Friday, June 10, 2022

Pascal's Wager and Mine

From online material from the Encyclopedia Britannica:

"Pascal's wager, practical argument for belief in God formulated by French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal. In his Pensées (1657-58), Pascal applied elements of game theory to show that belief in the Christian religion is rational. He argued that people can choose to believe in God or can choose to not believe in God, and that God either exists or he does not."  

Pascal goes on to argue that the benefits of the belief outweigh the disadvantages, whether or not God exists, so one should believe.

My wager is similar:

If there is a Heaven, then my precious Tina will be there, and perhaps I will be able to join her. That's Possibility One.

Perhaps there is no Heaven, or even if there is, I may be rejected. Either way, I will not be reunited with her. That's Possibility Two.

Each has some probability of being true, though we don't know what it is. 

The probabilities times the rewards are the expected values.

I don't choose to believe because that is the only way I might be saved, however, I simply choose to believe that there are these two possibilities, and I hope the good one will occur.

This resembles quantum mechanics, where only the act of doing (e.g., measuring) brings the hidden state into being.

I'll know. Someday. 


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