• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

The ethics and morality of Pascal's wager

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Pooja Sadhu, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Pooja Sadhu

    Pooja Sadhu New Member

    49
    +50
    India
    Christian
    Single
    Pascal’s wager is a wise, astute argument which states that non-believers ought to believe in Christ despite their skepticism of God’s existence and recalcitrance towards faith. If God doesn’t exist and Jesus is merely a myth (which actually isn’t the case), then the non-believer will die and fade away into non-existence. If, however, God does exist and Jesus is truly humanity’s savior (which is the case), then the non-believer won’t achieve eternal salvation in heaven—and the alternative to heaven is perdition, which is extreme.

    There are hardened skeptics who view Pascal’s wager with cynicism. They would reply to it by saying, “Why the Judeo-Christian god? How is your argument any different than asking why not believe in Thor, Wotan, and Odin so that you can inherit salvation in Valhalla in case the Vikings were right and everyone else wrong?” The problem with this argument, though, is that practically no one believes in Thor, Wotan, and Odin anymore, but billions of people rightfully believe in Christ. Can billions of people really be delusional?

    Indeed, Pascal’s wager is an ethical and moral argument, and non-believers ought to heed its wisdom and come to believe that Jesus is savior, in case they are wrong about God not existing—because if they don’t believe, then they will not achieve eternal salvation in heaven when their time comes. What say you?
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

    +1,735
    Private
    A Buddhist can also claim similarly:

    "Non-believers ought to believe in the Buddha - the teacher of men and deities - despite their skepticism towards His teachings. If samsara and Mara (the deva-deity of love and sensual delight) doesn't exist, then the non-believer will at least possess a skillful life on earth, and pass away into non-existence. If, however, the Buddha was correct, then the non-believer in the Buddha (including believers in the false promises of deluded deities, such as eternal life) won't achieve a skillful rebirth into the heavens or higher, and the alternative is to be reborn - possibly for aeons - into the ghostly, animal, or hell realms, which is extreme."
     
  3. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

    +1,756
    United States
    Agnostic
    Married
    Must be possible. Most of the world believes Christ is not God. Are all those people delusional?
     
  4. Pooja Sadhu

    Pooja Sadhu New Member

    49
    +50
    India
    Christian
    Single
    Gautama Buddha was a mere mortal man, but Jesus is the living and eternal son of God. Big difference.
     
  5. Ken-1122

    Ken-1122 Newbie

    +529
    Atheist
    Private
    There are billions of Hindu who believe their God is real and yours is not. There are also Billions of muslims who believe their God is real and yours is not so you tell me, can billions of people really be delusional?
     
  6. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

    +1,735
    Private
    Yes, that is an alleged claim for Jesus, but I haven't proven it for myself. The fact that Gotama Buddha was a man actually makes his message even more powerful for me.

    Nevertheless, back to Pascal's Wager: if the Buddha was correct, and someone declines the wager for the Buddha & accepts the wager for Jesus instead, then the person could be destined for the hell realms (according to the Buddha).
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  7. KarateCowboy

    KarateCowboy Moderately moderate

    +1,580
    Catholic
    Private
    What's kind of cool about Christ is that he was fully human and fully God. So, the way you say it works with Buddha also applies to Christ. In addition, you get the God part, as well.
     
  8. section9+1

    section9+1 Well-Known Member

    +757
    Christian
    Married
    Not a big fan of this argument. I think for those who have heard the gospel and yet they choose to remain in the state they are in and are comfortable with it, should stay right there. There's no point in evangelizing people who aren't interested. I honestly don't think God even wants them.
     
  9. Pooja Sadhu

    Pooja Sadhu New Member

    49
    +50
    India
    Christian
    Single
    Honestly, I’m not expecting to win any converts to Christianity with my post. Most non-believers, especially of the atheist variety, are so spiritually hardened and resistant to faith that trying to enlighten them with the truth seems futile. I guess my point in making this post was to see why non-believers would want to take a gamble with their afterlife instead of choosing to believe anyway (despite their skepticism) and be assured of everlasting life in heaven.
     
