Is belief in God rational?
Here’s how a 17th century philosopher saw it…
For his you must use the DOOR.
Does it make sense to believe in God?
Pascal begins with a two-by-two matrix: either God exists or does not, and either you believe or do not.
|–Table I–||God exists||God does not exist|
|You believe in God||(a) infinite reward||(c) 250 utiles|
|You do not believe in God||(b) infinite punishment||(d) 200 utiles|
If God exists then theists will enjoy eternal bliss (cell a), while atheists will suffer eternal damnation (cell b). If God does not exist then theists will enjoy finite happiness before they die (say 250 units worth), and atheists will enjoy finite happiness too, though not so much because they will experience angst rather than the comforts of religion. Regardless of whether God exists, then, theists have it better than atheists; hence belief in God is the most rational belief to have.
This is one of 3 philosophical takes on this, however. For more about this and “utiles,” check the website at http://www.iep.utm.edu/pasc-wag/