Religion, hypocrisy, and betting on secularity: Reversing Smilansky's wager

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Saul Smilansky presents us with a puzzle which, in combination with a small number of premises, is supposed to generate a reversal of Pascal's wager: the wagerer should bet on a secular lifestyle, and reject religion, as the surest way of pleasing God (if God exists). In this article, we argue that the puzzle, once unpacked, isn't particularly puzzling, that the premises aren't true, and that Smilansky's wager is open to both reductio and a reversal of its own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-186
Number of pages13
JournalReligious Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 18 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press.


  • akrasia
  • faith
  • hypocrisy
  • Pascal's wager
  • self-deception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy


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