In Pascal’s Pensées (1623-1662), he outlines an argument that one should always believe in God so long as the probability that God exists is nonzero.

God existsGod does not exist
Don’t believeFinite


See: Precautionary Principle

If we draw a decision table for the Catastrophe Principle, we see they follow a similar structure.

Knowledge Condition is metKnowledge Condition is not met
Enact e-remedyFiniteFinite
Do nothingFinite


Pascal’s Wager has been subjected to a number of philosophical criticisms. Manson specifically focuses on the “many gods” objection as a way to dismantle both Pascal’s Wager and the Catastrophe Principle.

What if, for example, there are other gods aside from God that also promise an infinite payout? If you chose to believe in God and He does not exist but the other god does, it is plausible (non-zero possibility) that they could sentence you to eternal damnation (infinite punishment). As a result, this would make believing in God a risk not worth taking. That is, Pascal’s Wager recommends a remedy (believing in God) that itself could lead to a catastrophic result (infinite punishment from a jealous god).