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James Argument on the Belief in God in The Will to Believe and Pascal's Wager
Pages 4 (1004 words)
Name: Class: Date: James Argument on the Belief in God in the Will to Believe and Pascal's Wager Pascal Wager is among philosophers of theology with most famous arguments relating to belief in God. Wager puts forward a strong argument on theoretical grounds for belief in God.
Therefore, Pascal concludes that any rational being has a duty to believe in God to attain the infinite happiness. However, this argument by Wager raises many critics from philosophers who view the argument as lacking probability in the life of humanity and more so related to belief. Pascal’s argument is viewed as an extraordinary power. The proponents of this argument explain that even though Wager’s argument might be taken as false and a probability taken on this argument, on at the end we might be wrong and the argument might be true after all. Therefore, no matter how small the probability, Pascal’s argument should be accepted as true according to this argument. However, William James is a serious critic of this argument by Pascal and tries to discredit the hypothesis and the conclusion by Pascal regarding believing in God. For James, belief involves a will to choose among possible options and such an option has to have concrete evidence and our faith in most cases is responsible for shaping future outcomes. Rather than taking forced options that might end up being false, James stresses on being indifferent. The assertion by James is therefore more skeptical one that does not offer concrete proofs as compared to Pascal’s. ...
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