Another Problem with Pascal's Wager

Pascal's Wager is one of the last stands for even vaguely coherent faith based beliefs.

"Pascal's Wager (or Pascal's Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal that even though the existence of Godcannot be determined through reason, a person should "wager" as though God exists, because so living has everything to gain, and nothing to lose. It was set out in note 233 of his Pensées, a posthumously published collection of notes made by Pascal in his last years as he worked on a treatise on Christian apologetics."

In other words, you should belive in God because if you are right, you are rewarded and if you are wrong you don't loose. You cannot be penalised by a possibly existing God if you belive in it absolutly.

There are a number of arguments against Pasca's Wager, here is mine (I think its mine?):


The wager doesnt take into accont the potentially signigant compromise in the truth, reason and quality of life that one must make if one believes in God. Lets call this the "Payload" of the belief in God. Its the potential to reduce a valued aspect of whatever system we are abstracting about (individual, society...)

The Personal Payload is things like guilt due to the belief or related ideas (eg religion itself), reduced possibilities due to indoctrinated morality or sexual repression.

The Social Payload of a belief in god and what has historically followed from that is the dominating masculin religious establishment globally, the damage this has casued is infinitly incalculable, both throughout history and currently.

I think there is also a Truth Payload as well, in that accepting the wager NOW isn't the same as in Pascal's time. We can stare into creation and life with blinding clarity. We don't know it all, but there is much less mystery than in Pascal's time, and this signifigantly skews the good money away from the stupid bet.