A Better Version of Pascal’s Wager

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):415-439 (2016)
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The standard version of Pascal’s Wager suffers from serious problems. In this paper I present a modified version of a Wager-style argument that avoids several of the most serious objections to the standard version, viz., the objections of Duff and Hájek relating to infinite utilities, moral objections concerning the use of pragmatic considerations, and the many-gods objection. I argue that a serious commitment to living a Christian life is rational (and the failure to make such a commitment is irrational) if one is rational in assigning a credence to Christianity of at least one-half. The upshot is that considerations of practical rationality dramatically lower the bar for natural theology.



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Michael W. Rota
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Citations of this work

An Epistemic Version of Pascal's Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-17.
Pascal’s wager and the origins of decision theory: decision-making by real decision-makers.James Franklin - 2018 - In Paul F. A. Bartha & Lawrence Pasternack (eds.), Pascal’s Wager. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 27-44.
Pascal's wager.Michael Rota - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (4):e12404.

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