Chapter

Many Gods, Many Wagers: Pascal’s Wager Meets the Replicator Dynamics

Paul Bartha

in Probability in the Philosophy of Religion

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199604760
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741548 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604760.003.0010
Many Gods, Many Wagers: Pascal’s Wager Meets the Replicator Dynamics

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The many-gods objection is perhaps the most famous criticism levelled against Pascal’s wager. This chapter offers a response that combines two main ideas. The first is the development of the ‘many-wagers’ model, a dynamics of rational deliberation that allows the credences in a many-gods problem to evolve in a rationally permissible manner, even in the absence of relevant new evidence. The second idea is that stability of these credences, within this evolutionary model, is a necessary condition for viability. This stability condition provides the Pascalian with convincing responses to a wide range of many-gods problems. Thus, many versions of the many-gods objection contribute no difficulties for Pascal’s wager beyond those that already plague its classic formulation with just one deity.

Keywords: Pascal’s wager; many-gods objection; rational deliberation; replicator dynamics; credences

Chapter.  9080 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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