Just as with his famous wager, Pascal neglects to take into account there are many different religions in the world. They can't all be true so to say men hate religion because they are afraid "it" may be true doesn't make any sense. What exactly are we afraid may be true? Islam, Christianity, Buddism, Jainism, Mormonism?
To blazes with Pascal.
Blaise Pascal was a mathematical genius in the 1600's, who was religious, and who attempted to make arguments for the existence of god, all of which had fatal errors in logic.
Pascal's Wager being the most famous of his logical blunders.
So, a man in the 1600's who was trying to make statements and arguments for god, said a lot of quotes that don't stand up to the tests of time and reason hundreds of years later....and some that do.
Men mostly despise religions that tell them to think other than they actually think.
Back in Pascal's world, there was essentially only Catholicism and its offshoots to consider in a wager for example.
According to Pascal, you should believe in Allah, Odin, Zeus, etc, because, if you don't, and you should have, you lose.
On the other hand:
"Men never do evil more completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction"
- Blaise Pascal
So, men should despise religion, as religions are mostly evil and harmful.
Some men still believe in supernatural things, such as fairies, elves, pixies, gods, demons, etc...and ARE afraid it may be true.
Some of us are not afraid that the supernatural exists...we found out about the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Leprechauns, Santa Claus, etc...and then about Odin, Zeus, etc.
Some of us are not afraid of what doesn't exist.
Some of us still believe that what we were told was true...and still believe in Santa, the boogy man, the devil, etc.
The kids who told other friends that their parents bought the presents under the tree, and not Santa, got into trouble. Apparently, that's the early form of blasphemy.
Pascal's argument is commonly given negative feedback amongst atheists I have found and quite rightfully so. You might claim that people disbelieve out of fear, the fact is that it is the other way around. People believe specifically based on fear and strong fear tactics are used to enforce religious faith. Which is why you have beliefs about hell, enteral torment etc. That is a fear tactic. I reject fear tactics. I reject organised religion not out of fear, but out of a low probability of it being true. I don't accept it is true or fear that it might be. It is too impossible to be true. Too contradictory of reality and nature to be true. It is much more likely that it is false.
IE: You are coming to the conclusion that there is no god, because you are ABLE to dismiss the empty threats AS empty threats.
Some people cannot do that though, and the fear of punishment is so strong that their brains won't LET THEM even consider the possibility.
It paralyzes them.
Only those with brave brains can venture forth and find atheism.
Atheists often make fun of theists, implying sometimes that they are not smart enough to figure it out.
The reality is that most are smart enough, the same way they can EASILY figure out ALL of the OTHER religions are absurd myths.
They cannot do that for their own religion though. Its not just fear of punishment, its fear of not being a good person, fear of being ostracized, fear of loss of face, fear of ALL of the elements of their life that they had been conditioned to associate with their faith.
We should believe in all gods and take all religions on board…..just in case.
Reg, a nickel says you're spoofing.
Pascal's Wager, when it offers two choices, is invalid. When it offers four choices his faulty reasoning is clear.
Its invalidity may have been a rational response to his circumstances.
Much depends on how thoroughly he'd been indoctrinated. Did he ever identify an alternative culture in which he could see himself living?
Or, if he had quit the Church would he have felt any retaliation?