[FoRK] That's a bunch of Malarkey

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Mon Jan 19 10:28:17 PST 2015

On 1/19/15 7:46 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> Don't be silly.  You are confusing the game theoretic soundness of Pascal's wager with some other project, attribution, or 
> experiment.
> If you have an infinite payout in one quadrant, the game theoretic conclusion obeys all logic and scientific assumptions.   To 
> deny that is to deny logic.

Inifinte payout?  Are you sure?  Any different kind of existence is at least somewhat beyond an event horizon.  All the ones I can 
imagine are qualitatively less than this one.  The most logical mapping would be to an upload, but that is a cheap existence.  In 
any case, the new you is not going to be you in any meaningful way. And we'll likely create upload ourselves soonish anyway.

> You are free to challenge the assumptions and make your own payoff matrix, but you can't change someone else's definition.  Go 
> ahead and change the labels, but tell me what the dominant strategy is for any payoff matrix with similar payoffs.  If you don't 
> end up with the same solution then your math's is off.
> One question though, I think your calculations for "an infinite amount of time" are a little off.  Assuming there exists at least 
> one human in each (in your words) "arbitrary life-long adherence requirements" and human life is not infinite, then wouldn't that 
> number be bounded and finite?

Pascal's Wager is the game theoretic decision making of a single person, not all humanity.  First you have to choose the right 
quadrant.  If you choose to act as if there is a heaven / religion / God, you must first choose which heaven / religion / God, among 
many (and potentially an infinite set).  If you choose poorly, then even though you chose to believe, believing in the wrong thing 
would have been futile (according to the beliefs of most religions).  Pascal's Wager presupposes that you are already considering 
the one true religion.  According to the rules of each of those religions, that can't be true of everyone's religion.  There are a 
finite number of religions currently, but based on their rules of evidence, over time there may be infinite alternative religions 
with just as much evidence.  Therefore, the odds that you've chosen the correct religion are vanishingly small.  Even if you choose 
to believe and otherwise invest to be proper with one religion, you can't do so in many more than one religion.  Therefore, as an 
individual, there's no way to cover all of your bases short of infinite time.

Most people rely on various fallacies to unconsciously justify their assumptions.  Principally, that they are part of a large group 
of like-minded believers, so theirs is likely the one true religion. In honor of the biggest mistake that lasted the longest even in 
the face of evidence obvious to everyone, let's call that the Flat Earth fallacy: If everyone believes it, it must be true.

Besides, everything related to this fails Occam's Razor.  The resulting probability is the result of the product of many fractional 
probability terms, many of which are likely 0.

> Greg


> On 1/18/2015 1:23 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>> Still stands for flawed logic?
>> There are an infinite number of things that we have no evidence for that
>> could be true.  Adequately preparing for each of their arbitrary
>> life-long adherence requirements would take an infinite amount of time
>> and effort.  Not likely to work out well.  Highly likely to be a waste
>> of time, effort, and resources.  Infinite noise.
>> I can only get behind the FSM, all others will have to wait for the next
>> life.
>> sdw
>> _

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