least it is somewhat coherent. In fact, you do "believe" in reality. Or you "believe" that there is no reality. Either way, you can't really "know" can you? Then again, you never met Pascal, so how do you "know" his Wager exists? How do you know "belief" exists? When you apply your reasoning to anything, it becomes nonsense. Still though, not an argument.

Pro says "belief is non sense, you are right, i have to imagine it"
Response: You believe that you have to believe in belief? But you also believe that believing in belief is imagining belief? And you are also arguing that belief is Pascal's Wager? So you believe that belief is a belief that you imagine that belief is a wager??? Is that what this means? Or maybe that you don't believe in belief? If your attempt at argument is based on your imagination, I don't "believe" that it will hold up. But that's not Pascal's Wager, that's just regular logic.

Pro said "penguin=nature=life=animal"
Response: Oh!!! I see it now. You're totally right about everything. Wait... Nope. Forgot to carry the one. Please, use more meaningless pseudo-math in your next argument. It's easier to understand than the rest of your response.
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I maintain that all of my arguments stand, and that Pro has submitted none of his own, at least none that make sense. Round Five is the final round of this debate. I ask that Pro leave a detailed and logical rebuttal to my arguments so far, instead of random statements and undecipherable gibberish.

My argument:

Pascal's Wager only applies to a god with infinite power. The idea behind it does not apply to reasoning without infinite loss or infinite gain. Used with any other measurable variables of payout than "belief in God" and "disbelief in God" it is just a regular decision matrix. Used with any of the purposes that Pro has listed is impossible. They are unmeasurable, unproven, or unobservable, ex: trust, paranoia, love, hate. How do you define probabilistic odds for payout of "hate"? Pro has not offered any explanation.

In each round I left a response to each of his statements. I suggest that Pro try to show error in my rebuttals as well, as it is his last round to reply.

Thanks!
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Debate Round No. 4
vi_spex

Pro

i dont know if a real god exist, i think god is possible thou

non belief=i dont know
disbelief=belief

god is information, anything i believe is belief in god

i know you are light on my screen and a story in my mind

know=Physical experience of now
belief=be lie, as i have to imagine it

i cant damage my body in a dream without waking up

in order for a simulation to exist there must be something to simulate

information exist beyond Space and time, and is the opposite of matter, opposite of true

i know infinity can never be destruction even thou i have to imagine it, as it is absolute.

without knowing, i am dead, there is no life without knowing

i cant die in a dream, as i can only die if i am alive

acceptance is life and denial is death

i am my brain, it dosnt make decisions for me, i make those decisions, as i have no beliefs

belief is doubt, and belief goes to imagination, know negates belief as i dont have to imagine it, i dont have to imagine that im reading these Words on my screen, so its not about belief

pascals Wager is much more... any belief is pascals Wager, anything you can mention you can believe goes to pascals Wager, as there is a Wager there, why believe? what is the upside of that belief? what is the Down side of not believing, its there on every single belief

=(is)

1+4=3+1+1=5=10-5=1*5

a penguin is not nature, not life, not an animal?

belief is non sense, know is sense. we are talking about non sense, i am not suppose to make sense, like these Words on your screen makes sense , your neighbour dosnt make sense right now, he is non sense, which enables my ability to accept false as true and real

imagination is endless, infinty, creation

existence is defined by experience
Challengerqwerty

Con

Pro Said "i dont know if a real god exist, i think god is possible thou

non belief=i dont know
disbelief=belief

god is information, anything i believe is belief in god"

Response: Pro seems to think that he can just redefine words to support his argument. Putting an equal sign between two words does not make them so. Disbelief is not the same as belief. They are nearly opposites, and no matter how much you repeat the statement, or how many other debates about the topic you create, this will not change.

Belief: an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
Disbelief: inability or refusal to accept that something is true or real.

Disbelief does not necessarily mean that there is a belief in the opposite. Example: Disbelief in God does not necessarily mean belief in no God.

Pro also consistently states that "god is information" but refuses to provide a source, or argument, or any form of reasoning to support this statement. This is just another example of Pro creating his own definition of words or ideas and then acting as if these ideas should be so obvious to others that he shouldn't have to explain them.

Pro says "i know you are light on my screen and a story in my mind

know=Physical experience of now
belief=be lie, as i have to imagine it"

Response: Part of Pro's system of "argument" also seems to be using an obscure and intelligible form of language that it is nearly impossible to extract any coherent argument from. The statement :"i know you are light on my screen and a story in my mind" is entirely unrelated to the platform of the debate "Belief is Pascal's Wager". It does not matter whether or not Pro believes that I am a person or a light or a story, or whether I exist, or whether God exists, or whether anything does. He has refused to use logic to back up his claim, and has refused to even attempt to refute my arguments against it.

Know: to have knowledge or clear and certain perception, as of fact or truth.
Belief: an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

Pro's entire argument seems to be that because belief is not as strongly supported as knowledge, all belief is somehow a lie. He says in Round 3 that "pascals Wager isnt real, like belief isnt real", but the truth or falsity of a statement or an idea is not determined by whether or not a person "knows" or "believes" it. For example I flip a coin and say it is heads without looking, and it will be just as true (or false) as if I had looked at the outcome. Pro has adopted a version of reality where the coin does not exist unless he checks, and whether it landed as heads or tails does not matter unless he checks himself. In other words, Pro denies the reality of anything he does not see, but accepts what he does. This itself is a form of belief. Pro believes that what he sees is truly reality and that his perception of the world is how the world is. This cannot be proved either, but Pro asserts it as a matter of fact.

