How to Refute Pascal's Wager

Pascal's Wager has been one of the most frequently used arguments in favor of religious belief. Many theists have used it, to their knowledge or not. However it's far from impeccable. Consequently it can be refuted by following the steps below.


  1. Image titled Pascal's_Wager_Diagram.png
    Make sure you understand what Pascal's Wager is all about. To that end lets take a look at Pascal's claims:
    • If there's a God, He's infinitely incomprehensible.
    • Reason can decide nothing here.
    • You must wager.
    • Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is.
    • There's an infinity of infinitely happy life to gain.
    • If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
    • Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.
      • You may have seen a simplified version of Pascal's Wager in the form of the diagram seen above. This visualizes the problem and makes it a lot more easier to understand.
  2. 2
    Explain that Pascal's Wager doesn't prove God exists, it proves that it is better to believe, whether there is a god or not. Pascal's wager merely proves it is better to believe in God, "just in case", but it explains nothing about God's existence.
  3. Image titled Refute Pascal's Wager Step 2
    Disprove infinitely happy life.
    • A major problem lies in the "infinitely happy life" part. Consider what's written in the bible; "Thou shalt worship no other gods but me". This behavioral pattern is prominent in most modern major religions, where gods demand that you're absolutely devoted to them. Thus if you choose the wrong religion you're eternally condemned.
    • Furthermore we must make room, when we decide to wager in the unknowable, for future religions. After all, no religion was available to the people born before it. What's more is that there's an infinity of unknown divine concepts, which we haven't imagined yet or can't imagine at all. None of these can be graded more or less likely than the next, since they're all supernatural phenomena, while we can observe only natural phenomena. Consequently there are infinite possible gods and religions and for every divine concept, there's an exact opposite divine concept, which punishes the former concept or concepts.
    • It becomes clear that the odds of a correct choice are too slim. There's an infinite number of possible deities and/or religions, all of which are just as likely to be correct, due to their non natural nature.They're also mutually exclusive or incompatible, because, even when they don't overlap, like similar denominations, ideas and thus divine concepts are still infinite. For every concept and infinite number of divine concepts which punishes it exist, due to the nature of infinity. This means that while there can be only one correct choice, which leads to eternally happy life, there's an infinity of religions which punishes it. Thus the odds of making a correct choice are 1/∞.
  4. Image titled Refute Pascal's Wager Step 3
    Disprove "you lose nothing". Religion requires you to sacrifice a lot of time, effort and money.
    • In fact, believing in a religion, comes with many responsibilities. Thus you spend time in sermons and preaching, time which could be invested elsewhere.
    • There's pressure on you, to adhere to the concepts of your religion. You must follow a moral code, which remains largely unchanged and most likely doesn't resonate to the conditions of the present society. Such ideas are handing out your whole fortune if you're a Christian, or killing the unbelievers should you happen to be a Muslim.
    • Your critical thinking is dulled. What religions advocate as facts in their passages are in fact supernatural phenomena. By their nature they're incomprehensible to the human being who has come across nothing which escapes the laws of physics. In order to accept the supernatural you need to accept them as they are, against your reason, blockading your reason eventually.
    • Subsequently believing in the unknowable comes with multiple drawbacks. So, in return for investing time in something which is possible, but by no means certain, you waste time, you dull your intellect and take up questionable morals, on the only place where your rewards are certain and tangible, Earth.
  5. Image titled Refute Pascal's Wager Step 4
    Distinguish between the knowable versus unknowable.
    • Eventually, placing your bets on the unknowable, grants extremely slim chances of an eternally happy life and infinitely large chances of an eternally miserable life.
    • Conversely, placing your bets on the knowable instead, grants certain and tangible rewards. You sleep in a comfortable bed, eat a delicious burger, admire a masterpiece, or watch a beautiful sunshine. You are entitled to those because you work hard to earn the ability to do so and because you were born on this very world. Everyday life can be boring or miserable, but it has definite great moments, all of which come from the knowable.
    • So, should you choose to bet in the knowable you'll have a happy life where it's sure that you have one, Earth.

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Categories: Atheism | Religion