44Joined Apr 2022


Great point! Especially considering I'm already a believer in the multiverse, it's not necessarily less likely that we'll develop some method of creating infinite utilities than it is that heaven or hell exists.

I'll definitely consider this, so thanks for commenting!

The only point I was making was that not all versions of God are equally likely, so the possible utilities of heaven and hell don't cancel. I don't know what the most likely form of God is, but it sounds like we both agree that not all of them are equally likely.

I clarified in my edit at the top of my post what I mean by "accept Pascal's Wager". To repeat I see it as accepting the idea that way to do the most (expected) good is to prevent as many people as possible from going to hell, and cause as many as possible to go to heaven, regardless of how likely it is that heaven/hell exists (as long as it's non-zero).

As for what this entails I have no idea. For now I'm just trying to decide whether to pursue this aim or not. The way I would actually do that comes later, if I choose to accept.

Oh wait sorry I got confused with totally different comment that did add an extra assumption. My bad...

As for the actual comment this thread is about, expected value theory can be derived from the axioms of VNM-rationality (which I know nothing about btw), whereas proposition 3 is not really based on anything as far as I'm aware, it's just a kind of vague axiom of itself. I feel we should restrain from using intuitions as much as possible except when forced to at the most fundamental level of logic — like how we don't just assume 1+1=2, we reduce it to a more fundamental level of assumptions: the ZFC axioms.

In summary, propositions 1 and 3 are mutually exclusive, and I think 1 should be accepted more readily due to it being founded in a more fundamental level of assumptions.

I suppose I could see reason to make this assumption, given that you could get used to the luxuries of heaven and it would start to be less pleasurable. However this doesn't really eliminate the problem because there's still the possibility that this assumption is incorrect, meaning the probability of infinite payoff is still non-zero and therefore the wager still stands.

That's true but I think we need to make the least number of intuition based assumptions possible. Yitz's suggestion adds an extra assumption ON TOP of expected value theory, so I would need a reason to add that assumption.

Oops I got mixed up and that response related to a totally different comment. See my reply below for my actual response

This argument is one that makes intuitive sense, and of course I am no exception to that intuition. However intuition is not the path to truth, logic is. Unless you can provide a logic-founded reason why almost certain loss with a minuscule chance of a huge win is worse than unlikely loss with a probable win, then I can't accept the argument.

OMG this is EXACTLY the kind of reply I was looking for, and more. Thank you so much!

Since I'm pretty new into philosophy, I believe what you say although I don't understand it. However you have given me a ton of invaluable starting points from which I can now begin learning how to answer these kind of questions myself.

You can be fairly confident that your comment will end up triggering a major (and probably inevitable) turning point in my philosophical journey and therefore my life since it sounds like utilitarianism in the form I have always followed is flawed and will need to be revised or even scrapped entirely.

Once again, thanks so much!

Please could you elaborate on the relevance to Pascal's Wager? I don't see who is "out to get you" in Pascal's Wager

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