On Rescher on Pascal's Wager


Authors
Graham Oppy
Monash University
Abstract
In Pascal's Wager: A Study Of Practical Reasoning In Philosophical Theology ,[1] Nicholas Rescher aims to show that, contrary to received philosophical opinion, Pascal's Wager argument is "the vehicle of a fruitful and valuable insight--one which not only represents a milestone in the development of an historically important tradition of thought but can still be seen as making an instructive contribution to philosophical theology".[2] In particular, Rescher argues that one only needs to adopt a correct perspective in order to see that Pascal's Wager argument is a good argument. Moreover, there seems to be a certain amount of contemporary support for Rescher's claim that Pascal's Wager argument can be seen to be a good argument when properly construed .[3] However, despite this recent trend to adopt a more sympathetic stance towards Pascal's Wager argument, I propose to defend the traditional view that Pascal's Wager argument is almost entirely worthless--at least from the theological standpoint. (No doubt, it has historical significance from the standpoint of decision theory; but that's a separate matter.).
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DOI 10.1007/BF00161636
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Waging War on Pascal’s Wager.Alan Hájek - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):27-56.
Pascal’s Wager and the Origins of Decision Theory: Decision-Making by Real Decision-Makers.James Franklin - 2018 - In Paul Bartha & Lawrence Pasternack (eds.), Pascal's Wager. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 27-44.
Pascal, Pascalberg, and Friends.Samuel Lebens - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 87 (1):109-130.
Recent Criticisms and Defenses of Pascal's Wager.Robert Anderson - 1995 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 37 (1):45 - 56.
The Persecutor's Wager.Craig Duncan - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (1):1-50.

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Pascal's Wager.Alan Hájek - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Pascal's Wager is a Possible Bet (but Not a Very Good One): Reply to Harmon Holcomb III.Graham Oppy - 1996 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 40 (2):101 - 116.

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