Pascal’s Wager is an argument for the belief in God, whether or not he exists. This argument looks at the pros and cons of believing in God. In essence Pascal’s Wager says â€œwhat’s in it for me.â€ As the argument goes, the main advantages of belief in God are after one dies. Going to heaven being the ultimate reward for belief and going to hell being the ultimate punishment for disbelief.
Let’s take a quick look at the after death possibilities.
|God Exists||God Does not Exist|
|One believes in God|
|One doesn’t believe in God|
In this version of Pascal’s Wager it doesn’t much matter whether or not one believes in God if he doesn’t exist. Things end up the same. However, if he does exist, there are great rewards and punishments involved.
This means that if our stick figure believes in God, these are his after death possibilities:
On the other hand if this stick figure does not believe in God these are his after death possibilities:
Given these options, one is better off just believing in God. One doesn’t have much to lose, and a lot to gain.
In my next post I will go over one response to this argument, The Atheist’s Wager. One recently popular version of this can be found here. However, my explanation will be illustrated with stick figures. In the third post in my Pascal’s Wager series, I will explain a response to both of these wagers.