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Summary Traditional theistic arguments conclude that God exists. Practical arguments for theism, by contrast, conclude that we have practical reason(s) to believe in God. Pascal's wager is one of the most famous. In his Pensées, Pascal argues that because “there is an infinitely happy life to gain” and “what you stake is finite," it is practically rational to "wager, then, without hesitation that [God] is" (fragments 233-241). There has been much debate about Pascal's argument since, including: what should we say about the fact that there are multiple religions (i.e. the many gods objection)? Does introducing infinities into decision theory give all decisions the same expected value (i.e. the mixed strategies objection)? Is it possible to believe for a practical reason? Is it rational to believe for a practical reason? Can we interpret "wagering" in terms of something other than belief? 
Key works Prominent objections to Pascal's wager include Mougin & Sober 1994, Duff 1986, Hájek 2003, and Bostrom 2009. Prominent defenses of Pascal's wager (and responses to objections) include Lycan & Schlesinger 1988, Jordan 2006Bartha 2007, Monton 2011, Rota 2016 (see also Rota's book, Taking Pascal's Wager, for an extended defense of the wager).  Edited collections on the wager include Jordan 1994 and Bartha & Pasternack 2018.
Introductions Introductions to Pascal's wager include Rota 2017 and Hájek 2008.
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  1. added 2020-05-03
    Pascal, Pascalberg, and Friends.Samuel Lebens - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 87 (1):109-130.
    Pascal’s wager has to face the many gods objection. The wager goes wrong when it asks us to chose between Christianity and atheism, as if there are no other options. Some have argued that we’re entitled to dismiss exotic, bizarre, or subjectively unappealing religions from the scope of the wager. But they have provided no satisfying justification for such a radical wager-saving dispensation. This paper fills that dialectical gap. It argues that some agents are blameless or even praiseworthy for ignoring (...)
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  2. added 2020-04-29
    Decyzje w sytuacjach niepewności normatywnej.Tomasz Żuradzki - forthcoming - Przeglad Filozoficzny - Nowa Seria.
    Etycy nie poświęcali dotąd wiele uwagi niepewności, koncentrując się często na skrajnie wyidealizowanych hipotetycznych sytuacjach, w których zarówno kwestie empiryczne (np. stan świata, spektrum możliwych decyzji oraz ich konsekwencje, związki przyczynowe między zdarzeniami), jak i normatywne (np. treść norm, skale wartości) były jasno określone i znane podmiotowi. W poniższym artykule – który jest rezultatem projektu dotyczącego różnych typów decyzji w sytuacjach niepewności związanej z postępem w naukach i technologiach biomedycznych – przedstawię analizę sytuacji niepewności normatywnej, czyli takich, w których podmiot (...)
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  3. added 2020-04-25
    Infinite Prospects.Jeffrey Sanford Russell & Yoaav Isaacs - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    People with the kind of preferences that give rise to the St. Petersburg paradox are problematic---but not because there is anything wrong with infinite utilities. Rather, such people cannot assign the St. Petersburg gamble any value that any kind of outcome could possibly have. Their preferences also violate an infinitary generalization of Savage's Sure Thing Principle, which we call the *Countable Sure Thing Principle*, as well as an infinitary generalization of von Neumann and Morgenstern's Independence axiom, which we call *Countable (...)
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  4. added 2020-04-25
    Non-Archimedean Preferences Over Countable Lotteries.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2020 - Journal of Mathematical Economics 88 (May 2020):180-186.
    We prove a representation theorem for preference relations over countably infinite lotteries that satisfy a generalized form of the Independence axiom, without assuming Continuity. The representing space consists of lexicographically ordered transfinite sequences of bounded real numbers. This result is generalized to preference orders on abstract superconvex spaces.
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  5. added 2019-09-07
    Pragmatic Arguments in the Qur'an for Belief.M. Shahid Alam - manuscript
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  6. added 2019-09-07
    Pragmatic Decisions About God From Different Points of View: The Costs of Apostasy.Cei Maslen - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (2):103-113.
