Wagering with and without Pascal

Res Philosophica 95 (1):95-110 (2018)
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Abstract

Pascal’s wager has received the attention of philosophers for centuries. Most of its criticisms arise from how the wager is often framed. We present Pascal’s wager three ways: in isolation from any further apologetic arguments, as leading toward a regimen intended to produce belief, and finally embedded in a larger apology that includes evidence for Christianity. We find that none of the common objections apply when the wager is presented as part of Pascal’s larger project. Pascal’s wager is a successful argument in its proper place. However, the most interesting features of our first two presentations of the wager turn out to be either irrelevant or missing from our reading: infinite utility and the relativity of evidence. The successful wager is a boring wager. Still, this study shows us how the wager might profitably be incorporated into different apologetic contexts and why it often can’t.

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Author Profiles

Daniel Collette
Marquette University
Joseph Anderson
University of Virginia

Citations of this work

Salvaging Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Jackson & Andrew Rogers - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (1):59-84.

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References found in this work

The Will to Believe.William James - 1896 - The New World 5:327--347.
Waging War on Pascal’s Wager.Alan Hájek - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):27-56.
Waging War on Pascal's Wager.Alan Hájek - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):27-56.
Pascal's Wager and Infinite Utilities.Antony Duff - 1986 - Analysis 46 (2):107 - 109.

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