I'm not resigned, but I'm realistic too. The statistics in my case are very poor. Not many people come through esophageal cancer and live to talk about it, or not for long. And the other wager is, the part of the wager, it's a certainty you'll have a terrible time and you may wish you were dying because it's an awful process.
If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having, neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is. [So] you must wager. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then without hesitation that he is.
I'll wager at the end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are -- her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone - just what they've always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.
A few years ago, Tor Wager, a neuroscientist at Columbia University, wanted to figure out why placebos were so effective. His experiment was brutally straightforward: he gave college students electric shocks while they were stuck in an fMRI machine. (The subjects were well compensated, at least by undergraduate standards.)
A government that spoke of military glory as an aim would betray ignorance of, or contempt for, the spirit of nations and the age. It would be an error by a thousand years. Even if it should initially succeed, it would be interesting to see who in the end would win this odd wager, our own century or the offending government.
Benjamin Constant De Rebecque
Here's the most startling irony I know in film history: Antonioni, who is often denigrated by left-wing critics as a formalist and aesthete gives us radical realism through the long take, and what he gives us-this is his metaphysical wager-is real outside the film, off the set, beyond the camera and underneath the surface of everyday life.
So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?
It was not till I experimented with seeds plucked straight from a growing plant that I had my first success... the first thrill of creation... the first taste of blood. This, surely, must be akin to the pride of paternity... indeed, many soured bachelors would wager that it must be almost as wonderful to see the first tiny crinkled leaves of one's first plant as to see the tiny crinkled face of one's first child.
A wager?" I repeated. "Yes," he said, and gave me a slow smile, bright with challenge. ... "Stake?" I asked cautiously. He was still smiling, an odd sort of smile, hard to define. "A kiss." My first reaction was outrage, but then I remembered that I was on my way to Court, and that had to be the kind of thing they did at Court. And if I win I don't have to collect. I hesitated only a moment longer, lured by the thought of open sky, and speed, and winning. "Done," I said.
There is something distinctly odd about the argument, however. Believing is not something you can decide to do as a matter of policy. At least, it is not something I can decide to do as an act of will. I can decide to go to church and I can decide to recite the Nicene Creed, and I can decide to swear on a stack of bibles that I believe every word inside them. But none of that can make me actually believe it if I don't. Pascal's Wager could only ever be an argument for feigning belief in God. And the God that you claim to believe in had better not be of the omniscient kind or he'd see through the deception.
TEF is predicated on logic, a simple wager that every human faces:If a reasoning human being loves and values life, they will want to live as long as possible-the desire to be immortal. Nevertheless, it's impossible to know if they're going to be immortal once they die. To do nothing doesn't help the odds of attaining immortality-since it seems evident that everyone will die someday and possibly cease to exist. To try to do something scientifically constructive towards ensuring immortality beforehand is the most logical conclusion.
When men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe... that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas-- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment. As all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
When men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe... that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment. As all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
He is no true reader who has not experienced the reproachful fascination of the great shelves of unread books, of the libraries at night of which Borges is the fabulist. He is no reader who has not heard, in his inward ear, the call of the hundreds of thousands, of the millions of volumes which stand in the stacks of the British Library asking to be read. For there is in each book a gamble against oblivion, a wager against silence, which can be won only when the book is opened again (but in contrast to man, the book can wait centuries for the hazard of resurrection.)
HAMLET I will receive it sir with all diligence of spirit. Put your bonnet to his right use, 'tis for the head. OSRIC I thank you lordship, it is very hot. HAMLET No believe me, 'tis very cold, the wind is northerly. OSRIC It is indifferent cold my lord, indeed. HAMLET But yet methinks it is very sultry and hot for my complexion. OSRIC Exceedingly my lord, it is very sultry, as 'twere - I cannot tell how. But my lord, his majesty bade me signify to you that a has laid a great wager on your head. Sir, this is the matter - HAMLET I beseech you remember. (Hamlet moves him to put on his hat)
All other trades are contained in that of war. Is that why war endures? No. It endures because young men love it and old men love it in them. Those that fought, those that did not. That's your notion. The judge smiled. Men are born for games. Nothing else. Every child knows that play is nobler than work. He knows too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard. Games of chance require a wager to have meaning at all. Games of sport involve the skill and strength of the opponents and the humiliation of defeat and the pride of victory are in themselves sufficient stake because they inhere in the worth of the principals and define them. But trial of chance or trial of worth all games aspire to the condition of war for here that which is wagered swallows up game, player, all.
