Secular Philosophy: Countering Pascal

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” -Christopher Hitchens – God Is Not Great

One of the last bastions of faith is a proposition known as Pascal’s Wager. Presented by the philosopher Blaise Pascal and it goes like this.

  1. “God is, or He is not”

  2. A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.

  3. According to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.

  4. You must wager (it is not optional).

  5. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.

  6. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (…) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.

(Taken from Wikipedia)

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