Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Failings of Pascal's Wager: Which Belief?

There are many counter-arguments that show the fallacies of Pascal's Wager, and we continue on with one of the most glaring holes in the argument: which religion should I pick?

So Many Choices
If you accept the Wager for the existence of God, the question is then becomes what "God" should you accept? Remember, Blaise Pascal used the argument to justify his Catholic religion (and argue that others should be Catholics too). Does that mean that only the Catholic religion is the "right" one? If the premise is "why not believe", then why not believe in Zeus, or the religion of Islam? If its better to believe so that you won't suffer the ill effects of not believing, consider this:

What if right now there's a squadron of fire-breathing dragons flying at warp-speed straight toward us, bent on destroying the earth. They'll spare the earth only if enough people believe that they can recite the alphabet backwards while humming "Clementine". Is it not better then, to believe in the dragons (and their talents) in order to be spared the destruction of the earth? We have everything to lose if we don't believe!

If You Choose Not To Decide...
This argument is often phrased as: "What if you're wrong?" Since many Fundamentalists Christians believe that Catholics are going to go to Hell, Pascal's not much better off than an unbeliever. We don't know which religion -- if any -- is "correct", so it seems that the best wager would be to choose the religion with the worst punishment for non-belief and the best reward for belief.

I choose "none".

More problems with the Wager coming soon!


No comments: