Lee Corbin wrote,
>From: Lee Corbin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Pascal's Wager vs. Cryonics
>Date: Fri, 04 May 2001 14:15:11 -0700
>Brent Allsop asked, in effect, "How do you respond to an atheist
>who points out a similarity between believing that cryonics might
>work (it's a better chance than nothing) and believing in Pascal's
>wager (you have everything to win if He does exist, but nothing
>to lose if He does not)?"
(1) I find Pascal's Wager somewhat ironic in that many Christians consider
gambling sinful, or at least a sign of weak character.
(2) Pascal assumes that Materialism/Atheism and Catholic Christianity are
the only options. But in the real world of human history and culture, it's
extremely unlikely that one gets born in a predominantly Catholic society.
For example, a few months back I met a graduate endrinology student who had
grown up in a Zoroastrian household (parents having migrated from Iran to
the U.S.), and I realized that it's only a historical accident that people
in Western Europe inherited the Judeo-Christian set of arbitrary beliefs
about the supernatural instead of those of other religions. Perhaps if
Alexander the Great, and later the Muslims, hadn't been so effective in
persecuting the Zoroastrian religion, Western philosophers and theologians
would have spent their lives debating arguments about the existence and
theodicies of Ahura Mazda versus Ahriman.
(3) As for cryonics, I suspect that we aren't going to get a set of
discrete outcomes as simple as life versus death. The patients'
revivability and identity-conservation are going to fall into some kind of
distribution from poor to excellent.
Mark Plus, Expansionary
"Working to make religion and death obsolescent in the 21st Century."
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