Smilansky's New Pascalian Wager for Atheism

Smilansky, Saul. "Reversing Pascal's Wager: Scepticism About Religious Belief and Its Value", Religious Studies (forthcoming). 

Here's the abstract:

Pascal famously argued that practical reasoning should lead people to try to form within themselves a commitment to religious practice and obedience, based upon a belief in God. I propose to take a less ambitious argument, which I call the Sensible Argument, and use it to present The Puzzle. I argue that there is a huge puzzle here, about the radical dissonance between the beliefs and practices of many of the purportedly religious. There are, I will argue, good reasons to doubt, concerning many (clearly not all or indeed most) purported religious believers, whether they are indeed believers, or at least whether their beliefs are strong; and religion seems to greatly increase the risks of deception, duplicity, and hypocrisy, as well as self-deception and inauthenticity. By turning towards a religious form of life, one will therefore be adding great morality-related risks. Arguably, if there is a God who deeply cares about individual moral behaviour, he would punish religious moral transgressors more than the secular ones. One is unlikely to be saved from hell (or other severe divine punishment) by becoming religious. If one is going to wager, it seems much more sensible to wager on the secular side.

Happy reading!

The Argument from Logic

Rough draft: Post stub.

The fact that orthodox theists, from at least Augustine and all the way to the present, have seen logic as the expression of single, rational, divine Mind is at least some evidence that theism expects and predicts logical monism. But the case against logical monism -- and for the disjunction of logical pluralism and logical nihilism -- is more plausible than the case for logical monism. But the truth of the disjunction of logical pluralism and logical nihilism is prima facie more surprising on theism than on naturalism. Therefore, the case for the disjunction of logical pluralism and logical nihilism provides at least some evidence against theism.

Special Issue of Theologica In Honor of Dean Zimmerman

  Here . His replies to participants should be available by the end of the year.