Outline an argument that may have led Pascal to this conclusion and critically consider one objection to it. Beliefs can be formed from epistemic reasoning, where one only believes only in truths and disbelieves falsehoods, reasoning only with knowledge. Alternatively, a belief can be formed through a pragmatic reasoning, where one looks at the available evidence and makes and interprets it in a practical way.
Con Pascal's Wager, for those who are unaware, is a common argument in favor of religious belief. It says "you should believe in God, because if you are right, you go to heaven, and if you are wrong, you lose nothing. But if you don't believe, and you are right, you gain nothing, but if you are wrong, you go to hell.
Therefore, no matter how unlikely God's existence may be, you should believe. I see this wager proposed quite often in religious debates, and so I will attempt to demonstrate that it is a poor argument that should not be used. Note that this debate is not about the existence of God though that is an interesting debate in its own right ; it is about the validity of Pascal's Wager.
Firstly, the wager creates a false dichotomy: It fails to account for the myriad of mutually exclusive religious beliefs. What if you pick the wrong God? What if Baal doesn't particularly mind nonbelievers, but he hates it when people worship his ancient rival Yahweh?
Or what if some currently unknown God exists, one who values reason and science, and cannot stand it when people come to conclusions through faith instead of reason? In that case, if you feel the evidence does not support God's existence but believe anyway, then you go to this deity's hell for intellectual dishonesty!
Secondly, Pascal's Wager assumes that God, in his omniscience, would not be able to see right through your ruse, that he wouldn't be able to tell that you don't really believe, but that you fake belief "just in case.
Either an argument convinces me or it does not convince me. I don't choose to accept or not accept an argument as a conscious decision. I can choose to not apply reason and to not continue thinking about a given subject, but I can't just decide, one day, to believe in God.
Sure, I could go through the motions, I could go to Church and say prayers and take communion, but again, an omniscient God would, presumably, see right through this and send me to Hell anyway. Report this Argument Pro First of all I would object to the language used in the summation of the argument for--not in the sense that its meaning is incorrect, but only that it's crude and Pascal doesn't use it.
In fact he doesn't even use the words "heaven" and "hell" in the entire argument. Granted the argument is usually framed that way. Rather he writes in terms of infinite happiness reward and the loss of infinite happiness t his can mean a number of things.
Let's stick with the language that Pascal uses. In response to your first argument that the Wager doesn't take into account the plurality of mutually exclusive religious beliefs and gods, I say this is an intellectual prank on your part.
When I ask you, "Do you believe in God? What is at issue is the one omniscient, omnipotent Creator God of Abraham, the God of covenantal history who reveals himself.
Abrahamic religions account for more than half of the world's total population Wiki. They include Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and others.
You also say that perhaps a God exists who values reason and science over faith and that believing in God despite the evidence would send you straight to hell. But you assume that faith is opposed to reason and science.
You assume that the God of Abraham accepts blind faith and does not require of the believer some reasons for his or her faith. Show me evidence of this.
In response to your second argument that the Wager assumes that God wouldn't see right through the ruse, if the Wager is your entire basis for your religious life then yes, you're absolutely right. But you're assuming that Pascal is proposing that a person's entire faith be based on the Wager, when all he's arguing is that it may well provide the first motives for faith.
But eventually the unbeliever who opts for belief will become "faithful, honest, humble, grateful, full of good works, a sincere, true friend" Pascal's Wager is an argument in philosophy presented by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal (–62).
It posits that humans bet with their lives that God either exists or does not. The belief in God relies on assuming that the god described is real and has those characteristics. The argument of Pascal’s Wager begins with an assumption, and then appeals the . Pascal's Wager about God Blaise Pascal () offers a pragmatic reason for believing in God: even under the assumption that God’s existence is unlikely, the potential benefits of believing are so vast as to make betting on theism rational.
Pascal’s Wager vs. the Ontological Argument Pascal’s Wager was a groundbreaking theory posed by the French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal. Pascal, who is said to be the father of modern probability, felt that that religion should be approached as a gamble.
Pascals Wager assumes that God, All powerful knowing and good as he is, cannot tell whether your faith is based on true belief or because you are backing into a corner by Pascals logic.
Pascal created this wager in order to try and make an argument for faith in God. Note that this debate is not about the existence of God(though that is an interesting debate in its own right); it is about the validity of Pascal's Wager.
Firstly, the wager creates a false dichotomy: it assumes that there are two possible states: belief and unbelief.