Arguing against Pascal's Wager? in Religion Posted September 19, 2008 · Report reply But these people wouldn't care about that - that's the crux of Nick's question. When people don't care about man's nature, epistomology, etc. what do you say to them to convince them that even though they are "happy" believing in God, what about athiesm would make them happier? I realize that's a hedonistic argument, but it's the crux of what the thread is about. If somebody really doesn't care about man's nature and epistemology (that is, he doesn't care to understand how he can know what is true) then I don't think there's much you can do to reach him. He has tossed out his tool of survival - his mind, and will believe anything he feels like believing. Why would he be willing to consider any argument somebody made? If he has thrown out epistemology - no matter what you'd say to him, his response would just be some variant of "but I feel you're wrong." Others here have given a good summary of what's wrong with accepting Pascal's wager. That is: to live a life based on the fear that there might be some fairy-tale monster (God) ready to burn you for eternity if you don't believe in him, means you'd have to base your life on something that doesn't exist. You'd be giving up the use of your mind; your whole life would be lived in service to a lie. Living one's life in accordance with reality matters: it's how we gain values. Also, living in fear of eternal damnation if you don't do exactly what some God supposedly wants, means one would go through life thinking that the universe is a quite malevolent place. And all for no reason, because the universe isn't malevolent at all. Then there's the problem of which god to believe in. I honestly don't know how the various religionists answer this objection: how can they use Pascal's wager to advocate being a Christian versus a Moslem? (And more: look at all of the groups of Christians who consider the other variants to be not true Christianity. In the past these groups have quite literally created living hell for each other - such as burning people at the stake who don't subscribe to the right variant of superstition.) To whom would Pascal's wager appeal? A skeptic I suppose: one who goes through life thinking "well, you never know...." Somebody afraid to take a stand on anything.