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The (modified) Pascal's Wager is valid?!

Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/17/2014 9:26:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
This is more of a philosophy post, but I had a look at this argument and the responses, and it actually appears that many of the responses are off the mark. Albeit the original argument was made in favor of the Christian God.

To me it actually seems logically valid and sound?!

God - Defined as a being who will send you to heaven for believing in his existance and to hell for not believing in his existance.

Heaven = Infinite Reward
Hell = Infinite Punishment

Then it seems to follow that even if the God as defined has a googleplex to one chance of existing, then the gambit of believing in him will eventually pay off once you get lucky.

And that payoff/punishment is larger than any finite number of finite lives.

This also works assuming multiple other possible Gods with incompatible attributes, as this is a 'bare minimum God', and any better option would be belief in at least some other divine entity or God.

Ergo it is rational to believe in the existence of god, even if you think his existence is unlikely, since the nature of the belief, or other attributes you belief simply do not matter, there will always be at least one possible God with the attributes required for this argument to work.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/17/2014 9:42:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I am not sure what the correct logic system to use is so I will try and show it in modal form.

N= Necessary
P=Possible
. = Conjunction

1) If god exists and you don't believe than infinite loss
2) If god exists and you believe, then infinite reward
3) If god doesn't exist and you believe, then finite loss
4) If god doesn't exist and you don't believe, then finite gain

Therefore you can tally up the situations:

Belief: Infinite gain/finite loss
Non-belief: Finite gain/infinite loss

Which is exactly how pascal presented the argument, the only thing that is changed is the definition of God.
Hematite12
Posts: 400
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7/17/2014 10:03:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/17/2014 9:26:18 AM, Envisage wrote:
This is more of a philosophy post, but I had a look at this argument and the responses, and it actually appears that many of the responses are off the mark. Albeit the original argument was made in favor of the Christian God.

To me it actually seems logically valid and sound?!

God - Defined as a being who will send you to heaven for believing in his existance and to hell for not believing in his existance.

Heaven = Infinite Reward
Hell = Infinite Punishment

Then it seems to follow that even if the God as defined has a googleplex to one chance of existing, then the gambit of believing in him will eventually pay off once you get lucky.

And that payoff/punishment is larger than any finite number of finite lives.

This also works assuming multiple other possible Gods with incompatible attributes, as this is a 'bare minimum God', and any better option would be belief in at least some other divine entity or God.

Ergo it is rational to believe in the existence of god, even if you think his existence is unlikely, since the nature of the belief, or other attributes you belief simply do not matter, there will always be at least one possible God with the attributes required for this argument to work.

Which God?
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/17/2014 10:03:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/17/2014 10:03:10 AM, Hematite12 wrote:
At 7/17/2014 9:26:18 AM, Envisage wrote:
This is more of a philosophy post, but I had a look at this argument and the responses, and it actually appears that many of the responses are off the mark. Albeit the original argument was made in favor of the Christian God.

To me it actually seems logically valid and sound?!

God - Defined as a being who will send you to heaven for believing in his existance and to hell for not believing in his existance.

Heaven = Infinite Reward
Hell = Infinite Punishment

Then it seems to follow that even if the God as defined has a googleplex to one chance of existing, then the gambit of believing in him will eventually pay off once you get lucky.

And that payoff/punishment is larger than any finite number of finite lives.

This also works assuming multiple other possible Gods with incompatible attributes, as this is a 'bare minimum God', and any better option would be belief in at least some other divine entity or God.

Ergo it is rational to believe in the existence of god, even if you think his existence is unlikely, since the nature of the belief, or other attributes you belief simply do not matter, there will always be at least one possible God with the attributes required for this argument to work.

Which God?

The one I defined if you actually read the OP.
Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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7/17/2014 10:17:42 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Now that I think of it some more, you can also reverse the Pascal's wager, by postulating a reverse defined God.

God - I being that will send you to hell for believing in his existence, and to heaven for not believing in his existance.

In which case everything gets turned upside down, and the only way to resolve this is to postulate that the hypothetical good God is any more possible than a hypothetical anti-God.
Amoranemix
Posts: 521
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7/17/2014 10:27:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
(I see in the mean time you figured out the flaw.)

Without relying on evidence you can't make a risk assessment of what behaviour will get you what afterlife. There is a rule in risk taking :
Do not take a risk if you don't know the reward. In this case you don't know the reward/punishment is Heaven or Hell. You just made that up.

In order to estimate the expectation value of a too complicated system, you can try to evaluate a simplified version, which is what you have done. However, you must be able to show that your simplified version is a good model, meaning that it must be a good approximation of the real world. That you haven't done.

Envisage 1
This also works assuming multiple other possible Gods with incompatible attributes, as this is a 'bare minimum God', and any better option would be belief in at least some other divine entity or God.
I don't understand on what grounds you dismiss all the other possible gods. For example, what of the god that sends you to Hell if you believe in him and to Heaven if you don't believe in him ?

Envisage 2
1) If god exists and you don't believe than infinite loss
2) If god exists and you believe, then infinite reward
3) If god doesn't exist and you believe, then finite loss
4) If god doesn't exist and you don't believe, then finite gain
I assume you mean 'God' in stead of 'god'.

There are other possible outcomes. Suppose Anti-God exists and does the following :
a) If you believe in God he sends you to Hell.
b) If you don't believe in God he sends you to Heaven.

In that situation for example your case (3) would be in stead :
3) If God doesn't exist and you believe in him, then infinite loss.
Are you prepared to take that risk ?
The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
Yoshi
Posts: 71
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7/17/2014 11:57:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Amoranemix and Hematite12 are right

Your definition of "God" is only looking at one specific attribute a god could have and you disregard the fact that there's many gods with the same attribute that also state "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" which also states you will go through infinite punishment as well which will then break the pascal's wager.

The Pascal's Wager opens the door to Amoranemix's "Anti-God" outcome to Pascal's Wager, meaning whatever you come up with by using Pascal's Wager can also have a "counter-Pascal's Wager".
Hematite12
Posts: 400
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7/17/2014 9:29:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/17/2014 10:03:47 AM, Envisage wrote:
At 7/17/2014 10:03:10 AM, Hematite12 wrote:
At 7/17/2014 9:26:18 AM, Envisage wrote:
This is more of a philosophy post, but I had a look at this argument and the responses, and it actually appears that many of the responses are off the mark. Albeit the original argument was made in favor of the Christian God.

To me it actually seems logically valid and sound?!

God - Defined as a being who will send you to heaven for believing in his existance and to hell for not believing in his existance.

Heaven = Infinite Reward
Hell = Infinite Punishment

Then it seems to follow that even if the God as defined has a googleplex to one chance of existing, then the gambit of believing in him will eventually pay off once you get lucky.

And that payoff/punishment is larger than any finite number of finite lives.

This also works assuming multiple other possible Gods with incompatible attributes, as this is a 'bare minimum God', and any better option would be belief in at least some other divine entity or God.

Ergo it is rational to believe in the existence of god, even if you think his existence is unlikely, since the nature of the belief, or other attributes you belief simply do not matter, there will always be at least one possible God with the attributes required for this argument to work.

Which God?

The one I defined if you actually read the OP.

I did read it, but your definitions are too generic to be helpful. The other poster pretty much elaborated my view on the issue.