Monday, December 19, 2011

Variations on Pascal's Wager

Pascal’s Wager

Blaise Pascal; ( 1623 − 1662 ) French Barber, Doorknob Collector, Hopscotch Campion in The 4th & 5th Grades, Adamant Believer in The Existence of Garden Gnomes, Fashion Critic, Euclidean Ice Sculptor, Amateur Hypnotist, Community Ethicist, Suspected in The Organization of Many International Wife Swapping Collectives, Beetle Diarist, Saver of Old Shoe Strings & Napkin Doodler.
Best Known for his Principle that Spilt Milk is Nothing to Cry Over.

Amoung his many Accomplishments;
He is also known for A Sophistic Religious Adjunct Whose simple reasoning places it in Parity with Saint Anselm’s Argument for The Existence of Gawd, The Unexpected Quiz, What is The Sound of One Hand Clapping, The Granny Knot, The Importance of Squatting while Defecating, Don’t run with Scissors, The Dvorak Keyboard, Socks with Reinforced Heels & Toes, Numbered Pages, Velcro, A Baker’s Dozen, The Hamster Wheel, Plastic Vomit, The Principle that There are An Infinite Number of Prime Numbers, The Octagon Stop Sign, Elastic Waist Bands, Gel Pens, Bendable Straws, Q-Tips, The Placebo Effect, The Differential Transmission, Lift & Separate, Greeting Cards, Hard Candy, Alternating Current, LED Bars & The Monty Hall Paradox.

In it’s most Elementary Form;
Pascal’s Wager is An Argument that Asserts It is The Fool whose Heart is Blackened with Unrequited Love that Chooses to Neglect taking A Rational Position on The Belief in An Omnipotent Cognizant Organizer.

Pascal's Wager by chrstphre
Pascal's Wager, a photo by chrstphre on Flickr.

Fallen Angels by : Crazy-Clayz

Given that there is A Gawd or No Gawd,
And The Fool Either Believes in This Gawd or Does Not Believe;
Producing 4 Optional States;
The Most Rational Choice is to Believe in This Omnipotent Cognizant Organizer and after Ones Mortal Death, Enjoy A Everlasting Existence in Paradise with 40 or more Virgin Brides;
Or - Choose one of The Remaining 3 Options, and Suffer Eternal Damnation, Consisting of Considerable Teeth Gnashing and Bubbling Skin Lesions.

The most obvious short coming is That Pascal apparently failed to consider, is that;
Given there is A Confusing Spectrum of Gawds to Choose from;
If The Fool picks Elohim, Baal, Poseidon, Odin, Ahura Mazda or Ahriman, Istar, Choronzon, Rao, Cthulhu or The Anunnaki; Rather than The Maitreya or Allah, whichever is Our One True Local Cognizant Organizer for This Universe &/or Reality;
The Genuine Deity may well take Greater Offense than if The Fool Chose The Path of A Reasonably Well Behaved, Confused & Vacillating Agnostic.

Since The One True Cognizant Organizer’s Personal Attributes are Unknown to most of us;
And without knowing if S’he(It is Really Benevolent, Petty, Judicious, Vengeful, Remote, Psychotic, Playful, Charitable, Selfish, Jealous, Pretentious, Candid, Patient, Omnipotent or Agoraphobic; We can never really know how to Choose which Gawd or Faith to Commit our Soul to.

You might want to start off from The Axiomatic Position that The Actual Creator of The Universe is Smart & Fundamentally Good; But are these Artificial Flavors Warranted, or merely wishful thinking?
Gawd’s Idealized Eden, The 10,000 year reign to come, & Heaven; May be just as Harsh & Brutal as The World that we’re familiar with.

Does The One True Gawd want you to be conservative or boldly choose a Gawd, Any Gawd that you take a fancy to, Rather than Openly Express your Androgynous Nature.
Will you be judged harshly for Switching Religions from Time to Time?
How does Our Maker feel about Fanatics, Zealots & Militant Coat Lickers?

- - - - -

In Order to Simplify this Otherwise Illuminating Wager;
William James ( Wm Jas ) Tychonievitch has Removed The Spiritual &/or Religiosity of Pascal’s Speculation of Chance to :

If Nothing Matters; Then it Doesn’t Matter If you’re Wrong.
Therefore : Don’t Waste Your Time Considering The Possibility of A Universe in Which Nothing Matters.

But -:- Don’t be Too Quick to Dismiss A Theory Just Because It Seems to Imply Nihilism.
It might Not Imply What you Think it Does.

[ Nihilism : Life is Meaningless, The Universe is An Torpid Deterministic Machine & We May Actually be Living in A ScreenSaver Reality.
Therefore : All Religious, Judicial, Moral & Ethical Considerations are Moot & Laughable.

Wm Jas' Reduction by chrstphre
Wm Jas' Reduction, a photo by chrstphre on Flickr.

- - -

The Optimistic Dreamer that Willingly Accepts that S’he is Living in A Spiritually Meaningful Universe; S’he Enjoys The Benefits of Social Integration.

The Optimistic Dreamer that Acknowledges that The Universe is Meaningless; But by Some Unknown Mechanism, Possesses Freewill; Boasts Artistic Autonomy, The Capacity to Create Boundary Free Paintings & Music.

The Pessimistic Pragmatist is Aware that they are living in A Clockwork Machine, And although The Universe has Purpose & Meaningfulness, They are Condemned to Play Out A Role as a Sock Puppet, Ostracized from Autonomous Beings, Which do Not Exist in Their Reality.

