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Pascal's wager

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Pascal's Wager is a philosophical proposition which takes the following form:

God either exists or not.

  1. If God does not exist and you do not not believe in God, you gain nothing and lose nothing.
  2. If God does exist and you do not believe in God, you are condemned to hell for eternity; infinite loss.
  3. If God does not exist and you do believe in God, you gain nothing and lose nothing.
  4. If God does exist and you do believe in God, you will receive an eternity in heaven; infinite gain.

Blaise Pascal reasoned that, given the relative gains and losses for each scenario, the only sensible course for a rational human being was to believe in God since the potentially infinite gains and losses which occur if God exists outweigh any possible loss in a finite situation if God does not exist. This is true regardless of what probability one assigns to God's existence as long as some possibility is assigned.

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