Avoidance of hell

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"If you don't believe in God, you'll go to hell after you die."

The threat of eternal damnation and torment is an ever-popular argument for belief in God. It is simply an argumentum ad baculum, even though the person making the argument does not claim to be the one to carry it out.

The threat of hell differs from Pascal's wager in several key respects:

  • Pascal's wager is an intellectual argument. The threat of hell is purely emotional.
  • With the threat of hell, hell is assumed to exist. Pascal's wager treats this as an unknown.
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