Possible new take on Pascal's Wager?

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Ndoki
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Possible new take on Pascal's Wager?

Post by Ndoki » February 12th, 2018, 11:11 pm

Why I'm posting:
I'm a big fan of philosophy, and I spend a lot of my free time contemplating what little I know about it. One of my favorite things to consider is Pascal's Wager, and upon researching it I feel I've come to a few realizations about it that I haven't seen addressed. So I'd like to share them in the hopes that they might be of interest to others. However, being that I'm a selfish person I'm going to be posting this in multiple forums at the same time out of fear of someone possibly trying to take credit for my idea.
However, I'm sure I'm not the first to come to these conclusions, and it may already be something covered elsewhere, but I've yet to see it. If it is I would appreciate any direction towards it

About me:
I'm a philosophy layman. I have no formal education on the matter, and if I'm being honest, I'm not much of a reader either. All my knowledge comes from the few things I’ve read, discussions I’ve had, and concepts I’ve pondered. Because of this, I have practically zero knowledge of proper terminology or processes more academic philosophers may have, and as I also said above, this might already all be covered somewhere, so if it is I apologize.

The concept:
I won't go into detail of what Pascal's Wager is, I'm assuming everyone reading this either already knows it, or will look it up. However, I must address some of the criticisms, and the basis behind it.
The first criticism I have seen against it is the problem of which God to worship.
The second criticism is that by worshipping God, they are wasting a portion of their life and therefore paying a cost which prevents it from being a zero risk situation.

I feel that the solution is as follows:
Firstly, in order to fully follow the wager, one must apply it universally, to worship all the deities. In other words, to not only become a polytheist, but an omnist. This way you are essentially guaranteeing success from any outcome.
Now the counter to this expands on the previous criticism of spending time in worship. If worshipping one deity takes up time, then worshipping ALL deities will take up all your time.

However, I feel that the spirit of Pascal's Wager is that any attempt is better than no attempt, and therefore, that something as simple as believing in all deities takes no time, but offers an infinitely better chance than rejection of some or all deities.
Of course this brings up new issues, such as how certain deities claim that worshipping others is actually worse than not worshipping at all. However, the only case we have of this is from the words of man, so there's no guarantee this is true at all and should be taken with a grain of salt and left as an unavoidable possibility.

And finally, to cover everything, I propose a (possibly) new concept. As I have no knowledge of it already existing I'm not sure what it should be called, although it is somewhat close to Pascal's wager (If it's indeed a new concept I call dibs on "Ndoki's wager”) and is as follows:
If a deity is truly benevolent and loving, then it should understand and appreciate your reasonable devotion (belief) to all deities, and would accept you for that.
And if, on the other hand, it is selfish and only cares for your full devotion to it, then not being accepted by it isn't really a loss considering its unreasonable treatment and expectations.
In simpler (Christian) terms: if God is loving, he'll understand and accept you into heaven for trying, and if he's a selfish jerk, I don't consider it a loss not being able to spend eternity with him.

So in summary, if Pascal's Wager asserts that worshipping God is better than not, then my Wager is that worshipping all deities even a little, is better than dedicating yourself to one, or none at all.


Sorry for the long-windedness, I'm terrible at explaining myself. If nothing else I hope I've provided at least a little entertainment for someone, or a little food-for-thought.

Eduk
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Re: Possible new take on Pascal's Wager?

Post by Eduk » February 13th, 2018, 2:54 pm

I would rather go to hell with my child and wife than end up in heaven based off of a nonsensical wager.

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Re: Possible new take on Pascal's Wager?

Post by Alias » February 13th, 2018, 6:32 pm

Ndoki wrote:
February 12th, 2018, 11:11 pm
I feel that the solution is as follows:
Firstly, in order to fully follow the wager, one must apply it universally, to worship all the deities. In other words, to not only become a polytheist, but an omnist. This way you are essentially guaranteeing success from any outcome.
However, I feel that the spirit of Pascal's Wager is that any attempt is better than no attempt, and therefore, that something as simple as believing in all deities takes no time, but offers an infinitely better chance than rejection of some or all deities.
Arguably, believing takes no time at all; believing in thousands of deities is no more expensive than believing in one.
It's obeying a god that's costly, not least because the interpretations of any particular god's edicts fill many fat mutually contradictory volumes and many obese pontifical heads. If you must cherry-pick the commandments to satisfy your personal notion of one god's wishes, imagine the investment in research you'd need to obey even the most simplified version of all their demands!
If a deity is truly benevolent and loving, then it should understand and appreciate your reasonable devotion (belief) to all deities, and would accept you for that.
Even simpler: if he were that, he would understand your reasons for unbelief.
And if, on the other hand, it is selfish and only cares for your full devotion to it, then not being accepted by it isn't really a loss considering its unreasonable treatment and expectations.
Down-side: most of them have quite nasty means of retribution.
Democracy in Truth! Equal votes for fact and fantasy!

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Greta
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Re: Possible new take on Pascal's Wager?

Post by Greta » February 13th, 2018, 7:56 pm

Any existent deity worth a pillar of salt would surely see through any "cheats" for bringing a favourable afterlife. On the other hand, a deist's god would not be conscious as we are; rather It would respond according to Its own metaphysical laws, just as energy acts according to physical laws.

Whether the ancients actually worked out those metaphysical laws is another matter, especially given the obvious manipulation of their proposition. It's rather convenient to present a proposition that must not only be agreed with, but not even questioned (considered to be a failure of faith) lest one suffer dire consequences after death - from annihilation to burning in hell for eternity to undergoing painful future incarnations. I smell a rat.

I doubt that a person would be rejected by any deity who lives their life with as much sincerity and goodwill towards all - human and nonhuman - as they can manage. The the game of life is basically about harmony, which is also conducive to enjoyment and inner peace.

It seems to me that some religious rituals are also designed to bring inner peace, or to enliven. However, most rituals of the bland and generic "all things bright and beautiful" variety are just cultural artefacts with the usual social bonding to firm the boundaries between "us and them". I suspect that focusing on getting life right will do better on all fronts than spending much time observing rituals with the sole purpose of saving your own skin. From most reports, deities seem to prefer a less self-oriented attitude.

Namelesss
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Re: Possible new take on Pascal's Wager?

Post by Namelesss » Today, 1:47 am

the 'wager' has been successfully refuted a long time ago.
Pascal was no philosopher.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
-Blaise Pascal (Pensees, 1670)

Pascal's Wager Refuted!
http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/nogod/pascal.htm

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