We are asked to bet on the result of a coin toss. Because the coin is not evenly weighted, the coin toss results in “heads” 99% of the time, and “tails” only 1% of the time. A person who wants to maximise his chances of winning, will always bet “heads”, even though 1% of the time he will be wrong. This way, he wins 99% of his bets.

However, what about a person who wants to win 100% of his bets? He would have to know for sure, with absolute (100%) certainty, the result of every coin toss. To do so, he would have to meet several criteria: become an expert in many branches of Physics, acquire ultra-high precision measuring equipment to measure all the factors that influence the result of the coin toss, acquire a super-computer capable of manipulating all these factors, and create a computer program for such a purpose.

This way, he can then have close to 100% certainty. However, only close, but not absolute 100% certainty. Because there is a small chance of an earthquake, for example, that would invalidate all the work that he has done. Of course, he could also become an expert on geology, acquire / invent amazing instruments to measure and analyse the factors that influence earthquakes, etc. But even if he succeeds in taking into account all known factors, there could always be some unknown factor that he cannot possibly account for. As human beings, our knowledge is always limited.

As much as we may crave “absolute” truth, it is beyond our grasp, because to know anything with absolute (100%) certainty, we must make sure that we know ALL. Only an ALL-knowing person can be sure that there does not exist any unknown factor that he has failed to account for. Traditionally, such an ALL-knowing person is called God.

A person who knows with absolute 100% certainty that he will win, cannot be said to be betting. Therefore, because we are human, we are always making bets, regardless of whether we are aware of that fact.

Now, let’s consider again the example of the coin toss. As above, the coin toss results in “heads” 99% of the time, and “tails” 1% of the time. Let’s say we have have two people, Tom and Harry. Tom bets “heads”, while Harry bets “tails”. Now, can we say that Tom’s bet is “true”, while Harry’s bet is “false”? Surely not, because as much as the odds are against Harry, there remains a 1% chance that Harry’s bet is “true” while Tom’s is “false”.

Let us then consider this: who is making the “right” bet? Is Tom automatically “right” because he is betting on the 99%-chance “Heads”? What if it turns out that the coin toss results in “Tails” instead? Can we still say that Tom made the “right” bet?

Or how about this: is it “better” to win your bets 99% of the time, or only 1% of the time? A strategy that always bets on “Heads” will win 99% of the time, while a strategy that always bets on “Tails” will win 1% of the time. Does being richer automatically make one “better”? Who decides what is “good” or “bad” anyway?