Pascal’s Wager

Pascal’s Wager - Pascal's Wager We have...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Pascal’s Wager We have been looking at reasons to believe in the existence of God. One argument for believing in God was given by Blaise Pascal. It has come to be known as Pascal’s Wager, and goes like this. By way of introducing the argument consider the following situation. You are confronted with two boxes: a red box and a green box. You have to choose one of the boxes. Each box contains a card with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ written on it. If you choose a box containing a card with ‘Yes’ written on it, you win. If it contains a card with ‘No’ written on it, you loose. Here are the payoffs. If you choose the red box, and win, you gain one dollar. If you choose the red box and loose, you have to pay off a debt of one million dollars for the rest of your life. If you choose the green box, and win, you gain a million dollars. If you choose the green box, you loose one dollar. Which box should you choose? Surely, it is blindingly obvious. You would be crazy to choose the red box. If you do, you stand to gain very little, but the loss is enormous. If you choose the green box, the loss would be next to nothing, but the gain is enormous. Now for Pascal’s argument. Consider a god who will punish you if you do not believe he exists [a god who Christians have believed in for nearly two thousand years] If you do believe in such a god, and act on your belief, your lifestyle will be cramped. You will lose out on pleasures that, if indulged in, will lead to eternal torment. Are you going to indulge in those pleasures, and refrain from believing in God [so conceived]? If you become a pleasure seeking atheist, you will be betting against the existence
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course PHI 107 taught by Professor Mattskene during the Spring '08 term at Syracuse.

Page1 / 4

Pascal’s Wager - Pascal's Wager We have...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online