Write a 2 page essay on Pascal’s Wager.
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Pascal’s Penses, then, is totally different from conventional reasoning since it endeavors to provide practical reasons for belief in God. Taking the gambler’s parlance, Pascal is saying that one should “wager that God exists because it is our best bet (Hajek). According to Ryan (1994), this line of reasoning has roots in the writings of Plato, Arnobius, Lactantius.
Pascal’s wager, in a nutshell, is: if you believe in God and he does not exist, you share the same fate as those who do not believe in God – death. However, if He does exist, you stand to gain salvation, while the unbeliever still faces a static destiny – death. So the believer, technically, has nothing to lose and all to gain, while the unbeliever whether right or not about his or her wager will only face death in the end. Therefore it is only logical to wager on the choice that makes the most sense – belief in God. It, in a sense is a philosophical win-win situation.
Pascal maintains that we are incapable of knowing whether God exists or not, yet we must “wager” one way or the other. Reason cannot settle which way we should incline, but a consideration of the relevant outcomes supposedly can.
Pascal’s line of reasoning is intriguing.