Pascal’s Wager, simplified


I can’t believe that there are people out there still throwing Pascal’s wager around.  Maybe they’ve never come across the term, or something.  So I’ll summarise the wager here.

Do you believe in God?

[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.

  • If you answered Yes, but you are wrong, nothing happens.
  • If you answered No, but you are wrong, you might face eternal damnation.
  • Therefore it is safer to believe in God.

However, since the probability of “the Christian God” being the one true God is unassigned, the same (il)logic can actually be applied to any god.

Do you believe in Allah?

[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.

  • If you answered Yes, but you are wrong, nothing happens.
  • If you answered No, but you are wrong, you might face eternal damnation.
  • Therefore it is safer to believe in Allah.

Do you believe in Zeus? 

[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.

  • If you answered Yes, but you are wrong, nothing happens.
  • If you answered No, but you are wrong, you might face eternal damnation.
  • Therefore it is safer to believe in Zeus.

Do you believe in Vishnu?

[ ] Yes.
[ ] No.

  • If you answered Yes, but you are wrong, nothing happens.
  • If you answered No, but you are wrong, you might face eternal damnation.
  • Therefore it is safer to believe in Vishnu.

Repeat questionnaire for all the hundreds of gods ever invented by mankind.

The wager fails to notice, of course, that if you believe in God, but Allah turns out to be correct, you’re in some deep sh*t.  So, is it safer to believe in a false god or to kindly refuse to believe in any at all, until ample evidence is produced?

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