Pascals Wager

Discussion in 'Spirituality' started by SomeGuy, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. SomeGuy

    SomeGuy Registered+

    Im already a Christian...but have any of you atheist on here though about Pascals Wager?
  2. ADaisyChain

    ADaisyChain Registered+

    It might get some border-liners. Most of the people who deny god deny heaven and the afterlife, so using the 'possible benefits' that atheists already deny.. well you get the picture.'s_Flaw
  3. F L E S H

    F L E S H Registered+

    Yeah, it would take more than that to convince modern-day atheists such as myself. One thing's for sure, I'm not scared of going to Hell and I'm not striving to go to Heaven because THEY DO NOT EXIST. I love how in that section Pascal writes, "Reason can decide nothing here." That's the flaw. It has everything to do with reason, because people who use simple reasoning without prior suppositions concerning what they "know" about God will inevitably conclude that God is a fairy-tale.
  4. SomeGuy

    SomeGuy Registered+

    I guess what works for you works. I belive some people use Pascals Wager as reasoning if they are borderline Christian/Atheist and take their reasoning from that point on. As a christian I have though about it, but have also looked at more of the other proofs of God and have weighed them against proofs of No God. Science is missing several key proofs, and God is missing a few to...I just chose the one that I have spiritually been led to my life. Yes I believe thare is a higher spiritual being...though I have doubts as to whetether the whole bible is %100 true...

    I get distracted way to easily...asked about Pascals Wager....then somehow got around to explaining my own spirituality...

    Later Peace
  5. Polymirize

    Polymirize Registered+

    I think the better question is what do you think as a christian about christians who chose their faith from the cost/benefits style reasoning of Pascal's wager?

    Do they make good people of faith?

    Better safe than sorry?
    Ah, it's better to live dangerously...
  6. RichieRich

    RichieRich Registered+

    Pascal's Wager

    Saw this on an old thread and thought I would try to bring it back to life:

    When discussing God’s existence, the name Pascal immediately comes to mind. But can you remember what was meant by...”Pascal’s wager?”

    Pascal lived from 1623-1662. He was renowned as a French mathematician, physicist, philosopher, and theologian. Anyone who has taken a high school or college geometry class has no doubt heard of Pascal and his mathematical studies.

    In the area of religion, Pascal is best known for his “wager.” Pascal, a Christian believer and apologist, argued that while God’s existence cannot be known with rational certainty, it is nevertheless prudent to believe in God. In his book Pensées, Pascal argued that either God exists or he does not exist. However, our present life, and possibly our future destiny, rests upon the alternative that we choose. Pascal reasoned that by believing in God (Christian theism), you have everything to win (in fact, you have eternal life to win) and nothing to lose. However, by not believing, you have nothing to win and everything to lose (in fact, you could lose your eternal soul). He therefore reasoned that if you consider what’s at stake, your best (or safer) wager is to believe in God. To wit — “Pascal’s wager.”

    What shall we make of Pascal’s wager? It certainly is not a proof of God’s existence in the traditional sense. But it does appeal to our practical, common sense approach to decision making. Without doubt, unbelievers are taking an enormous risk.

    It should also be noted that the evidence for God’s existence, if examined with a truly open mind, is extremely compelling. In fact, let me say that anyone looking at the evidence without bias would conclude that a belief in God is the only rational alternative. If you are seeking for God — He can be found! He has made Himself known by the light of Creation (Rom. 1), the light of conscience (Rom. 2), and the light of Christ (John 1). Remember what God says: “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me” (Prov. 8:17).

    Disclaimer here: Peace....:jointsmile:
  7. JunkYard

    JunkYard Registered

    I don't know that belief in God is a choice, Richie. Many people claim that they just cannot believe, and I tend to agree, as I cannot "not" believe. I'll tell you what, try not believing in God for a week, and see how you fair. This might clue you in on why some people have no beliefs, they simply cannot believe, man.

    Although Pacals Wager seems to be logical, one must consider the reality of actually being able to make such a choice to begin with.. . ..

  8. iPot

    iPot Banned

    I don't know about atheism. What's so bad about beleiving in something? Life is wonderful and complex, it is what we don't know about things that makes everything else that we do more exciting.
  9. delusionsofNORMALity

    delusionsofNORMALity Registered+

    they will join me in hell

    faith based on such reasoning as pascal's wager is false faith. it is belief based on fear, the fear of the consequences should logic prove false. if we atheists are incorrect and a god will judge us, would a man whose faith was based on personal gain fare any better than a good man who denied god's existence based on observation and his god given sense.

    the other side of the coin is the atheist's wager, equally unworkable given the human predilection for self-delusion.
  10. Polymirize

    Polymirize Registered+

    trust the christians to think that there's nothing to be gained by not believing in god...
  11. mrdevious

    mrdevious Registered+

    Just for the sake of confusing philisophical discussion, I'm going to introduce:

    MrDevious' Wager:

    There are alien beings in this universe of astounding power. They can travel to any point in this universe in a matter of seconds. They can destroy worlds with the utmost ease, they can whipe out galaxies if it so tickles their fancy.