  10. GOD Shines Forth!

    GOD Shines Forth! Active Member Supporter

    275
    +215
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Private
    The entirety of Section III of Pascal's Pensées --"Of the Necessity of the Wager"--is worth studying.

    If I remember correctly, Pascal never intended his "Thoughts" to be published, so they are not playing to an audience. They are often cryptic and mid-stream. I really enjoy him, though I don't always agree. I like his high view of God's Word.
     
  11. RayJeena

    RayJeena Humble and proud of it. Supporter

    +3,191
    United States
    Unorthodox
    Single
    The problem with Pascal's Wager is that Christianity isn't the
    only religion that could use it, because Christianity isn't the
    only religion that comes with the loss of eternal salvation for
    having not subscribed to its belief-system.

    In addition, a paradigm where God would have nonbelievers
    punished for not acknowledging Him just isn't all that glorifying
    to Him. It makes Him appear petty, at best.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  12. Pooja Sadhu

    Pooja Sadhu New Member

    49
    +50
    India
    Christian
    Single
    I addressed your first point in my second paragraph in my original post.

    Also, God doesn’t punish non-believers with hell. Hell is the default state where all souls go who aren’t saved.
     
  13. Desk trauma

    Desk trauma Atheist Capitalist Supporter

    +5,623
    Atheist
    Private
    US-Libertarian
    You think so, why should I think differently?
     
  14. Anto9us

    Anto9us Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,964
    United States
    Methodist
    Private
    US-Others
    I saw the cards in Pascal's hand -- he was bluffing.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  15. Pooja Sadhu

    Pooja Sadhu New Member

    49
    +50
    India
    Christian
    Single
    You ought to “think differently”—by that I presume you mean forgo your atheism and embrace Christian faith—because if you’re wrong about God not existing and God really does exist, then you won’t inherit eternal life in heaven.
     
  16. Desk trauma

    Desk trauma Atheist Capitalist Supporter

    +5,623
    Atheist
    Private
    US-Libertarian
    Response is totally unrelated to my post.

    By saying that you are correct in your Christianity you are saying 67% of the human race is “delusional”.
     
  17. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

    +1,735
    Private
    For me, that's unproven :)

    The fact that the Buddha was a human, and reached his profound insights, resonates far more with me.
     
  18. Ken-1122

    Ken-1122 Newbie

    +529
    Atheist
    Private
    What if we're both wrong and God does exist, but you worship the wrong one; and this real God keeps getting madder and madder each time you ignore him and worship your fake one? I think it would be better to not worship at all!
     
  19. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

    +1,960
    Australia
    Atheist
    Divorced
    Pascal's wager, as you've presented it, is a somewhat silly argument. If I accept the wager at face value how can I make myself believe? The idea hangs on the ridiculous premise that a non-believer could, as an act of will, cause him/her self to believe in God. Most atheists are non-believers based on the absence of solid evidence to support a belief.

    You've compounded two unrelated arguments. The argument about many gods is a completely separate argument and is unrelated to Pascal's wager.

    If you actually believe that billions of people can't be delusional, how do you explain the billions, in the present and the past, who believe(d) in a different god? Arguments based on numbers of adherents can be used to support any past or present god belief.

    Pascal's wager is not an ethical or moral argument, nor is it particularly wise. It's an argument based on pragmatism and the erroneous assertion that belief can be conjured up out of nothing by an act of will. If I don't believe then the loss of 'eternal salvation' is not a threat - it's a meaningless statement.
    OB
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  20. Anto9us

    Anto9us Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,964
    United States
    Methodist
    Private
    US-Others
    Before a Copernican approach to cosmology was accepted, the whole population was delusional in believing in a geocentric universe. Thus, millions, even billions of people were delusional in that sense. Ancient Egyptians, apparently builders of things we still can't do today (pyramids) were delusional in that they regarded the HEART as the seat of thoughts and emotions, the first thing done in embalming was to discard the brain, which those Egyptians considered a worthless organ, whereas they took great pains to preserve other organs.
     
Loading...