Pascal’s Wager Revisited

Excerpt from Chapter 13 of Beyond Shallow Faith, copyright 2018, 2019

Blaise Pascal[i] was a French mathematician, scientist, and philosopher—and a Christian. Some of his notes, posthumously published as Pensées, contained the argument for belief in God which has been nicknamed, “Pascal’s wager.” The argument contends that we should believe God exists because we lose nothing if we are wrong, but gain everything—i.e., eternal life, Heaven, eternal joy and happiness—if we are right. On the other hand, denying that God exists gains us nothing if we are right, but would result in eternal misery if we are wrong.

During my high school days, a close friend of mine tried to convince me to become a Christian by invoking Pascal’s wager. It didn’t work. And it shouldn’t. . . .

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[i]. 1623-1662