Pascal's wager


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Related to Pascal's wager: Occam's Razor

Pascal's wager

n.
An argument according to which belief in God is rational whether or not God exists, since falsely believing that God exists leads to no harm whereas correctly believing that God exists may lead to an eternal reward.

[After Blaise Pascal.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Pascal's wager

n
(Philosophy) philosophy the argument that it is in one's rational self-interest to act as if God exists, since the infinite punishments of hell, provided they have a positive probability, however small, outweigh any countervailing advantage
[C17: named after Blaise Pascal]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
It recommends "belief" as a safe bet considering that a "believer" will find himself eternally rewarded if it turns out to be true Pascal's wager.You are not convinced, but you want to play it safe.
Cloth, $44.95--From the title of Thomas Hibbs's new book, Wagering on an Ironic God, one might expect an exploration into the intricacies of Pascal's wager. As his subtitle makes clear, however, Hibbs's exploration ranges far beyond the wager, examining much more of Pascal's work than just the wager.
I believe the argument for and against manmade climate change is reminiscent of Pascal's Wager. Blaise Pascal was a French fideistic philosopher who proposed a wager to his colleagues who did not believe in God.
Physicist, mathematician, and philosopher Blaise Pascal's most lasting influence today may derive from a short passage in his fragmentary Pensees known as "Pascal's wager" or simply "the wager." In it, Pascal (2003) argued that acting as if one believes in God is rational even without proof because, if God is real, the rewards of belief are infinite in the form of everlasting life, while in any other case losses are finite.
Now in a relationship with the church that he describes as "complicated," he explains belief in what he terms a "modified Pascal's Wager," in which belief is a rather transactional affair.
Utility theory arose out of Pascal's Wager. The reasoning goes like this: If I choose to wager against God existing, I can have a good time on Earth but risk eternity in Hell if I'm wrong.
After all, we're talking about Pascal's Wager where the odds have been changed.
Philosopher Michael Rota's Taking Pascal's Wager is a three-part work that enunciates an updated form of Pascal's famous argument that making a commitment to God even when one is not completely sure God exists is a fully rational action because there is much to gain and little to lose by doing so.
Before working for the CEA, he used to compare being an academic to taking on Pascal's Wager, "which is to say that you need to have deep faith that your work is going to matter.
Everyone is challenged to experiment with Pascal's wager, which is to personally meet God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
early modern application of probabilistic thinking: Pascal's Wager.