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Pascal's WagerPragmatic Arguments and Belief in God$
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Jeff Jordan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291328

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291328.001.0001

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The Ethics of Belief

The Ethics of Belief

(p.37) 2 The Ethics of Belief
Pascal's Wager

Jeff Jordan (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Is belief in God when faced with a lack of evidence improper? Evidentialism answers yes. According to Evidentialism, it is impermissible to believe any proposition lacking adequate evidence. Presenting a direct challenge to Evidentialism are pragmatic arguments for theism, which are designed to support belief in the absence of adequate evidence. Interestingly, although overlooked by philosophers, there is a version of Evidentialism compatible with a principled use of pragmatic arguments. In addition to Evidentialism, several moral objections to Pascal's Wager are surveyed and found flawed.

Keywords:   Evidentialism, pragmatic arguments, ethics of belief, W. K. Clifford, moral arguments

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