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Socratic Society

Chris Jackson (Mount Hood Community College)

February 25th, 2015. Room is TBD

Assessing a Moral Critique of an Avoidance Pascalian Wager


In Pascal’s famous (infamous?) wager, an attempt is made to show that Christian theism provides believers with the possibility of enormous gain (i.e., eternal bliss) and protection from the possibility of incurring an enormous loss (i.e., eternal torment). What troubles many is that the wager minimizes the role of evidential reasons and favors prudential reasons. In some (maybe all) cases, this reversal is morally problematic. The moral objections range from fostering personal and social credulity to being complicit in an unjust salvific program. Assuming one accepts a key premise in Pascal’s wager, I argue that prudential considerations trump the moral objections, including what I call the deep-complicity objection.



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