Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Place your bets.

Pascal's Wager is the French philosopher Blaise Pascal's application of decision theory to the belief in God. It is also occasionally known as Pascal's Gambit. It appears in the Pensées, a posthumous collection of Pascal's notes for an unfinished treatise on Christian apologetics. Pascal argued that it is a better "bet" to believe that God exists, because the expected value of believing that God exists is always greater than the expected value resulting from non-belief. Indeed, he claimed that the expected value is infinite. Pascal believed that it was inexcusable not to investigate this question: "Before entering into the proofs of the Christian religion, I find it necessary to point out the sinfulness of those men who live in indifference to the search for truth in a matter which is so important to them, and which touches them so nearly."

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