I used to think Pascal's Wager
was kinda cool
. Eventually, though, I realised that it just sounds good until you think about it
. If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost a lot. For a start, you have wasted countless hours of your life praying to something that doesn't exist. You have probably spent some time defending something that doesn't exist, you have encountered hostility from others because you believed in something that didn't exist
To an atheist, there is no afterlife - this is it, baby. For an atheist, wasting your life worshipping non-existent Gods is a hell of a lot to lose - no pun intended.
There are a couple of other problems too. Firstly, almost all Christians will say that simply believing in God because it sounded like a good idea at the time does not make you a "true" Christian. Pascal himself realised this - he said that it was a good introduction to Christianity, and from there it would lead on to becoming a true Christian - in other words, Pascal's wager is supposed to be a good foothold that atheists can use to brainwash themselves.
Secondly, Pascal's wager applies equally well to quite a few mutually exclusive religions. Notice that the original noder did not mention Christianity. Become a good enough Christian and there will be at least several other (equally valid, from the Pascal's Wager perspective) religions which have immediately damned you to Hell. Whichever way you choose, you're screwed. Which is a pity. The world would be a much quieter place if there were no religious arguments.