Critical Thinking

Re: Why It Is Not A “Safe Bet” To Believe In God

I was directed to read this post written by an Atheist, who debunked the premise of Pascal’s wager, during a debate an a post about my post about whether God is easily offended.  Pascal’s wager is often posed by Christians trying to defend their right to their Faith from unbelievers.  It says simply that if God doesn’t exist, the Believer loses nothing, but if God exists, the unbeliever will suffer loss.

It is a good article for every Believer to read, especially those who are into apologetics, so they can better understand the atheistic perspective.  I think my response to the authour, copied below, captures the problem Christians have with Atheists, which resort to them using Pascal’s wager, without even considering that someone has used that argument before them…

Read The Full Post Here

My response:

Hi Greta,

Great and challenging piece on the topic of faith and Pascal’s wager. I actually used it in a recent debate with an Atheist, and I will admit, it was made because I was “backed into the corner” regarding the issue of “proof”.

But that is the fallacy here… demanding proof to have “faith” is not actually to have faith at all, and that is what the logical atheist cannot appreciate.

For the record, I didn’t come to believe because Pascal’s wager was pointed to me, I simply believed, and my belief has been reinforced by a relationship with God. I also wouldn’t respect anyone who comes to belief because they are backed into the corner with Pascal’s wager.

Pascal’s wager is simply our way of saying you are asking us to throw away “faith” by reason of your demand for “proof”, but we value our faith more than your unbelief.

The Faith/Logic argument will be an unending one, not because faith has no logic, but because logic has no faith!

Sincerely, Ufuoma.

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34 replies »

  1. I’m not so sure. If the premise was that:
    God is holy and sovereign, he will destroy everyone who doesn’t believe in him,
    and your eternal salvation rests on believing in him for salvation
    saying you do and be spared from destruction
    Saying you do and nothing happens
    saying you don’t and getting what you deserve
    saying you don’t and nothing happens.
    If God doesn’t exist, then you have nothing to worry about.
    And if he does, then the best thing to do is to believe so that you aren’t destroyed.

    The problem with pascal’s wager is that it’s premise is written in the best possible light.
    it’s not all that convincing for others who see God in the worst possible light.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the link to my post. Pascal wager fails for another reason. It’s not completely honest with the specific god Pascal was trying to scare people into ‘betting’ on his existence. In the end, if the biblical god does exist, he would first off not be to pleased with people saying the believe or believing ‘just in case’, he wants people to follow of their own free will and out of love and faith (even from the nt: ‘whatsoever is not of faith is sin’, Pascale wager encourages you to believe out of fear), but also wouldn’t you think he would be able to spot your ‘ruse’ of ‘believing’ but only for selfish reasons?
    Either way, Pascal was not honest and he was encouraging people to lie to God, the biblical god of life and death, out of fear, ‘just in case’ He actually existed. That’s not ‘of faith’, it’s of fear… and thus it is Sin as the nt verse indicates.
    To clarify again…Even if the biblical god exists, Pascale wager encourages ‘believers’ to attempt tondeceive a god who would know better, lie out of fear and sin by believing not by faith, but out of fear of hell fire. Again, whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Please reevaluate your encouragement to Pascal’s wager. It’s encouraging people to lie to God and sin -kia

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    • Really KIA, you can’t do better than the authour of the post in debunking the wager. I read it and found it interesting and challenging like I told her. But Atheists keep missing the point… I doubt any Christian, including Pascal, was trying to get people to believe by proposing this wager. We are simply showing why we believe our choice is better. We didn’t believe because someone backed us into a corner either.

      Faith comes by hearing and hearing of the word of God. If you don’t get it, then you just don’t. We are only defending our position from illogical people who demand proof to believe! That is illogical, and it is a catch 22.

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      • Thank you for finally releasing the comment. You are the one who uses Pascal’s wager on my post. Its a bit dishonest to now try to discredit it, even say that Pascal would never have used it, that’s really funny…

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      • There is something hindering you from understanding. I think you are intentionally trying to make me out to be saying what I did not say. Just like you were accusing me of all sorts on your blog…hoping perhaps I would react in a way to prove you right.

        Please read and understand. I used Pascal wager on your blog, and I do not regret it and perhaps I will use it again! We believers know what we mean when we use it, like I communicated in this post… We are simply saying we prefer and value faith above your unbelief. We know that “even the devils believe and tremble” so getting people to believe and tremble is not our goal. But before you can know God, you must first believe that there is one… believing is the beginning and opens a dialogue for conversion.

