Pascal's wager

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

After French theologian, Blaise Pascal, who formulated the wager

Proper noun[edit]

Pascal's wager

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Wikipedia

  1. (religion) An argument for theism maintaining that belief in God poses less risk if God does not exist than does eternal damnation for the atheist if God does exist.
    • 1997 October 11, Moen, Rick, “TAN: Mormons”, rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan, Usenet:
      In the unlikely event of losing Pascal's Wager, I intend to saunter in to Judgement Day with a bookshelf full of grievances, a flaming sword of my own devising, and a serious attitude problem.
    • 2001 October 17, Alan Dershowitz, Letters to a Young Lawyer, New York: Basic Books, ISBN 9780465016310, OL 3950598M, page 194:
      I have always considered "Pascal's Wager" a questionable bet to place, since any God worth believing in would prefer an honest agnostic to a calculating hypocrite.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see the citations page.

Translations[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

God exists God does not exist
Belief infinite gain (Heaven) finite loss
Disbelief infinite loss (Hell) finite gain