Suppose you receive the following option.

  1. You flip a fair coin.
  2. If the coin is Heads, you acquire healthy immortality.
  3. If the coin is Tails, you instantly die.

The expected value of this option seems infinite: .5*infinity + 0 is still infinity, no?  Even if you apply diminishing marginal utility to life itself, it’s hard to imagine that the rest of your natural life outweighs a 50% shot of eternity… especially if you remember that many of your actual years are unlikely to be healthy.

Nevertheless, I suspect that almost no one would take this deal.  Even I shudder at the possibility.  So what gives?