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Old 12th January 2021, 12:48 PM   #300
Penultimate Amazing
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 49,607
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Sort of. But that's why Pascal went for probabilities maths rather than binary true or false.

If you go for binary true or false, sure, Pascal's maths doesn't add anything to that. Pascal's trick of multiplying by infinity does make some sense (as a handwaving device, at least) if he can get you to say something like, "eh, I can't prove that God doesn't exist, but let's say I'm 99.99% sure he doesn't." Ah-ha! But then you leave a 0.01% chance for God to exist, and 0.01% times infinity is infinity! So you should bloody believe in God.
I'm interested in whether GDon sees it that way.

I'd also like to add a bit of nuance. This isn't strictly about playing the probabilities. We don't get to be Beni, or John Constantine, running around with a pocketful of talismans, using trial and error to discover which pantheon this particular demon is part of.

Even the probabilistic approach depends on special pleading or begging the question.

There's at least a thousand versions of godhead for GDon to choose from*. Which one he chooses to "believe in" as a statistical hedge against uncertainty must be determined before the hedging can begin. And it has to be determined by means other than the wager itself, otherwise the exercise is circular.

Why take that 0.01% chance on Yahweh? Why not on Allah, or the Bodhisattva, or Sithrak (NSFW)?

I'm proposing that by the time you're done assembling all the evidence that justifies privileging Yahweh for the wager, you've assembled enough evidence to render the wager moot.

But maybe not. I'd be interested to see how GDon threads that needle, in his application of the wager.

*Actually I think the number is probably in the billions, but a thousand is sufficient to illustrate my point.
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