Payoff Matrix, Probability, Existence of God, Evangelism


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), a French scientist and mathematician, argued that it is advantageous to believe in or to “bet on” God because the rewards for doing so are at least as great as the rewards for not believing in God, regardless of whether or not God exists. His decision theoretic argument is commonly referred to as Pascal’s Wager. It is unlikely that everyone has the same estimates of the rewards for believing in God or for not believing in God that Pascal had. Consequently, a series of five questions, based on Pascal’s Wager, is suggested here for personalizing Pascal’s Wager. Results from an informal survey consisting of the five recommended questions are presented and analyzed. Finally, it is argued that a person’s responses to the five questions may be used to diagnose the person’s spiritual condition and to identify an appropriate evangelism strategy