Blaise Pascal suggested in his famous ‘wager‘, that, while the existense of God could not be proven, a rational person would nevertheless live as if God exists, based on the hypothesis that the believer has everything to gain (Heaven), and nothing to lose. There is a terrible flaw in this argument that I have not seen made elsewhere so…
Pascal’s God was of course the Christian God, who, it is claimed, rewards faith with otherwise unavailable eternal life.
The wager must, however, estimate not the net cost/benefit under just one God existing, but of all possible Gods
It must include Gods who have been deposed by evil off-spring such as Satan. Gods, such as the Greek and Roman Gods, who do not provide a Heaven, but only varieties of hell across the River Styx, and many dozens of others including a high weight for the “probable God of our world if one existed”.
Our likely God is certainly one who chose to exercise creation through mass extinction. Who allows mutations which create abhorrent abnormalities, exactly as if he were not here. What Heaven would he create for his mind-children?
I imagine this to be a sort of store house of minds, where our complex if limited free-will is used as as a massive parallel simulator for puzzles such as predicting the weather.
So… what does “The Wager” lead us to conclude? Whom should we believe in order to get what? As the wager must include a God who punishes people taking Pascal’s wager as a game with eternal painful hell, I think we can ignore Pascal’s wager as faulty reasoning.
PS: Pascal’s triangle still seems fine to me 🙂