In response to the many-gods objection (MGO) to Pascal’s wager, George Schlesinger has argued that when the expected outcome of various courses of action carries the same utility (i.e. infinite), one has a prudential reason to choose the course of action which will most likely lead to that outcome. So, according to Schlesinger, if, in the end, one is more likely to receive eternal life (in paradise) by endeavoring to believe in the God of the theist than by striving to (...) believe in any of the possible rival deities which are postulated by the MGO, then one has a prudential reason to believe in the God of the theist and, hence, the rational thing to do is to accept Pascal’s wager. In order to decide whether to accept the wager, it is therefore necessary, as Schlesinger has pointed out, to assign subjective probabilities to the existence of the God of the theist and that of the MGO’s postulated deities, on the basis of the available evidence, in view of determining which god most likely exists. This is the gist of Schlesinger’s reply to the MGO. My aim in this paper is to further refine the epistemic conditions under which a rational agent ought to accept Pascal’s wager, where the wager is construed as an argument for belief in the traditional Christian god, rather than a generic theistic god. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue, with the help of a thought experiment, that some people may be acting in a morally inconsistent manner when they partake in the killing of other sentient animals purely for the pleasure of leading a non-vegan lifestyle, or when they encourage certain forms of animal farming which lead to premature animals deaths on the grounds that these farming practices allow countless conscious animals, who would not have otherwise existed, to experience a somewhat fulfilling life.