A Reasonable Choice

Pascal’s Wager (mid-1600’s) is still relevant in the 21st Century...

Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher and mathematician, argued that given the option to believe in or reject the Christian God, the most reasonable choice is to believe in God. Pascal argued that this wager, whether or not to follow God, is a choice all men must make.  Below is his famous chart outlining the decision making process.

Along the top are the two choices we can make. Along the side are the two possible realities:


I believe in GodI reject God
God existsI suffer through this life, then enjoy God forever in bliss.I enjoy a few pleasure for a short time, then I suffer eternally.
God does not existI live a good life, missing out on few things, then I cease.I enjoy a meaningless pleasure for a short time, then I cease to exist.

This chart is used to argue that if God’s existence is a 50/50 chance, then it makes the most rational sense to believe he does exist. 

If I believe in God, yet he does not exist, I have lived an upworthy life and lost nothing but purposeless pleasure. 

If God does not exist and I reject Him, I have chosen correctly, but I am left with utter meaninglessness. 

On the other hand, if I reject God and He does exist, I have lost everything. 

If I do believe and He is real, then I have gained everything. 

You may freely wager either way, but you must wager.

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Blaise Pascal.