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Probability in the Philosophy of Religion$
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Jake Chandler and Victoria S. Harrison

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604760

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604760.001.0001

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Many Gods, Many Wagers: Pascal’s Wager Meets the Replicator Dynamics

Many Gods, Many Wagers: Pascal’s Wager Meets the Replicator Dynamics

(p.187) 10 Many Gods, Many Wagers: Pascal’s Wager Meets the Replicator Dynamics
Probability in the Philosophy of Religion

Paul Bartha

Oxford University Press

The many-gods objection is perhaps the most famous criticism levelled against Pascal’s wager. This chapter offers a response that combines two main ideas. The first is the development of the ‘many-wagers’ model, a dynamics of rational deliberation that allows the credences in a many-gods problem to evolve in a rationally permissible manner, even in the absence of relevant new evidence. The second idea is that stability of these credences, within this evolutionary model, is a necessary condition for viability. This stability condition provides the Pascalian with convincing responses to a wide range of many-gods problems. Thus, many versions of the many-gods objection contribute no difficulties for Pascal’s wager beyond those that already plague its classic formulation with just one deity.

Keywords:   Pascal’s wager, many-gods objection, rational deliberation, replicator dynamics, credences

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