    Pascal, with his famous wager, argued in favour of religious practice and faith by appeal to expected payoffs. Here I discuss an asymmetry in similar pragmatic arguments for decisions about God. I begin with the observation that apostates pay costs not shared by those who never adopt a religion in the first place. Noticing this asymmetry shows these arguments from a new perspective and may also contribute to an explanation of the endurance of religion.
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  7. added 2019-09-07
    William Wood Blaise Pascal on Duplicity, Sin, and the Fall: The Secret Instinct. . Pp. Viii + 243. £65.00 . ISBN 978 0 19 965636 3. [REVIEW]Kate Kirkpatrick - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (2):271-275.
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  8. added 2019-09-07
    Blaise Pascal on Duplicity, Sin and the Fall: The Secret Instinct by William Wood , Vi + 243 Pp.Klaas Bom - 2015 - Modern Theology 31 (2):362-363.
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  9. added 2019-09-07
    Search, Rest, and Grace in Pascal.Jennifer L. Soerensen - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (1):19-40.
    For Pascal, how are human beings related, or how do they relate themselves, to the summum bonum in this life? In what sense do they share in it, and how do they come to share in it? These are questions that emerge in many ways in Pascal’s writing, significantly in his concept of repos. To answer these questions, especially by elucidating what repos is for human beings in this life, I would like to begin with Graeme Hunter’s “Motion and Rest (...)
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  10. added 2019-09-07
    Loki's Wager and Laudan's Error.On Genuine & Territorial Demarcation - 2013 - In Massimo Pigliucci & Maarten Boudry (eds.), Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press. pp. 79.
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  11. added 2019-09-07
    Treatment Option or Pharmacological Wager?Ann Boyd - 2013 - Journal of Clinical Research and Bioethics 4 (4).
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  12. added 2019-09-07
    Pascal Boyer: The Fracture of an Illusion: Science and the Dissolution of Religion.Michael Stausberg - 2012 - Zeitschrift für Religions- Und Geistesgeschichte 64 (1):70-72.
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  13. added 2019-09-07
    Faith as a Mustard Seed.Dale Jacquette - 2012 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 17 (2):141-173.
  14. added 2019-09-07
    What is the Self? Imitation and Subjectivity in Blaise Pascal's Pensées.William Wood - 2010 - Modern Theology 26 (3):417-436.
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  15. added 2019-09-07
    Henryk Elzenberg Wager for Values. Axiological and Methodological Aspects.Krzysztof Stachewicz - 2009 - Dialogue and Universalism 19 (8-9):39-47.
    The wager for values proposed by Henryk Elzenberg seems to be an interesting and important problem in axiological thinking. That is why one should take a close look at Elzenberg’s reasoning and at certain consequences of such point of view. We analyze this problem as a parallel to Pascal’s Wager for God. One should live and act as if God existed—it is an effect of Pascal’s Wager. One should live and behave as if perfect values existed—this is the essence of (...)
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  16. added 2019-09-07
    Wager.Simon Blackburn - 2008 - In exploring philosophy of religion.
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  17. added 2019-09-07
    Scepticism and Mathematization: Pascal and Peirce on Mathematical Epistemology.Johannes Lenhard - 2004 - Philosophica 74.
    In his Pensées, Pascal introduced the very influential distinction between the subtle intelligence and the geometrical intelligence. In the first part of the present paper Pascal’s distinction is considered by looking at his famous wager argument where Pascal acts as a skeptical philosopher and at the same time as an applied mathematician. This argument employs the esprit de finesse in a way that is of fundamental significance for the epistemology of mathematics. This claim will be backed up in the second (...)
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  18. added 2019-09-07
    Morality and Method in Pascal's.Ann T. Delehanty - 2004 - Philosophy and Literature 28 (1).
    : This essay argues that Pascal's work both questions the accuracy of perspective in an infinite universe, and describes a model for moral truth that escapes the limitations of perspective. This model, rooted in Christianity, requires a total reorientation of approach towards moral truth. By asserting the limits of rational method, making use of recent scientific developments, and constructing a new model for moral truth, Pascal's work sought to update the role of Christianity to be not only consonant with the (...)
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  19. added 2019-09-07
    Is the Wager Back On? A Response to Douglas Groothuis.Alan Carter - 2002 - Philosophia Christi 4 (2):493-500.
