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Lecture 23

PHL105Y5 Lecture 23: 08 Pascal
PHL105Y5 Lecture 23: 08 Pascal

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School
University of Toronto Mississauga
Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL105Y5
Professor
Bernard Katz
Semester
Fall

Description
Pascal’s Wage Utility matrix C 1btains C 2btains 2 Perform act A a 2 Performbact B b utility of performing act A if condition C obtains = a1 1 utility of performing act A if conditio2 C obtains = a2 utility of performing act B if conditio1 C obtains = b1 utility of performing act B if conditio2 C obtains = b2 Dominance Argument God exists God doesn't exist Wager that God y1 y2 exists Don't wager that God n1 n2 exists There are two possibilities: either God exists or God doesn't exist. There are two options available: wager that God exists or don't wager that God exists. Clearly, y1 is vastly preferable to n1; on the other hand, y2 and n2 come to much the same. !If God exists, one is better off wagering that He does than wagering that He doesn't. !If God does not exist, one is no worse off wagering that He does than wagering that He doesn't. ˆ One should wager that God exists. Objection Pascal assumes that if God doesn't exist, then we shall be indifferent with regard to the consequences of either course of action. But the atheist may not like giving up his or her weekends, wearing hairshirts, etc. Expected Utility Argument God exists God doesn't exist Wager that God 4 -36 exists Don't wager that God -4 36 exists Assuming that the two possibilities areequiprobable, !the expected utility of theism is: (.5 x 4 ) + (.5 x -36) = 4 !the expected utility
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