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Pascal's Mugging: Tiny Probabilities of Vast Utilities

Not once in my life have I had these debates (no, not exaggerating) and I find it a strange assumption that I have. Don't spend an immense amount of time on these sort of forums ya' see.

If this sort of debate is truly so scripted could you point me to one? Since I'd gain an equal amount of information, apparently.

I do actually want to know what the apparently so common christian reply to these arguments is, it's sort of why I asked. I'm here to get information, not to be told that the information has already been given. This fact doesn't really help me.

Pascal's Mugging: Tiny Probabilities of Vast Utilities

You're falling into the atheist-arguing-with-believers mode.

I've only made arguments I think are correct in response to points that you made. If I have offended you, that was certainly not the intent and you can point to where you think I was rude.

But this is a theological argument. If you did not want to start a theological argument, then why did you start a theological argument?

What is your point?

The original issue was whether you have discovered a new failure mode in Pascal's Wager (besides a few well-known ones). My view on that remains unchanged.

"The original issue"? Were still talking about the same issue. Whether or not there's evidence to suggest that a god would do these things is an integral part of Pascals wager, aka the thing we've been talking about for 5 posts, and it's the only point you've made against my argument.

And in discussion it's customary to explain why your view hasn't changed. If my logic isn't incorrect, it is obviously correct, and it would be nice of you to explain why you think it isn't, instead of just offhandedly dismissing me without explanation.

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Pascal's Mugging: Tiny Probabilities of Vast Utilities

I am not quite sure how do you reconcile the former and the latter parts of this sentence.

I am not quite sure why I would have issue. Above negligible in this case means any probability above that of a completely random unfalsifiable hypothesis with no evidence to support it.

So you think there's some credible evidence for god's existence but absolutely none, zero, zilch, nada evidence for the claim that god can give you eternal life and that believing in him increases your chances of receiving it?

No, and there's perfectly valid evidence to believe he wants us to not believe in him. Of course that isn't actually any evidence of a reward or an afterlife, nor would evidence that he wants us to believe in him be.

The current evidence at hand only indicates that God doesn't care about whether or not we believe in his existence, as god is omnipotent and could just give us ACTUAL evidence to convince everyone of his existence, which doesn't exist.

Of course he did. There is a large volume of sacred literature in most cultures which deals precisely with characteristics of gods. A large chunk of it claims to be revelatory and have divine origin.

This isn't evidence. There's an equal probability of people writing these things in universes where there is no God and universes where there is a God. This is of course an estimation, we haven't seen what these texts look like in an universe with a god compared to religious texts in an universe without a god, nor the amount of them, so the texts we have don't actually indicate anything about the existence of god.

The absolutely only difference between a religious text and a random hypothesis with no evidence to support it is that a religious text is a random hypothesis with no evidence to support it that someone wrote down.

There isn't anything in these texts to imply divine origin. They're full of logical errors, scientific errors, and they contradict themselves internally and among each other.

And if say, the bible was actually of divine origins, as it is full of logical errors, contradictions and scientific errors it would only indicate that god doesn't want us to believe in him, which is what you're trying to prove in the first place.

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Pascal's Mugging: Tiny Probabilities of Vast Utilities

There is certainly evidence to support the existence of god (God, a god, gods, etc.) Most people around here don't find it convincing but billions of people around the globe do.

We're not talking about the existence of god. You're forgetting the law of burdensome detail.

Pascals wager doesn't posit that God exists, it posits that God exists and he'll give us eternal joy if we believe in him.

The claim god exists has an above negligible probability, the claim god will give you eternal joy, but only if you believe in him has no absolutely no evidence to support it, and is therefore equal to the claim god will give you eternal joy, but only if you don't believe in him.

If a God exists, since he hasn't given us any indication of any of his characteristics (if you feel otherwise please argue), we have no evidence to indicate he'd do either.

Hell I find it more probable that an intelligent deity would reward us for concluding he didn't exist since that's by far the most probable version of reality as determined by the evidence at hand. He'd have to be malevolent to reward us for believing in him if this is the evidence he gives for his existence, and there isn't any evidence for that either. Maybe life is a test and you win if you realize that based on available evidence the existence of god isn't sufficiently likely to claim he exists cough sarcasm cough. This is of course assuming vaguely human motivation and values.

There isn't any evidence to indicate either, the point of pascals wager seems to be that a finitely small probability multiplied by an infinite gain is cause for motivation, but this is untrue if that claim is equally true to any made up contradicting claim.

Pascal's Mugging: Tiny Probabilities of Vast Utilities

I have a very poor understanding of both probability and analytic philosophy so in the inevitable scenario where I'm completely wrong be kind.

But if you can conceive of a scenario where there's a probability that doing something will result in infinite gain, but you can also picture an equally probable scenario where doing NOTHING will result in equal gain, then don't they cancel each other out?

If there's a probability that believing in god will give you infinite gain, isn't there an equal probability that not believing in god will result in infinite gain?

So if the only merit to a scenario is that someone came up with it it can be countered with a contradicting scenario that someone came up with. There are an infinite amount of claims with no evidence to support them that all have a finitely small probability, but every single one of those claims has a contradicting claim with equal probability.

So only beliefs with evidence to support them should be considered, because only those beliefs don't have a contradicting belief with an equal probability.

So isn't pascals wager pretty stupid? If there's an infinite gain in believing in god there's also an infinite gain in not believing in god. The probability is equal to an infinite amount of contradicting probabilities, therefore non-existent.

Now please tell me how I'm wrong so I can stop having a false sense of accomplishment.

Tell Your Rationalist Origin Story

I don't consider myself a rationalist, I feel that would indicate a confidence I don't have. I'm certainly trying, which is by far the most important step I think.

I suppose it was the first time I heard to proper definition of evidence, in that anything that is true only ever makes anything else more likely to be true if the latter has a higher chance of being true if the former also is (dumbed down but that's how I heard it). Id always been a bit skeptical of - effectively stated - all the bullshit but that's what really got me thinking about religion and some of the things my parents taught me.

I believe I was 10 or so. I was mildly astonished at the fact no one considered this relevant information until now. I'd been in school for 4 years and no one taught me the concept of evidence.

The depths of my naivety are revealed to me now.

The Halo Effect

It's only when reading about these sort of experimental results when the full atrocious stupidity of an education system that doesn't educate people about logical fallacies begins to hit me.

They have this much of an impact on people in such critical situations where absolute neutrality is completely vital and yet no one seems to consider making it in any way mandatory to teach children how to THINK.

Feeling Rational

What is it with you and shoelaces?

The Anti-Placebo Effect

Are you sure that "anti placebo effect" is a good name though? The placebo effect refers exclusively to medical treatment if I'm not entirely mistaken, and this seems to have much broader implications in basically any sort of training. It's still basically the same effect if someone refuses to notice the progress they made with say tutoring, but it has nothing to do with medicine or treatment.

Seems a bit misleading.