- Either God exists or God doesn’t exist.
- A person can either believe that God exists or believe that God doesn’t exist (from 1).
- If God exists and you believe, you receive eternal salvation.
- If God exists and you don’t believe, you receive eternal damnation.
- If God doesn’t exist and you believe, you’ve been duped, have wasted time in religious observance, and have missed out on decadent enjoyments.
- If God doesn’t exist and you don’t believe, then you have avoided a false belief.
- You have much more to gain by believing in God than by not believing in him, and much more to lose by not believing in God than by believing in him (from, 3, 4, 5, and 6).
- It is more rational to believe that God exists than to believe that he doesn’t exist (from 7).
The second flaw in regards to Pascal’s Wager is that it does nothing to explore the probabilities of God’s existence. For example, if God’s existence is infinitesimal, then even if the cost of not believing in him is high, the overall expectation may not make it worthwhile to believe. You can see how this invalidates Pascal’s Wager by considering similar wagers. Say I told you that a vampire moved in as your neighbor, and that unless you draw a vile of your blood to leave outside every night he will break in and suck you dry. According to Pascal’s Wager, you should break out the needle and tourniquet...but you don’t. The probability of the neighboring vamp is so low that the risk of death is negligible.
The final flaw is the most damning. The wager relies on some huge-ass assumptions. It assumes that God is the Christian God, that there is a heaven and a hell, and that said Christian God will send believers to heaven and unbelievers to hell. For this argument for God to possibly work, we’d need a separate argument that shows that these assumptions are true. Since this is the supernatural we’re talking about, meaning that all bets are off, it could be that believers go to hell and nonbelievers go to heaven. Following the wager would then mean eternal torment. The possibilities are endless and therefore the probability of any one supernatural scenario (back to flaw #2) is infinitely small.
Before any vamp nerds point this out, I realize my analogy for flaw #2 is itself flawed. Vampires can’t enter your home without an invitation, so “breaking-in” is off the table. If this bothers you, please substitute “vampire” with “velociraptor” and “blood” with “chew-toy.”)