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Prudential case for believing in God

05 October 2012


From Dr Tim Hudson
Sir, - In answer to Alan Bartley (Letters, 28 September), Blaise Pascal's wager proposed not that it was "more rational" for an atheist to accept God's existence, but more prudential. The Christian, if mistaken in his belief, would at least lose nothing by his choice; whereas the atheist who refused the wager would risk the possibility of eternal torture.

The theory, of course, supposes that God would approve the atheist's cynicism in choosing the right course for the wrong reason. And the atheist would, in any case, also need to "live a better life", to use Mr Bartley's expression; though to suggest, as he does, that that is possible only for Christians is surely insulting to atheists - and to others as well.

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