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Unformatted text preview: 1 1 LECTURE 7 PASCAL’S WAGER INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY 2 The Evidentialist Assumption: We should believe or not believe in accordance with the total evidence and arguments for or against the claim that God exists. Pascal • Admits that God's existence cannot be supported by adequate argument or evidence. • Still claims that you are rationally required to believe that God exists. THE EVIDENTIALIST ASSUMPTION 3 Two Kinds of Reason for Believing that P Case A - The Gun and the Money Case B - The Lost Hiker and the Abyss Case C - The Forlorn Lover PRUDENTIAL VS. EVIDENTIAL REASONS 1 2 4 Rough Definitions: A prudential (practical) reason for believing that p is a reason to think that having the belief that p will have good or useful consequences. An evidential (theoretical) reason for believing that p is one that provides a reason to think that p (the statement believed) is probably true. PRUDENTIAL VS. EVIDENTIAL REASONS 2 5 Pascal’s Wager is supposed to provide a prudential reason for believing that God exists (a) even if you do not think there is good evidence that God exists, and (b) even if you think it is unlikely that God exists, provided that you don’t think God is impossible for God to exist....
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- Spring '08
- Philosophy, Prudential