I'M A POPULAR BR'ER YEAH BUT MY POCKETS ARE BARE NEED TO FILL THEM FULL OF CREAM LIKE A CHOCOLATE ECLAIR POP A BOTTLE OF THE BOLONGA AND PUT THE BROCCOLI IN THE AIR HOLD THE MONOPOLY MAJORITY SHARE COPPING A PEAR SORBET SO RARE YOU'RE LIKE RARRE?! I GOT BARE MADE FROM THE SKIN OF A BEAR IN MY ARMCHAIR LOG FIRE, AND GLASS OF VINTAGE STILL GANGSTERISH, BLUD STILL PIMPISH INTERNET PAPER DRUG MONEY, GET YOUR WEIGHT UP WAIT UP, LEAVE A TIP FOR THE WAITER STAKES IS HIGH A GENTLEMAN'S WAGER '80S YUPPIE, BRICK-PHONE AND A PAGER WE GOT IT ON SMASH CASH IN A STASH 9/11 AIRLINE, WALL STREET CRASH CREDIT CARD CHEQUE BOOK CHIP & PIN SMALL CHANGE, CHIPPING IN ROLL THE DICE PLAY TO WIN
Suppose two men at cards with nothing to wager save their lives. Who has not heard such a tale? A turn of the card. The whole universe for such a player has labored clanking to his moment which will tell if he is to die at that man's hand or that man at his. What more certain validation of a man's worth could there be? This enhancement of the game to its ultimate state admits no argument concerning the notion of fate. The selection of one man over another is a preference absolute and irrevocable and it is a dull man indeed who could reckon so profound a decision without agency or significance either one. In such games as have for their stake the annihilation of the defeated the decisions are quite clear. This man holding this particular arrangement of cards in his hand is thereby removed from existence. This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification. Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one's will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god.
According to Melanie Klein, we develop moral responses in reaction to questions of survivability. My wager is that Klein is right about that, even as she thwarts her own insight by insisting that it is the ego's survivability that is finally at issue. Why the ego? After all, if my survivability depends on a relation to others, to a "you" or a set of "yous" without whom I cannot exist, then my existence is not mine alone, but is to be found outside myself, in this set of relations that precede and exceed the boundaries of who I am. If I have a boundary at all, or if a boundary can be said to belong to me, it is only because I have become separated from others, and it is only on condition of this separation that I can relate to them at all. So the boundary is a function of the relation, a brokering of difference, a negotiation in which I am bound to you in my separateness. If I seek to preserve your life, it is not only because I seek to preserve my own, but because who "I" am is nothing without your life, and life itself has to be rethought as this complex, passionate, antagonistic, and necessary set of relations to others. I may lose this "you" and any number of particular others, and I may well survive those losses. But that can happen only if I do not lose the possibility of any "you" at all. If I survive, it is only because my life is nothing without the life that exceeds me, that refers to some indexical you, without whom I cannot be.
