Religious Studies

symposium on Divine Discourse

Pascal's Wager and the Many Gods Objection

a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Houston, Houston, TX 772004


Pascal's Wager is finding ever more defenders who aim to undermine the old Many Gods Objection. It is my thesis that they are mistaken. After describing the Wager and the objection, I report on Jeff Jordan's repeated attempt to limit legitimate religious hypotheses to those that are traditional. In separate sections I criticize Jordan, first coming from epistemology and second from anthropology. Then I describe George Schlesinger's repeated appeal to the ‘simplest’ religious hypothesis, and argue that it fails for similar reasons. Finally, I summarize and reject miscellaneous defences of Pascal by Robert Anderson, Bradley Armour-Garb, James Franklin, Joshua Golding, and Nicholas Rescher.