A Study of the Essential Distinction between Pascal's Wager Argument and Imam (peace be upon him)'s Dialectic with Ibn Abi al-‘Awjāʼ and its Theological and Philosophical Outcomes

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor, Ferdowsī University of Mashhad

2 Doctorate student od Comparative Theology, Paderborn University (corresponding author)

3 mahdavimehr@gmail.com


Pascal's Wager argument, as one of the well-known arguments for proving God's existence or at least, the necessity of belief in God, has always been subject to a great many discussions and studies. This argument has also been addressed in the intellectual circles of the Islamic world and has been attributed to the Infallible Imams (peace be upon them) through Imam Muḥammad Ghazālī. A close look at the formation of this argument, the way Pascal has presented it, and the narrative text which can be considered the root of this argument, shows that these two have fundamental differences with one another; differences that result in the fact that the problems that apply to Pascal's Wager do not apply to the narrative text. In this article, in the first stage, an effort has been made to respond to some of the problems that apply to Pascal's Wager, and in the second stage, to show how the existing differences in the formation of the two arguments separates the two from each other and the problems that remain unanswered do not apply to the narrative argument.


Pascal's wager is one of the famous arguments for proving the existence of God or at least the necessity of believing in Him. It has been subject to many criticisms. On the other hand, this argument goes back to Shi'a Imams through al-Ghazali. Analyzing carefully the argument the way Pascal put it.


Main Subjects

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Resources written in Arabic / Persian
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