Faithfully Taking Pascal’s Wager

The Monist 106 (1):35–45 (2023)
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Abstract

I examine the relationship between taking Pascal’s wager, faith, and hope. First, I argue that many who take Pascal’s wager have genuine faith that God exists. The person of faith and the wagerer have several things in common, including a commitment to God and positive cognitive and conative attitudes toward God’s existence. If one’s credences in theism are too low to have faith, I argue that the wagerer can still hope that God exists, another commitment-justifying theological virtue. I conclude with two upshots of the argument, including how it provides responses to common objections to Pascal’s wager.

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Elizabeth Jackson
Toronto Metropolitan University

Citations of this work

Pragmatic Arguments for Theism.Elizabeth Jackson - 2023 - In John Greco, Tyler Dalton McNabb & Jonathan Fuqua (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Religious Epistemology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 70–82.
An Epistemic Version of Pascal's Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-17.

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References found in this work

Between Probability and Certainty: What Justifies Belief.Martin Smith - 2016 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Betting on Theories.Patrick Maher - 1993 - Cambridge, New York and Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
The miracle of theism: arguments for and against the existence of God.J. L. Mackie - 1982 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Bernard Williams.
The Focus Theory of Hope.Andrew Chignell - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (1):44-63.
Belief is weak.John Hawthorne, Daniel Rothschild & Levi Spectre - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1393-1404.

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