Pascal‘s wager

Pascal's wager is a philosophical argument for God, presented by the 17th-century French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, who posits that human beings bet with their lives when deciding to believe in God (or not).

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Pascal's wager - Wikipedia

The assumptions in Pascal‘s wager
  1. Both the existence & non-existence of God are impossible to prove by human reasoning.
  2. One must "wager" by weighing the consequences of the decision to believe/not believe in God.
  3. No one can refuse to participate; withholding assent is impossible because we are already "embarked", and effectively living out the choice.
Pascal's argument for beleiving in god

Pascal argues that the wise decision is to wager that God exists, since one can gain eternal life in heaven if God exists, but if not, one will be no worse off in death than if one had not believed. On the other hand, if you bet against God and lose, you are unavoidably annihilated in hell.

Criticisms of Pascal's wager
  1. The interest one has in believing God is not proof of God's existence.
  2. Since there have been many religions throughout history, there is a high probability of believing in "the wrong god". (The argument for inconsistent revelations)
  3. Feigning belief to gain eternal reward would be dishonest and immoral. God would see through this deceptive strategy and nullify the benefits of the wager.

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Religion and Arguments for god


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