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Pascal's Wager

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  • Pascal's Wager

    Sometime ago a evangelical friend of mine told me (an atheist), that if I were right, then ''we will all end up in the same place'', but, he continued, ''if Jesus is real and likewise is Heaven, then you have serious odds of going to Hell''.

    I replied that what he proposed is essentially Pascal's Wager re-worded. Was I correct in my assessment? How would you answer this charge (as a skeptic) if it were made to you by a theist?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Seeker View Post
    Sometime ago a evangelical friend of mine told me (an atheist), that if I were right, then ''we will all end up in the same place'', but, he continued, ''if Jesus is real and likewise is Heaven, then you have serious odds of going to Hell''.

    I replied that what he proposed is essentially Pascal's Wager re-worded. Was I correct in my assessment? How would you answer this charge (as a skeptic) if it were made to you by a theist?
    If stated as an argument, with a conclusion similar to "therefore, you should believe that Jesus is real", then it is Pascal's wager. My answer would be that it is simply a fallacious appeal to consequences.

    Alternatively, it could be considered just a statement of fact, in which case no response is really necessary.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Stoic View Post

      If stated as an argument, with a conclusion similar to "therefore, you should believe that Jesus is real", then it is Pascal's wager. My answer would be that it is simply a fallacious appeal to consequences.

      Alternatively, it could be considered just a statement of fact, in which case no response is really necessary.
      Yes, I agree. Appeal to consequences, maybe even Appeal to Fear.

      But it wasn't really an argument (in syllogistic format, as it were), it was more of an 'getting it off the chest' thing.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Seeker View Post

        Yes, I agree. Appeal to consequences, maybe even Appeal to Fear.

        But it wasn't really an argument (in syllogistic format, as it were), it was more of an 'getting it off the chest' thing.
        As I said, if it's just a statement of fact, no problem. You can acknowledge it and move on.

        But I would be surprised if someone made those points without expecting you to draw the fallacious conclusion.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Stoic View Post
          But I would be surprised if someone made those points without expecting you to draw the fallacious conclusion.
          The guy wasn't exactly smart...but he made confused points nonetheless.

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