Re: Pascal's Wager

Emmanuel Charpentier (
Sun, 06 Dec 1998 21:39:00 +0000

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> Pascal's wager is restated to argue a different point:
> > One: if you do not believe in christian god there are two
> > possibilities, if christian god exists you will go in hell,
> > if it doesn't nothing happen. Two: if you do believe in god,
> > and it doesn't exist, then there is no consequence, but if
> > it does (finally) exist, then JackpoT!!! you go in heaven.
> Poster contends that the fallacy is lack of probabilities,
> but it is actually quite a bit simpler and more obvious than
> that: the premises of the argument are simply false. There
> /is/ a cost to belief, and there /is/ a benefit to non-belief,
> and both the costs and benefits of both choices must be
> evaluated to make a rational choice.

I agree with you on the fact that pascal's argument can be resolved through the use of costs, at least resolved for non believers who want to be logical. But that doesn't make pascal's bet illogical, simply you and I don't want to play our lives on this bet! And some want to play their lives, and ours, on a singularity bet, and I don't like that at all!!!

And one problem about logic, is the fact that you are constantly making assumptions, and again it can lead to logically sound arguments, but that are illogical when considering the global frame.

> Indeed, I personally think that it is not possible for a
> person who honestly believes in God to be a moral person or
> lead an effective, worthwhile life, so the cost of belief
> is very high--the sacrifice of this life for the false hope
> in the next.
> The same logical fallacy is often used to argue for cryonics.
> (replace "belief" with "cryo-contract", "heaven" with
> "survival", and "hell" with "death"). The fallacy is the
> same: there /is/ a measurabe cost to cryonics (in hard cash)
> and possible benefits to abstention (though these are more
> speculative: perhaps the money you save will be invested in
> better immortality technologies). On balance, I think
> cryonics is the right choice to make (it is for me), but not
> because of such weak arguments.

Pascal's bet is no weak argument, a bet is a bet so long as there is a cost to it, you simply have to balance the cost when considering the eventual consequences. This is the killer argument for cryonic!!!