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  20. added 2019-09-07
    An Unwarranted Farewell to Pascal's Wager: A Reply to Alan Carter.Douglas Groothius - 2002 - Philosophia Christi 4 (2):501-508.
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  21. added 2019-09-07
    Are All Bets Off? A Defense of Pascal’s Wager.Douglas Groothuis - 2001 - Philosophia Christi 3 (2):517-524.
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  22. added 2019-09-07
    The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal.James Franklin - 2001 - Baltimore, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    How were reliable predictions made before Pascal and Fermat's discovery of the mathematics of probability in 1654? What methods in law, science, commerce, philosophy, and logic helped us to get at the truth in cases where certainty was not attainable? The book examines how judges, witch inquisitors, and juries evaluated evidence; how scientists weighed reasons for and against scientific theories; and how merchants counted shipwrecks to determine insurance rates. Also included are the problem of induction before Hume, design arguments for (...)
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  23. added 2019-09-07
    Pascal's Argument of Stake.R. Jurecka - 2000 - Filosoficky Casopis 48 (4):541-556.
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  24. added 2019-09-07
    Pascalův Argument Sázky.Richard JureČka - 2000 - Filosoficky Casopis 48:541-556.
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  25. added 2019-09-07
    Motion and Rest in the Pensées – a Note on Pascal's Modernism.Graeme Hunter - 2000 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 47 (2):87-99.
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  26. added 2019-09-07
    The Precautionary Principle, the Catastrophe Argument, and Pascal's Wager.Neil Manson - 1999 - Ends and Means 4 (1).
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  27. added 2019-09-07
    God Owes Us Nothing: A Brief Remark on Pascal's Religion and on the Spirit of Jansenism. [REVIEW]James Wetzel - 1997 - Religious Studies 33 (1):121-130.
  28. added 2019-09-07
    Kolakowski, Leszek. God Owes Us Nothing: A Brief Remark on Pascal's Religion and on the Spirit of Jansenism. [REVIEW]John C. McCarthy - 1997 - Review of Metaphysics 50 (3):669-671.
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  29. added 2019-09-07
    Wetsel, David. Pascal and Disbelief: Catechesis and Conversion in the Pensées.Timothy J. Williams - 1996 - Review of Metaphysics 50 (2):428-429.
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  30. added 2019-09-07
    Pragmatic Arguments and Belief.Jeff Jordan - 1996 - American Philosophical Quarterly 33 (4):409 - 420.
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  31. added 2019-09-07
    Jeff Jordan and Daniel Howards-Snyder, Eds., Faith, Freedom, and Rationality, Philosophy of Religion Today Reviewed By.Jerome I. Gellman - 1996 - Philosophy in Review 16 (5):355-357.
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  32. added 2019-09-07
    Pascal on Certainty and Utility.John C. McCarthy - 1995 - Interpretation 22 (2):247-269.
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  33. added 2019-09-07
    Wagering Belief: Examining Two Objections to Pascal's Wager.D. Groothuis - 1994 - Religious Studies 30 (4):479-486.
    This paper concerns two objections to Pascal's wager. The first claims that Pascal's recommendation to habituate oneself to believe in God is tantamount to religious brainwashing. I argue that this construal misses important aspects of what Pascal had in mind, which may render the habituation process a legitimate means to acquire new understanding. The second objection is based on the idea that a key assumption of the wager – that theistic belief is required for eternal felicity – is morally absurd. (...)
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  34. added 2019-09-07
    Infinite Return: Two Ways of Wagering with Pascal.James Wetzel - 1993 - Religious Studies 29 (2):139-149.
    Pascal's wager has fascinated philosophers far in excess of its reputation as effective apologetics. Very few of the wager's defenders, in fact, have retained more than an academic interest in its power to persuade. Partly this is a matter of good manners. Pascal is supposed to have pitched his wager at folks who understand only self-interested motivations, and today it is no longer fashionable for defenders of theism to disparage the character of their opponents. But partly the low-key concern with (...)
