`Two Caricatures, I: Pascal's Wager'

Franklin, James

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion. 1998; 44(2): 109-114

It is argued that the common reaction of indignation to Pascal's Wager is misplaced, and has resulted in a caricature of the argument which obscures its virtues. By following Pascal's concentration on what actions are indicated when one has a certain distribution of probabilities across a space of hypotheses, it is possible to see that the argument is relevant to our evidential situation, as much as to that of a "man of the world" of 1660. Any non zero subjective (but rationally constrained) probability of a theistic hypothesis is enough to ground at least substantial effort to investigate it.