Talk:Pascal's Wager

(Difference between revisions)

Do you think it might help to mention the idea of "if you roll a die, what are the chances of a 6 or a not-6?" which seemed to be a good way to get the point across that the argument is unbalanced? Obviously this would need to be inserted at the correct point and explained a little more eruditely than what I've just described. Blu Matt 17:50, 31 July 2006 (MST)

Evil/unconventional god

Is there a need to mention the possibility of a god who rewards unbelievers and punishes believers? Such a god would be consistent with the fall-back response of theologians "we cannot understand the ways of god", so it is feasible that such a god would want to reward atheists. This god would not need to be malevolant, merely inactive (mirroring deism with regards to creation), and wanting to reward those who take a rational approach to their beliefs.

The new table would thus be the following

Table of Payoffs Believe in God Don't believe in God
God doesn't exist 0 0
Legalistic religious god exists +∞ (heaven) −∞ (hell)
Anti-conventional god exists −∞ (hell) +∞ (heaven)

The mere possibility of such a god makes the expected outcomes for each column undefined, but more importantly, equal. Gary 21:35, 11 September 2009 (CDT)

Momergil's rewording

I guess its really up to the IronChariots administrators like Dcljr, but I'm not sure i agree with your rewording. Despite being in the form of a wager, the argument still consists of premises, and leads to a conclusion. And it can be expressed in a syllogism. For instance (and please bear with me, i'm sure it could be worded better, this is just for the sake of demonstration.)

p1. Believers and non believers alike, agree that payoff is good, punishment is bad.
p2. if god is real you receive infinite punishment for disbelief or infinite payoff for belief
a. if you believe you go to heaven for eternity.
b. if you do not believe you go to hell for eternity.
p3. if god is not real you don't really loose or gain anything either way.
a. if you believe falsely that god does exist you haven't really lost anything.
b. if you don't believe and it turns out god doesn't exist then you don't really gain anything.
c1. Therefore even if there is strong evidence against god it is still better to believe.
a. the payoff for believing if there is a god, is infinitely better than the benefit for not believing if there's no god.
b. the punishment for not believing if there is a god, is infinitely worse than the loss caused by believing falsely that there is a god.

Of course the logic is only as good as the syllogism validity and the premises it is based on, and as the article points out there are a number of problems with this.

Also, what is 'previne'? did you maybe mean 'prevail' or something? If so, please check your spelling and grammar more thoroughly next time. Minor typos are to be expected, but that whole sentence basically doesn't make sense now. --Murphy 06:42, 8 December 2009 (CST)