Complete 2 pages APA formatted article: What does Pascal make for religious faith in the reading The Wager. Pascal’s Wager In justifying the existence of a Supreme Being or God, philosophers, theologians and scientist alike put forth different methods and idea to base the existence of God. Blaise Pascal, being a scientist proposed a justification on the existence of God from a pragmatist point of view. His philosophical treatise on the existence of God is famously known as “Pascal’s Wager or Pascal’s Gambit. According to Pascal’s Wager, it is always more beneficial to believe in God, because the benefit that will be gained from believing in God is always greater than the expected value from dismissing God. In plain language, his practical persuasion was, “if I believe in God and there is God, I am okay. and if I still believe in God but in fact there is really no God, I am still fine. And if I did not believe in God and there is really a God, then I am in trouble.” So it is always better to believe in God.
Pascal’s Wager’s differ from other religious theologians who purported a priori proof of God’s existence that is independent of any proof or observation. Unlike Anselm who placed an ontological argument that because God is God, that his existence does not need to be validated by experience to justify that He exists, Pascal instead argued that one loses nothing in believing in God that it does not hurt to believe in God. In short, Pascal’s evidence can be derived from its possible benefit in believing God that one has everything to gain and losses nothing.
Pascal might have approached the issue on the belief of God from a consequentialist point of view because he persuades people to believe in God out of the expected benefit that can be derived from it or the avoidance of harm and pain if one does not believe in God. While his reasoning is simple, the argument of weighing the benefit of believing in God vis-a-vis negating God is sensible especially to the modern mind who often asks, “What is in it for me?” He did not propose any elaborate philosophical reasoning that requires higher understanding such as the explanation of St. Augustine who argued that God does exist but the mode of knowing should be proportional to what is being observed. Man, being just a created being, cannot be proportionate to the understanding required to comprehend God because God being above all things, is above knowledge. He has to be understood on a higher plane of understanding or through “divine light”. For Pascal, man in his present cognitive ability, can already understand and believe in God.