Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Many years ago there was a helicopter pilot named bobby. Bobby was flying amongst the skyscrapers of the city and became frightfully lost, he could no longer remember where he airfield was, and he was running low on fuel. In desperation he decided to ask a young man in an office window for directions. Grabbing a piece of paper from the chopper he wrote WHERE AM I? in big bold letters and held it to the window. The young man looked at the note, looked at Bobby scratched his head and wrote back YOU'RE IN A HELICOPTER. From there bobby grabbed the stick and flew straight back to the airfield.

How did you know where you were from those instructions the other pilots asked. Bobby said "it was simple. I knew who ran the building and could work out my location. That had to be the Microsoft technical support building the information was accurate but useless none the less."

Which leads me onto Pascals Wager, the information is accurate but useless none the less.

There is a game of chance being played at an infinite distance to us, win an infinite prize, or suffer an infinite punishment, all for a finite stake.

The argument is simple logic, you believe that god exists, you adopt a Christian lifestyle, if god exists you get it all paradise and infinite rewards, if you are wrong you might loose out on the sex drugs and rock and roll side of life, but not a great loss. If you choose to say God doesn’t exist you may gain a little an impious life has its benefits as we know anything you enjoy is either illegal, immoral or fattening, but the gain is only finite, but if you are wrong and god doesn’t exist (you are in for such a smiting) the punishment is infinite, Hell. So logically you such bet on the better reward, as long as the probability of god is greater than zero, your logical bet is on the belief in god.

Where E is the enjoyment factor of life inclusive of afterlife, p is the probability of god, R is the reward positive or neg infinity and g is the earthly gains.

Major problems:
I cannot force myself to believe in God just because of a logical argument. Just as I cannot believe John Howard is a far and honourable man regardless of the reward that is offered. This does hold true but in accepting the wager one must accept a Christian way of life, take communion, enjoy fellow ship and you will come to know gods greatness.

Mercenary character: If I was god I would smite those who signed up merely for reward. This is true, this is not faith, but as above adopting the lifestyle will lead to a pious life and a true love of the almighty.

Many Gods Problem: which god does one bet upon, imagine a reclusive god who has vowed to smite all that follow him, his probability is not zero, so the logical bet is for disbelief. The Probability of any omnipotent being is not zero therefore the wager holds true for all religions. One should have faith yes but in what. Logic once again comes through to save the day.
Maybe we take it as a job interview look for the highest volume of work, the most experience as a god. Jesus has only been around for a few thousand years, so RA really has the experience over him. Perhaps we should aim most sightings, more believable God, and of course the theistic bikini contest . Although I do not believe one can know god and it is arrogant to assume otherwise. How can one claim knowledge of what is intrinsically ineffable.

Unfortunately this is where the wager does fall short. Due to the nature of infinite rewards.

Infinite reward problem. I am having a raffle the reward a wallet of infinite money and splendour, all it will cost is everything you will ever own. Logic says, finite stake, finite chance of winning, infinite reward, logic says go for it. Yet I don’t think I will sell too many tickets.

Pascals wager is a charming yet crudely applied logic, it does suggest that logically it is in your best interests to have faith, but is unfortunately a little hazy on the details due to the nature of the infinite rewards. My bet is to live a good life, think for yourself and follow the parts of any religion which seems right, and just hope it is good enough for gods high standards.


Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

Here Here! Well said.

Gambling is really all about getting something for nothing which is in our little curious george genes. The afterworld is no exception and for millenia people have tried to figure out how to squeak through the pearly gates with the least amount of effort.

We realise that there is enough truth in the logic of the old karmic boomerang to understand that you generally get out of life what you give. Statistically.

Thinking about these post respiration events is not for the weak of heart. I leave you with my new favorite bumper sticker..
What if the Hokey-Pokey IS what its all about?

8:42 PM  
Blogger Stace said...

You heard about the funeral of the guy who wrote that? They put his right arm in, they took his right arm out... that's when the trouble started...

11:32 PM  
Blogger Darius said...

I agree. And for me, part of thinking - and feeling - my own way along has been to reject the notion of religion as a gigantic reward/punishment system as silly and about as obviously anthropcentric and just plain made up as a notion can get.

5:55 PM  

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