Therefore Pro changes his definition of Belief, Knowledge, and Imagine to support whatever claim he is making at the time, and offers no other substance to these claims whatsoever.

From what I can interpret of Pro, he switches between two conflicting arguments, although neither of them are explicitly mentioned or explained. One is that every Belief is Pascal's Wager because belief is solely based on logical reasoning, which it is not. People's beliefs are often irrational, and take the forms of thousands of cognitive biases that influence our actions and ideologies. Two common cognitive biases are Confirmation Bias and the Backfire effect. Pro apparently suffers from both.

Confirmation bias: also called my side bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, or recall information in a way that confirms one's beliefs or hypotheses. (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Pro accepts only information that supports his claim, and ignores any contradictory evidence as so inherently and obviously false that he feels it is not worth responding to it.

Backfire Effect: when, in the face of contradictory evidence, established beliefs do not change but actually get stronger. (http://rationalwiki.org...). This means that, when presented with facts and ideas that go against his pseudo-philosophy, Pro's (ironic) belief in his claim will increase regardless of how illogical or ill-supported it is.

Of course, it's likely that I also suffer to some extent from both these biases, which is why we leave the voting up to you.

Pro says "i cant damage my body in a dream without waking up

in order for a simulation to exist there must be something to simulate"

Response: These claims were in response to my own statement that what Pro believes to be knowledge is based upon other beliefs that he has, and are not necessarily true. I used the two examples of a "simulation" and a "dream" to illustrate the idea that Pro's perception of reality might not be reality how it is. It is impossible to prove that we are not in a simulation or a dream, but we believe that we aren't because there is no evidence for it and plenty for the opposite. Pro's definition of knowledge ends up just being whatever it is Pro believes, and Pro's definition of belief ends up just being whatever Pro doesn't believe. This is why he calls knowledge true and belief false. Unsupported bias.

Pro says "information exist beyond Space and time, and is the opposite of matter, opposite of true
i know infinity can never be destruction even thou i have to imagine it, as it is absolute.
without knowing, i am dead, there is no life without knowing
i cant die in a dream, as i can only die if i am alive"

Response: This entire section of what can be only loosely referred to as "argument" is entirely irrelevant and nonsensical. Pro makes several statements with no discernible meaning or supporting evidence. There is no point in further analyzing anything more of this, as it offers no support for Pro's claim. Anyway, I have already refuted many similar statements in previous rounds, and those refutations still stand. It is rather pretty and poetic though. Perhaps Pro should look into creative writing?

Pro says "i am my brain, it dosnt make decisions for me, i make those decisions, as i have no beliefs"
Response: Your brain makes many decisions subconsciously and based on biased perceptions and assumptions. I already referenced two of these biases, but many more can be read about here: (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Pro has many beliefs, he just erroneously considers them to be fact, because he believes that the only facts are what he believes.

Pro says "belief is doubt, and belief goes to imagination, know negates belief as i dont have to imagine it, i dont have to imagine that im reading these Words on my screen, so its not about belief"

Belief does not mean doubt. Belief can exist with our without doubt. Belief can be total, or belief can be conditional. Belief can also be with evidence or without evidence. Knowledge is just a word for belief with a lot of evidence. Imagination and Belief are not the same. People often imagine things they do not believe, and believe things they do not imagine.

You do not have to imagine yourself to be reading the words on the screen, but that does not mean you really are reading them. It could be a dream. You may be insane or hallucinating. It is impossible for you to truly "know" that you are reading words on a screen. You just believe that your perception of reality is true, and it probably is, but that does not change the fact that your definitions of belief and knowledge are arbitrary. You just call your belief: "knowledge", and your disbelief: belief and lies and imagination. None of this supports the claim.
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Almost out of room; Pro's last arguments are just repetition, and him saying that belief is all choice and based off payout. I already disproved all of this.
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Thanks!
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
how can you disBELIEVE my claim without belief challengeqwert?
Posted by UndeniableReality 2 years ago
UndeniableReality
"Pascal's Wager simply helps make a more logical decision when used correctly."

LOL that's new.
Posted by Challengerqwerty 2 years ago
Challengerqwerty
Oh shoot. Wrong debate! Ignore that... Lol
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
its a default paranoia pattern, suit yourself
Posted by KylePooley 2 years ago
KylePooley
Pascal's wager is to show that believing in god is a win, win situation for those who want to go to heaven:
If you believe in god, you go to heaven, if god is not real, you rot in the ground.
If you don't believe in god, you rot in the ground, if god is't real, you rot in the ground.

This still doesn't prove anything in favour of god.
What's interesting is once knowing this, why not make yourself believe so that, if you win, you have everything and if you lose, you have nothing.
But believing is not something you can choose, nor force yourself.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
pascals Wager is paranoia, fear, doubt, religion
Posted by Esiar 2 years ago
Esiar
Pascal's Wager simply helps make a more logical decision when used correctly.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Nicoszon_the_Great 2 years ago
Nicoszon_the_Great
vi_spexChallengerqwertyTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments seemed to be barely coherent and poorly thought out and thus lose my vote.
Vote Placed by Philocat 2 years ago
Philocat
vi_spexChallengerqwertyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: vi_spex could not form a sensical and structured argument. His rounds were full of unwarranted, even false, assertions that did not form a clear argument.