5.4 The question of accumulation. If life is a wager, what form does it take? At the racetrack, an accumulator is a bet which rolls on profits from the success of one of the horse to engross the stake on the next one. 5.5 So a) To what extent might human relationships be expressed in a mathematical or logical formula? And b) If so, what signs might be placed between the integers?Plus and minus, self-evidently; sometimes multiplication, and yes, division. But these sings are limited. Thus an entirely failed relationship might be expressed in terms of both loss/minus and division/ reduction, showing a total of zero; whereas an entirely successful one can be represented by both addition and multiplication. But what of most relationships? Do they not require to be expressed in notations which are logically improbable and mathematically insoluble? 5.6 Thus how might you express an accumulation containing the integers b, b, a (to the first), a (to the second), s, v? B = s - v (/+) a (to the first) Or a (to the second) + v + a (to the first) x s = b 5.7 Or is that the wrong way to put the question and express the accumulation? Is the application of logic to the human condition in and of itself self-defeating? What becomes of a chain of argument when the links are made of different metals, each with a separate frangibility? 5.8 Or is "link" a false metaphor? 5.9 But allowing that is not, if a link breaks, wherein lies the responsibility for such breaking? On the links immediately on the other side, or on the whole chain? But what do you mean by "the whole chain"? How far do the limits of responsibility extend? 6.0 Or we might try to draw the responsibility more narrowly and apportion it more exactly. And not use equations and integers but instead express matters in the traditional narrative terminology. So, for instance, if... " - Adrian Finn
One of the secrets of life is to find joy in the journey." But Grandma, you weren't on this journey. It was just crazy-" Grandma held up her hand. "You have six brothers. You got to spend a whole day in the car with them. You're all healthy, well fed, happy... Someday, when you're a little older, I'll bet you'd give anything to be back in that van of yours with all of your brothers, smelly diapers and all." I mulled that over. Well what about Dad?" I pointed out. "He didn't find any joy in the journey. He was yelling at trees." Grandma sat back, "Your father and mother are masters at finding joy in the journey." I didn't understand. Grandma continued, "Do you really think your parents would have had seven kids if they couldn't find joy in the journey?... I would be willing to wager that he'll be laughing about this trip on Monday morning with his friends at work." Grandma took my hands into hers. "There are a lot of people in this life that will try to convince you that they're selling something that will bring you joy. The simple fact of the matter is that things don't bring you joy. You have to find joy in life experience. And if you take along somebody you love, then that journey is going to be all the more enjoyable. I can promise you right now that both good and bad things are going to happen to you in your life. Good and bad things happen to everybody. Some people are good at finding the miserable things in life, and some are good at finding the joy. No matter what happens to you, what you remember is up to you.
Lucinda might sneak from her own house at midnight to place a wager somewhere else, but she dared not touch the pack that lay in her own sideboard. She knew how passionate he had become about his 'weakness.' She dared not even ask him how it was he had reversed his opinions on the matter. But, oh, how she yearned to discuss it with him, how much she wished to deal a hand on a grey wool blanket. There would be no headaches then, only this sweet consummation of their comradeship. But she said not a word. And although she might have her 'dainty' shoes tossed to the floor, have her bare toes quite visible through her stockings, have a draught of sherry in her hand, in short appear quite radical, she was too timid, she thought, too much a mouse, to reveal her gambler's heart to him. She did not like this mouselike quality. As usual, she found herself too careful, too held in. Once she said: 'I wish I had ten sisters and a big kitchen to laugh in.' Her lodger frowned and dusted his knees. She thought: He is as near to a sister as I am likely to get, but he does not understand. She would have had a woman friend so they could brush each other's hair, and just, please God, put aside this great clanking suit of ugly armor. She kept her glass dreams from him, even whilst she appeared to talk about them. He was an admiring listener, but she only showed him the opaque skin of her dreams-window glass, the price of transporting it, the difficulties with builders who would not pay their bills inside six months. He imagined this was her business, and of course it was, but all the things she spoke of were a fog across its landscape which was filled with such soaring mountains she would be embarrassed to lay claim to them. Her true ambition, the one she would not confess to him, was to build something Extraordinary and Fine from glass and cast iron. A conservatory, but not a conservatory. Glass laced with steel, spun like a spider web-the idea danced around the periphery of her vision, never long enough to be clear. When she attempted to make a sketch, it became diminished, wooden, inelegant. Sometimes, in her dreams, she felt she had discovered its form, but if she had, it was like an improperly fixed photograph which fades when exposed to daylight. She was wise enough, or foolish enough, to believe this did not matter, that the form would present itself to her in the end.