    And it just so happens, they don't believe in god. In fact, they are so offended by the notion of god that they destroy any and all alien life they encounter that worship a diety. While there are billions of galaxies full of life-inhabiting planets, they'll eventually come across ours.
    So, whether or not it may be rational to believe in these creatures, can we really take that chance? It's therefor only reasonable that we take the safe road and stop believing in god, lest the creatures should find Earth one day and kill us all.
  12. delusionsofNORMALity

    delusionsofNORMALity Registered+

    we are already here and we're giving you 24 hours.:vader1:
  13. Coelho

    Coelho Registered

    i think dont belive in God is arrogance from us... we are only another animal specie, as doomed to die as the meanest bactery, living in a small planet lost in the unending space full of zillions of stars and galaxies bigger and older than our understanding... just cause we can think, we illude ourselves thinking we are the most important things in the entire universe! we think we know everything... when in truth all we know is only a drop in an endless ocean... so i think we should realize how small we are... and realize there is an unlimited amount of things far beyond our comprehension...
    and may the Lord have mercy of us all...
  14. delusionsofNORMALity

    delusionsofNORMALity Registered+


    isn't it the ultimate in arrogance to believe that a divine being would have any interest in an insignificant species such as us.
  15. afghooey

    afghooey Registered+

    I have to question whether a divine being would have any need for concepts such as 'significant' and 'insignificant'. Looking at things from an objective viewpoint, why should size determine anything's significance? The appearance of humanity being a tiny speck in an unimaginably vast universe is just an effect of our perspectives and concepts of size. A deity, especially one that is omnipresent and omniscient, would no doubt transcend such limits of perception.
  16. Oneironaut

    Oneironaut Registered+

    Pascal's Wager has too many flaws for this atheist to take it seriously. Basically, Pascal's Wager says "If you don't believe in the Christian God, and the Christian God exists, you will go to Christian Hell. If you do believe in the Christian God and there is a Christian God, you will go to Christian Heaven. If you do not believe in the Christian God and Christianity is false, you get nothing and lose nothing. Therefore, it is in your best interests to believe in the Christian God no matter how unlikely it is." Here are the five main problems with this argument:

    1) It assumes that the Christian God is the only God worth worrying about. There are lots of other religions that threaten you with hell if you don't believe in them too. Pascal's Wager applies equally to Christianity and Islam, so what am I supposed to do, flip a coin?

    2) It assumes that God will send me to hell if I don't believe in him. It rejects the idea that God might judge us on our actions rather than our metaphysical beliefs. It rejects the idea that there might be a non-Christian God who likes atheists (who worship no gods) more than Christians (who worship the wrong god). It rejects the idea that God might respect intellectual honesty, admiring an atheist who admits there isn't sufficient evidence for gods more than he admires a Christian who believes out of fear or out of a selfish desire to get to heaven.

    3) Pascal's Wager ignores the fact that I cannot consciously change my beliefs. If somebody tells me there's a unicorn who will burn me for all eternity unless I believe in unicorns, that can't change the fact that I have never seen any evidence for unicorns and hence will not believe in unicorns until I see some evidence compelling enough to change my mind. I can't choose my beliefs at will. I can't just wake up and say "Today I feel like being a conservative pro-war Hindu anti-abortionist who believes in the Loch Ness Monster."

    4) Pascal's Wager is not an argument for believing in God. It is an argument for pretending to believe in God. No part of Pascal's Wager affects the likelihood of God's existence. Even if I go on believing that God's existence is extremely unlikely, Pascal's Wager says I should act as though I believe in God anyways. I am not willing to be that dishonest, and besides, wouldn't an omniscient God see right through the act?

    5) Any God who tortures people for all eternity because they don't believe in something for which there is insufficient evidence is an asshole who is not worthy of worship. If Adolf Hitler gave me the choice between converting to Nazism or burning in a gas chamber, I'd gladly take the gas chamber. Same goes for God; I'd rather burn and keep my dignity than submit to a childish egomaniacal cosmic dictator.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2007
  17. mrdevious

    mrdevious Registered+

    Sorry Oneironaut, there's one thing you haven't considered that completely deconstructs your entire argument.

  18. delusionsofNORMALity

    delusionsofNORMALity Registered+

    and independent thought is the cause of all the world's woes.:p
  19. Oneironaut

    Oneironaut Registered+

    If that's the case, then HAIL SATAN, PRINCE OF DARKNESS (and logic)!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2007
  20. Coelho

    Coelho Registered

    if bush is with satan, more a reason to run to the church!

    (how would be the hell if satan starts governing it like bush???)

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