Why Pascal’s Wager doesn’t work
Time and time again, I get asked why so many Christians like Pascal’s wager as a defense of their faith.
My answer is, “I have no idea, because it’s not only a bad argument, but it’s also bad theology.
Most of know what Pascal’s wager is, but for the casual reader of this blog, you can state it this way, “since God’s existence can’t be proven, a person should live as God exists since they have nothing to lose in life by doing so.”
Well, the logical problems with this argument have been pointed out in about a number of different places. I won’t bother to add to the Internet clutter on this one.
Instead, I would like to go straight to the Bible and Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15: 12-18 and verse 32
12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
32If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”
Paul pretty much destroys the theological backing for Pascal’s wager. Paul points out that if there is no ressurection of the dead, Christians are the most pitiable people on the planet. And, it’s the reason that I always tell people, If I wasn’t a Christian, I would be an atheist. Paul doesn’t really leave open any other options for a Christian, which is why the early Christians were often accused of being atheists, strangely enough. Look at the terms he uses, “our preaching is useless, your faith is useless, and if you life as God exists and he doesn’t, what have you dedicated your life towards? A lie and you have missed out on a lot of high living.
I realize some Christians might find this wacking of Pascal’s wager disturbing. I hope you do. You faith shouldn’t be based on Pascal’s wager. It doesn’t really work in the end and it’s just biblical wrong.