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#11 mmiguel

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:54 AM

Wow, so the big conspiracy is that this guy just changed the headers on Pascal's wager.

If scientists listen to him then all scientists should believe in God and be religious.


Awesome! I was looking for an example of this in religion, but couldn't find it -- didn't know the right search term.
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#12 mmiguel

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:02 AM

The advisor said the probability was 15%.


Spoiler for

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#13 mmiguel

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:11 AM

My answer would depend on a clarification of the OP. But I think I should put the clarification questions in a spoiler because I feel like understanding what clarification questions need to be asked is really the heart of the riddle.

Spoiler for

As for the video, curr3nt and Rob_Gandy already made the main points about not accounting for non-extreme cases, and not accounting for the possibility that interventions will fail. I would also add the need to account for the possibility that environmental destruction through pollution and whatnot might not be the factor that ultimately determines when humanity devolves into a mess of savages barely able to survive. World War III, comet collisions, and alien invasions might all happen first. In fact, excessive pollution might be just the thing that kills off a mutating multidrug-resistant bacteria before it fully evolves and spreads to cause a plague that makes the Black Death look like a case of the sniffles.



Spoiler for

Edited by mmiguel, 20 September 2012 - 04:14 AM.

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#14 TheChad08

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:45 AM

Really? I'd say the opposite. In fact, I think I did...(in an essay I wrote in college). One of the major problems about Pascal's conclusions is that he doesn't take into account all the possibilities. To summarize, his argument is:

Probability God exists > 0
Amount of happiness you gain from following God = infinity
Hence expected value of following God is infinite happiness at a relatively small cost in this lifetime


One of my arguments was:

Probability that a different god exists, that will condemn you to infinite suffering if you follow the wrong god > 0
(or multiple such gods, for that matter)
Hence countering the infinite benefit of following God (the Christian God if I remember correctly, which was what Pascal was espousing)

You are assuming that god requires you to follow his religion.
There is also the assumption that faith is required for access to heaven, not your mortal actions.
Don't forget to include that assumption that we aren't ignorant to our punishment/reward.
What good is heaven/hell if we aren't aware of our eternal bliss/damnation?

I know Pascal's wager and I'm still an atheist
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#15 Yoruichi-san

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:22 AM

You are assuming that god requires you to follow his religion.
There is also the assumption that faith is required for access to heaven, not your mortal actions.
Don't forget to include that assumption that we aren't ignorant to our punishment/reward.
What good is heaven/hell if we aren't aware of our eternal bliss/damnation?

I know Pascal's wager and I'm still an atheist


Hey! Don't attribute Pascal's arguments to me :mad:. I was summarizing Pascal's argument, as I understand it.

Obviously, from the fact I argued against Pascal's Wager, I disagree with him ;). And yes, as I mentioned, that was only one of my arguments, the one that was pertinent in regards to "considering all the possibilities", which my post was in response to.

Edited by Yoruichi-san, 20 September 2012 - 06:24 AM.

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