The Pessimistic Pragmatist that is UnWittingly Trapped in An Refrigerator of Cold Horror, Able to Experience Consciousness, But Whose Only Thoughts are of Unrestricted Confusion.
- - -

The Assumption that is being made here is that Nihilism is Bad.
How does The Nihilist Behave that makes their Position Less Desirable than The Optimistic Pragmatist that Chooses to Allow that The Universe May Have Purpose &/or ‘Meaning’ ?

Presumably; It is Expected ( ? ) that The Nihilist acts in a Socially Destructive Manner, Making Disparaging Remarks about Global Warming, Failing to Protect Endangered Nematodes, Farting in Elevators, Eschewing Familiar Principles of Etiquette, Promoting Sexual Deviancy, Talking in Theatres, Building Weapons of Mass Destruction, Telling Children that These is No Santa Claus, Sneezing into Party Dip, Disrupting World Economies & Giving out Incorrect Directions.

To What Advantage might they Hope for by Adhering to The Principle of A Meaningful Universe, While they Believe in Their Heart of Hearts that It is Not Meaningful?

The must Abandon All The ( Meaningless ) Joy of Acting without Conscious,
Since; Although they ‘Know’ that The Universe is Pointless, They are annoyed with their Awareness of Their Personal Suffering, and Their Innate Desire to Wash it Out with The Bleach of Impending Suicide & Irresponsibility.

What does Social Acquiescence really have to offer?
Materialism, Freedom of Venereal Diseases, Reliable Shelter, Magazine Subscriptions, Internet Access, Political Inclusion, Titles & Honors, Some Measure of Security or Personal Identity ?

Logically; Choosing to Accept The False Notion of Meaningfulness in A Universe that is Certainly Meaningless, May be in Some Sense Pragmatically Valid;
But Is it even Possible to Pretend to be Logical in A Reality whose fabric is missing The Catsup Stains of Reason & Rationality ?
Is this Argument really asking us to Pretend to Pretend to Act ‘Reasonably’ ?

- - -

But just as Atheists may be The Only Toaster Ovens Going to Heaven*;
It may be That The Deterministic Universe Which Happens to be UnIntentionally Falling Towards An Organizing Principle,
Which is most easily Observed in The Self Replicating Molecules that have Obtained The Ability to Store and Manipulate Vast Coliseums of Information; Is Far More Desirous of Sentient Beings Which =Are= Nihilistic ( ! )

Whether or Not you Believe, With Good Cause or Impudent Cavalier Logic; That there is A Cognizant Organizer that Created or Shaped The World in Whole or In Part;
One might Reasonably Conjecture that This Process is On Going; And that this Cognizant Organizer is Still Refining A Work in Progress.

Evolution need not be UnDirected, Or Directed by Wantonly Indifferent Forces;
The Cognizant Organizer might Just as Easily Use Evolutionary Principles to Refine Small Details or UnExpectedly Innovate Gross Assumptions.

Considering The Two Positions;
1 ) The Universe is Meaningless & I Know It to Be Such.
2 ) The Universe is Meaningful & I Wonder What My Role in It is?

Considering (2 First;
The Pencil Nub that is Convinced that The Universe is Meaningful, They may very well fall into Dogma or Scientific Inquiry to Adhere to The Underlying & Meaningful Principles of Ethical Behaviour & Seek a Deep, Gnostic Erudition of Reality,
But - They are also going to believe that there is The Right Way & A Vast Spectrum of Wrong Ways of Doing things.
Such a Ragged Stocking is going to be very Conservative with All that they Do, How they Act & The Decisions that they make.

Contrary Wise :
(1; The Nihilist is going to do & Act without any Constrictions.
Evolution Greatly Prefers this Approach. It is The Nihilist that is Going to Discover ‘Impossible’ Things.

“The More We Mutate; The Faster We Can Evolve.” : Babynous

Mercury is The Conservative Ethicist that Bows down before The Sun;
While Earth is The Crazy, Never Look Over Your Shoulder, Nihilist that Discovered Life.

- -
Just as Pascal was Wrong about ‘believing’ in Gawd in order to reserve a table in Heaven,
Neglecting to Consider that There are Many Potential gawds, And Choosing The Wrong One may be Worse than Not Choosing at all -

The Ethicist’s Argument should be;
If The Universe is Meaningful;
In Order to Best Serve The Universe’s Tacitly Desired Principles of Expanding Complexity;
You should live as If it Isn’t Meaningful.

- - - -
* Concerning :
Only Atheists will be allowed into Heaven.
This assertion is founded on The Existence of A Cognizant Organizer that has made available to Some of The Mortal Dead;
A Riotous Beach Front Barbecue or Serene Mountain Chalet with bleating sheep to lull The Dead off to Sleep at Night.

Given this; The Cognizant Organizer desires Dynamic Creative Souls to Share Eternity with,
And Consequently; In order to Create a Sieve which Finds such Randomly Generated Souls;
Being Unable to Make them at Will, or Whatever Reasons - -
This Cognizant Organizer created A Predominant Religious Order which Promises The Most Wondrous Afterlife to Whomever Adheres to A Detailed Criteria of Specifications which are Absurd & Self Destructive; Such as Sticking your head in a bucket of Water, Mutilating your Genitals, Persecuting those that choose Love over Indifference & War; & so on…
Those that Recognize The Folly of ‘Established’ Religions & Philosophies, And turn away from Their Clerical Masters, with The Tacit Understanding that they will be Excommunicated and Sentenced to Eternal Damnation; Must Necessarily be Either Very Foolish or Extraordinarily Courageous.
The Cognizant Organizer can easily make this Distinction and readily accepts The Courageous Atheists into Heaven,
While The Obedient & Acquiescent Lemmings are Recycled again & again until they finally choose The Path of Genuine Wisdom & Enlightenment.

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