This seems to be a quote used by those on the non religious side quite often, and is attributed to Marcus Aurelius.
The philosophy uses the following logic (excerpts from Pensées, part III, §233):
- "God is, or He is not"
- A Game is being played... where heads or tails will turn up.
- According to reason, you can defend either of the propositions.
- You must wager. (It's not optional.)
- Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
- Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (...) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.
There's been discussions recently on being 'good' or 'bad' or 'righteous' or 'evil'. I've made the claim that those are just cultural constructs, and being either selfish or selfless is a better measurement for someone being 'good or bad'.
With that thought in mind, does anybody spot (at least what I would consider) the flaw in Pascal's Wager, and the beauty in the quote from Marcus Aurelius?