Summary Of Response To Atheists By Blaise Pascal

494 Words2 Pages
In response to atheists, Blaise Pascal offers a mathematical argument for why everyone should believe in God. He first argues that God is infinite and beyond human comprehension, and humans are thus “incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is.”1 Because of this, we are simply forced to gamble on God’s existence or nonexistence. In this gamble, if we believe in God and He exists, we will be infinitely rewarded with eternal life for our faithfulness. If we believe in God but He does not exist, then we will have wasted our time following “heavenly laws” and worshiping a false god. Of course, if we do not believe in God and He does not exist, we can avoid this loss altogether. Worst of all, however, if we do not believe in God but He exists, we will suffer infinitely in hellfire for our disobedience. For Pascal, anyone willing to secure finite gain – the small comfort of not going to church every Sunday or of not observing certain commandments – while risking infinite loss (hell) and giving up infinite gain (heaven) is irrational.
Pascal’s argument, however, hinges upon the assumption that God possesses Judeo-Christian attributes. Throughout the argument, Pascal emphasizes the gains to be had in the case that we
…show more content…
If we designate the God who punishes His followers as “anti-God,” the rewards to be earned by believing in God in offset by the possibility that the God we believe in is the “anti-God.” Similarly, the losses to be suffered by not believing in God is balanced by the possibility that the God we did not believe in is the “anti-God.” In this way, all possible attributes of God and their opposites essentially cancel the net benefit of each choice to zero. While some may argue that some of these attributes of God are “absurd,” without any prior knowledge of who God is, all attributes of God must be considered as equally
Open Document