Pascal's Wager

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Kazmarov, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    What's your take on Pascal's Wager? I read the "letter from hell" thread and realized that the militant Christian scare tactics utilized the whole premise of Pascal's Wager.

    Here's what in essence Pascal's Wager is (taken from the Wikipedia article):

    I think it's a crock, for reasons I will disclose later.

  2. pikatore

    pikatore Registered Member

    I can see the reasoning behind it. What I struggle to understand is:

    - Whether or not it is a valid way of worshipping a God, as it isn't a truly sincere faith, it's literally a precaution. So it may not guarentee him heaven, it will just condemn him to hell, since the Christian God is supposed to be omni everything and thus can see his motives for worshipping

    - If Pascal himself can actually convince himself that he is actually WORSHIPPING a god, as opposed to just playing some sort of charade.
  3. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    The main issues with Pascal's Wager are:

    -Is playing the odds really genuine faith? If you believe just because you fear repercussions if a god does exist, then you don't actively state that a god exists, the whole Wager itself is agnostic in nature.

    -There isn't just one god, and you can't prove that the one you put your faith in is the one true god. What if Vishnu decides your fate rather than the Judeo-Christian god? The odds of getting the right one are zero, as their are an infinite amount of possible deities.
  4. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Playing the odds is not genuine faith. Pascal's Wager is an attempt to show a logical reason to believe based on the odds. He's trying to make A point, not to be confused with the only point.

    How do you know there are multiple gods. Sure there are multiple religions that all worship a different god, but who's to say which gods exist and which do not? To somebody who is agnostic or flat out atheist who's decision or opinion is based solely on skimming text book knowledge then the decision is not much different than which movie to watch on a Friday night.
  5. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    Well, there multiple choices. Nobody knows that any gods actually do exist, but the religions all present them like they are actual gods. In the end either one god is right (as in monotheistic religions), the many gods of a polytheistic religion are right, there is no god, or there is a henotheistic world with more than one correct choice.

    No gods are more valid than any others because there is no more evidence for one than the other. Thus you have to say that the preferred choice in Pascal's Wager is actually many separate choices under the general header of theistic choice.
  6. pikatore

    pikatore Registered Member

    Let's hope so.


    Do not make the common mistake of thinking that just because we don't believe in a god, we don't really care or know much about religion. As an ex-Christian myself (anglican to be exact), theologial discussion is VERY important to me. I came to my stance based on hard thought, not resignation form the whole religion thing.
  7. Mad_Michael

    Mad_Michael Registered Member

    Pascal's wager is a false dichotomy. Belief in God is not just one simple 'one-time' act that can buy one's way into eternal afterlife (assuming God exists for the purpose of this argument).

    The act of believing in God is a major undertaking that affects all of one's decisions in life, every step of the way, every day. That's not a simple undertaking as Pascal describes it.

    Indeed, if we are to follow the logic of Pascal's wager, then we should never leave our houses due to the safety they supply. Leaving the house is much more dangerous than staying in the house all your life. Ergo, one should stay indoors all your life in order to avoid potential danger. That kind of reasoning seems silly to me. Fake human life is no life at all.

    Besides, sacrificing all human faculties of reason for the entirety of one's life in order to make oneself 'suitable' for the remote potential of eternal afterlife seems like a fool's bet to me. A life of misery chosen in favor of a remote and unknown chance of eternity?

    And who would want to be eternal if you can't be rational?
  8. manuel

    manuel Registered Member

    I read some of the post and didn’t see any that fit the opinion that I have of it, this is a wager in the sense that it assess the possible cost of believing that there is a God, it is actually based on a betting system, and the answer is believing in God is a win, win proposition, a win in your present earthly temporal life, a win because of faith, that is the certain hope in things not seen or proven, and hope is a desire for happiness, thus believing without doubting=happiness, so when a Christian says I walk by faith (hope=happiness) not by sight, they are saying I have hope and this hope help them to be happy even when in distress, if there is no God or after life and one is wrong, they already have live one life in hope/happiness, and have lost nothing if they don‘t get a second round.
    Now the situation of those that bet on there is no god and are wrong is a loose, loose proposition, they loose everything, don’t they? it has already been rightly pointed out that Pascal’s wager is not proof of God existence.
  9. pikatore

    pikatore Registered Member

    Pascal's wager is intellectually dishonest, not to mention from a theists point of view, spirtualy and emotionally dishonest.
  10. manuel

    manuel Registered Member

    That will be your opinion and you are entitled to it, but I don’t get the intellectual dishonest part of your statement, in what way is this dishonest?
    What does an atheist know about spirituality?:nervous: I think that they don’t have an idea of what this is about, this just plays on their insecurities or as some say God existence is self-evident, so much so that even the atheist can’t be sure of His non existence
    Living a life of faith has little to do with safety, what Faith has to with is rest and happiness, to live in hope of a better eternal life, and the wages is that if one is right and there is such a life, we are on a winner and that if one is wrong, one looses nothing, we win because we have already lived a happy and abundant life, that is the beauty of faith “ the hope of obtain things not seen or demonstrate a priori” if one has hopes, one is happy and free of the disturbances of every day’s worries. Happy and at rest which are what every rational man longs for.
    Not wanting to live forever happy and at rest, doesn't seem rational to me.:lol:
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008

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