Philosophy of Religion is naturally concerned with whether or not we should believe in God. To this end, philosophers have argued for and against God’s existence. The French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal believed that these arguments were inherently inconclusive, and he purported that there were prudential or practical reasons to believe in God. He phrased his argument as a Wager with the conclusion that wagering in favor of God’s existence was more rational than wagering against. In the past fifty years, Pascal’s Wager has garnered (mostly negative) philosophical attention, and more lately it has attracted a few defenders. It is my thesis that these defenders are mistaken, and that Pascal’s Wager ultimately fails to provide prudential grounds on which to base a belief in God.
Michael Standley, ’07 Marion , IA
Sponsor: James White