Does Pascals Wager Provide a Convincing Argument for Belief in God? Essay

Published: 2020-01-20 16:22:40
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Published in 1670 and named after French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal; the philosophical theory of Pascals Wager reasons that to believe in God is a decision made in a time of uncertainty. The Wager also explains that whether or not God exists, we can estimate the outcome; an infinite reward or an infinite punishment. This suggests that the rational choice to live as if God exists is the better of the possible choices; yet, through reason alone, one cannot come to the knowledge of Gods existence.

Many peoples beliefs may be in their own interest to hold, thinking, if we plan for the future it will pay off in the long run; or in other cases, we explain why somebody holds a belief by appealing to its causes. This being said, the idea of the Wager is deciding whether or not to believe in God and to consider the expected outcome for each of these options. I think that Pascals Wager is supposedly meant to provide reasons which would persuade any rational person that they should believe in God. However, I dont think it is a valid argument, although it is convincing. The argument of Pascals Wager can be used for any God at all, so what happens if you pick the wrong God? Who is to say this God actually rewards belief and punishes those who do not believe? If we supposedly were to pick a god and it does exist, wont this omniscient god know that we only believe just to be safe? Would our outcome still be an infinite reward, or would we not be rewarded for our fake belief? I dont think we can be guaranteed any specific outcome, such as an infinite reward or infinite punishment, because if you believed in a god because you wanted to have chance on your side, then the God would know this, and would know that your belief was not real.

The belief in God relies on assuming that the god described is real and has those characteristics. The argument of Pascals Wager begins with an assumption, and then appeals the same supposition as its conclusion. You have to believe this assumption in order to believe in God and if you do not believe the primary assumption about God already, then the argument should not convince you. Therefore, if there is no God, no afterlife, no continuation and you wasted your time maiming yourself and your kids, eating a restricted diet or giving your time to faking a belief in God, you have missed a lot in the only life you have. The only certain result of Pascals Wager is that one will pretend to believe, which is all one can do if they do not really believe.

Yet, if there is a god, he would know that you are faking it so you would go to hell anyway. The Wager gives us an option to believe in God in times of uncertainty; suppose your dog who you love dearly lay next to you close to dying, and the vet offers to try a new drug to cure the dog, however, could not guarantee treatment. The drug has a 50-50 chance of saving your adored dogs life. Would it be sensible to try it, even if it cost a bit of money? Supposing it was free, it would be unreasonable not to try it and reasonable to try it. This is an example understanding the Wager in a time of doubt and uncertainty; to believe in God not because your reason can prove with certainty that it is true that God exists but because your will pursues happiness, and God is your only chance of attaining happiness eternally.

In my opinion, the argument of Pascals Wager, is not a valid argument, however, it is a convincing one. When you first hear Pascals Wager, it sounds good, but in fact, it depends on whether an individual chooses to believe.. Most disbelievers, such as me, question the Wager purely because we know of no persuasive evidence or reasons to believe; maybe proving the argument or showing some good evidence might convince unbelievers. To say it is in someones best interest to believe in God is completely unsound, especially considering someone cannot sincerely choose to believe in something, just because it is rationally logical to do so. If you said all the right prayers and attended church on a regular basis, that still would not be the same thing as truly believing, any omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God would see straight through that. . I do not think by act of will, that you can force yourself to believe that God exists. This argument is logically invalid, but people are afraid of an infinite punishment, or the final outcome of choosing to believe in god, therefore are easily convinced by rationally unsound arguments.

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