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Robert Miller rightly points out that science is consequential. It matters whether or not my doctor understands the nature of sickness and has at his disposal some strategies for cure. But Pascal’s Rule does not say that science is inconsequential. His Rule only points out that questions that matter most to us — how should I live? how should I die? — lead us away from those areas where our minds seem most capable. We can formulate utterly convincing mathematical proofs, but the proofs offer no consolation, no moral guidance. We can calculate the odds of chemotherapy, but we cannot find a formula to answer the question of whether the pain and debilitation are worth the extra months. It was for him no doubt a painful, humiliating discovery. He was, after all, a brilliant man.



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