I discovered a discussion of logical fallacies inherent in Pascal's Wager. It occurred to me that a similar strategy could be used to sidestep the debate regarding determinism: It simply makes sense to believe in free will. What have you got to lose if it turns out there is no free will?
If you exercise free will in a deterministic universe, you will probably be better off than a person who is apathetic or blindly obedient to the status quo. We might argue that such a person is destined to succeed.
If you do NOT exercise free will in a deterministic universe, you are destined to fail.
If you exercise free will in a random universe (is that the correct term for non-deterministic universe?), then you CHOSE to succeed.
If you do NOT exercise free will in a random universe, then you chose to fail.
One major flaw with this scheme is that it doesn't account for ethics. An unethical person could exercise free will in exploiting or torturing people or waging war. Looking at it from another perspective, we might say the problem lies with how we define "succeed." Some might define success as victory on the battlefield.
It has also been argued that Pascal's Wager encourages sloppy thinking. Why try to prove or disprove something if you can instead cover your bets by simply believing?
Yet the question of determinism almost forces us to make one of two choices. Doesn't it make sense to make what most people would probably consider the better choice?
Pascal's Wager also erred in focusing on the Christian God, when the dead could just as well be judged by a Hindu god - or a panel of gods. Again, this variation limits us to just two choices, determinism vs free will.
Aside from the problems mentioned above, do you think this variation of Pascal's Wager is an improvement? In particular, are all the fallacies inherent in Pascal's Wager also inherent in this variation? Can you see any other fallacies?