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      • Isn’t the requirement to believe first, then ‘know’ a bit circular? How would you filter out your own imagination or even, as you do believe in satan and evil sprits, demonic influence pretending to be god or godly influence (See 2 cor 11)
        The call to believe first, before you can believe is not lohical, rational or ethical in any way. It begs all kinds of credulity and the destruction of critical thought.

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      • You are operating from a place of unbelief, suspicion and fear…so faith will always evade you.

        It’s sad because you are a deconvertee, and your antagonistic attitude on my blog and on yours hinders me from engaging you in a proper heartfelt discussion. You keep asking me if I am being honest and even accusing me of being dishonest, but it is you who is being dishonest…mostly about your reason for engagement.

        I seriously doubt your interest is to regain faith, because you know all these things… If your interest is to deconvert me, give up now.

        The carnal mind cannot comprehend the things of God, and while unbelievers may still come to faith because of their sincerity, I think your insincerity will mean that you will always be carnal.

        Good luck with everything!

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      • If one must first Believe uncritically, then what could one not justify believing? I’m sure you would not afford the same privilege of truth so gained to Muslims telling you that Allah is the god of the universe. How exactly would you counter them using the same ‘believe first, then you will lnow’ arguments?

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      • KIA has a valid point – if it were just fire insurance, then it would be a simple matter for everyone to say that they believe and hell will have a human population of zero. But it’s not – Calvinists would say that God predestined the elect for salvation, the flip-side of that equation is that everyone else is predestined to go to hell. Romans 9 talks about pottery designed as objects of wrath. In that light, for some people, Pascal’s wager fails them because they never had a choice about whether or not they get to believe in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Jamie. I appreciate what you have said. I’m not trying to debate the pros and cons of Pascal’s wager. The lady did a good job in my opinion explaining why it can’t fly for Atheists… My point was simply that Christians say such only when backed to the corner regarding the issue of proof, which is an ILLOGICAL expectation to have faith. What the Atheist is demanding is illogical. And so, all we are saying with the wager is, we believe our position is better, and if they are actually right about there being no god, it wouldn’t make a difference to us.

        If Pascal’s wager was genuinely used to convince people to come to Christ, then it fails on all the issues raised by Greta, and the issue of predestination, which she didn’t address…and neither did KIA by the way. You’re actually the first to point that out.

        Cheers, Ufuoma.

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  3. I have taught Apologetics and Philosophy – therefore I am very familiar with Pascal’s Wager ~
    Pascal from my knowledge said he was going to “believe” to basically be on the safe side but the Bible tells us
    even the demons believe in God ~ but as we know the demons believe but they will not make Jesus their Lord and Savior –
    repent of their sins and live a life for Jesus.
    I personally believe that just believing that God exists without a “heart” change is truly becoming a Child of God ~
    Jesus says in the end times there will be those who say to Him that they believed but Jesus said away from me I do not know you.
    Hence there was never a personal relationship with Jesus ~
    Thank you for posting this and asking for others thoughts : )
    God bless

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks dear… I really don’t believe Pascal’s wager presents a case for believing, but is more a defence for our Faith…but the Atheists choose to read all sorts of meaning into it.

      I appreciate your contribution 🙂

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      • Thank you & you’re very welcome.
        I guess since I am passionate about Apologetics – I kind of wonder if using Pascal’s Wager is a strong defense in the eyes of atheists ~ then again it might …
        I am going to believe in God if I am wrong then I’ve only lived my life better …
        Being a Christian is difficult in this world that is for sure.
        I enjoy your blog posts !! Keep writing and God bless : )

        Liked by 1 person

      • …….. sorry i mistaken thumb send

        Faith ought to be from the heart. Like I often reiterates those who push skink stinks. It means whatever you believe in must have effect on your heart.
        Its possible to believe with just lip service

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much D’Dream ! I just believe having head knowledge of God is not what it is about – it’s a relationship and just knowing or believing God exists does not imply a relationship.
        Just my two cents : ) God bless !!!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. So succinct and perfect. Even the comments are enlightening. Most people truly say there is a God because they think their argument is the better one. They’re not really trying to get them to believe on this God.
    Any yes the argument will last because the premise for faith and unbelief are apart and can never meet otherwise it ceases to be faith.
    Thanks for thia

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If god doesn’t exist the believer wasted time and energy trying to please and manipulate a non existing god. When he or she could have focused on and achieved something worthwhile in the here and now.

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