Wagering Belief: Examining Two Objections to Pascal's Wager

Religious Studies 30 (4):479 - 486 (1994)
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. I argue that theistic belief, as Pascal understands it, is a necessary aspect for spiritual restoration, not merely an isolated belief in an imperious deity.
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DOI 10.1017/S003441250002312X
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