Pascal's Wager - Betting on Infinity

Blaise Pascal is, in my mind at least, almost always a mixed bag. Many of the thoughts he expressed in his appropriately titled book, Pensées, are decidedly parochial and antiquated, but for all that, it's also quite impressive to see how far ahead of his time he was in other respects, to the point that many of his philosophical and psychological insights would eventually inspire even the atheist existentialists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

And this, of course, is to say nothing about his mathematical brilliance, his contributions to physics, and his abilities as an inventor. As a highly devoted Christian, and as one of the founding fathers of probability theory, it should come as no great surprise that Pascal tried to work out a way to justify the rationality of belief in God through the rigor of a mathematical argument, which has come to be known now as Pascal's Wager, one of the more popular arguments theists use to justify their faith, and the essence of which is explained, and critiqued, in the animation below.



And if you want to listen to the creator of this animation explaining his criticism of Pascal's Wager, you can find it below:



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