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AspiringRationalist comments on Strongmanning Pascal's Mugging - Less Wrong Discussion

1 Post author: Pentashagon 20 February 2013 12:36PM

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Comment author: AspiringRationalist 21 February 2013 03:55:26AM 0 points [-]

This steelman argument doesn't address the main issue with Pascal's mugging - anyone in real life who makes you such an offer is virtually certain to be lying or deluded.

Comment author: Fadeway 21 February 2013 03:48:14PM *  1 point [-]

This was my argument when I first encountered the problem in the Sequences. I didn't post it here because I haven't yet figured out what this post is about (gotta sit down and concentrate on the notation and the message of the author and I haven't done that yet), but my first thoughts when I read Eliezer claiming that it's a hard problem were that as the number of potential victims increases, the chance of the claim being actually true decreases (until it reaches a hard limit which equals the chance of the claimant having a machine that can produce infinite victims without consuming any resources). And the decrease in chance isn't just due to the improbability of a random person having a million torture victims - it also comes from the condition that a random person with a million torture victims also for some reason wants $5 from you.

Where is the flaw here? What makes the mugging important, despite how correct my gut reaction appears to me?