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  35. added 2019-09-07
    To Prove or Not to Prove: Pascal on Natural Theology.Douglas Richard Groothuis - 1993 - Dissertation, University of Oregon
    In this dissertation I argue that Pascal's reasons for rejecting the enterprise of natural theology are inadequate to negate the discipline's possible value for Christian theism. ;I begin by explaining the nature, function, and scope of natural theology or the attempt to argue for God's existence apart from revelation. ;Pascal argues that the Bible itself precludes the activity of natural theology. I dispute this claim by giving reasons why the omission of natural in the Bible does not mean that the (...)
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  36. added 2019-09-07
    God and Freedom: Reply to Jordan. [REVIEW]Davies O. P. Brian - 1992 - Sophia 31 (3):124-125.
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  37. added 2019-09-07
    Pascalian Fictions Antagonism and Absent Agency in the Wager and Other Pensées. Van Kelly - 1992
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  38. added 2019-09-07
    Pascal on Self-Caused Belief.Stephen T. Davis - 1991 - Religious Studies 27 (1):27 - 37.
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  39. added 2019-09-07
    Duff and the Wager.Jeff Jordan - 1991 - Analysis 51 (3):174 - 176.
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  40. added 2019-09-07
    Vom Literarischen Diskurs Zum Christlichen Aufruf. Uberlegungen Zum Ersten Teil der von Pascal Provisorisch Geordneten Pensées (Du Discours Littéraire À l'Exhortation Chrétienne. Réflexions Sur la 1 Partie des Pensées Dans Leur Ordre Provisoire).P. Grotzer - 1988 - Theologie Und Philosophie 63 (3):370-383.
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  41. added 2019-09-07
    N. Rescher, "Pascal's Wager: A Study of Practical Reasoning in Philosophical Theology".C. D. Kay - 1987 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 22 (1/2):112.
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  42. added 2019-09-07
    Pascal's Syndrome: Positivism as a Symptom of Depression and Mania.Hiram Caton - 1986 - Zygon 21 (3):319-351.
    . The present study applies results and methods of psychobiology to intellectual history. Pascal's syndrome is a depressive neurosis associated with morbid effects of scientific certainty. The syndrome is characterized by self‐mortification and conversion experience that represses distressing certainties. The dynamics of the syndrome are assessed from Blake Pascal's psychosis. The ideation of the syndrome is evaluated by reference to the neurology of altered states of consciousness and the biogenic amine hypothesis of depression and mania. The evaluation yields a description (...)
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  43. added 2019-09-07
    The Christian Wager.R. G. Swinburne - 1984 - In J. Houston (ed.), Religious Studies. Handsel Press. pp. 217--228.
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  44. added 2019-09-07
    The Metaphysical Structure of Pascal Theology.G. Varani - 1984 - Verifiche: Rivista Trimestrale di Scienze Umane 13 (1):79-97.
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  45. added 2019-09-07
    Tragic Closure and the Cornelian Wager.John Lyons - 1984 - Analecta Husserliana 18:409.
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  46. added 2019-09-07
    Pragmatic Justification of Religious Faith.Joshua Lewis Golding - 1982 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    Pascal's Wager is analyzed and critiqued in Part I. The main objections to Pascal's argument are raised and various attempts to salvage the argument are discussed. These problems include the dubious assumption that one is forced to believe either that God exists or that God does not exist, and the questionable assumption that one will gain infinite happiness if and only if God exists and one believes in God's existence. Also problematic is the use of an infinite value in an (...)
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  47. added 2019-09-07
    Blaise Pascal.Roger Hazelton - 1977 - Religious Studies 13 (1):111-112.
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  48. added 2019-09-07
    The Will to Come Out All Right.Herb Yarvin - 1976 - Religious Studies 12 (3):303.
    William James presents Pascal's wager in this manner: if you believe in God and God exists, then your gain is infinite; if you believe in God and God doesn't exist, then your loss is finite. Therefore, since a finite loss is reasonable where there is the possibility of infinite gain, you ought to believe in God. ‘What have you to lose?’ James asks . 1.
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  49. added 2019-09-07
    Probability and Utility: A Reply. [REVIEW]John King-Farlow - 1976 - Sophia 15 (1):36-36.
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  50. added 2019-09-07
    Probability, Utility and Rational Belief.Bruce Russell - 1976 - Sophia 15 (1):32-35.
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1 — 50 / 189