At the end of his celebrated wager argument, Pascal advises the sceptic to whom it is addressed to take up a religious way of life in hope of thereby cultivating religious beliefs he does not presently hold, and this because of the immense advantage to him of believing. Many who have shown some sympathy with the wager argument or the understanding of religious belief on which it is based have found this advice, if not silly and dangerous, at least uninstructive. William James, for example, whose philosophy of religion has striking similarities to Pascal's, objected that the advice is unsound because the sceptic has no reason to believe that religious practice will have its promised result. The tone of James's discussion and the fact that he misrepresents Pascal's advice as a simple belief in the efficacy of ‘masses and holy water’, however, suggest that his rejection of it ran deeper than the force of this objection. In fact, the context of his remarks indicates that he regarded this part of Pascal's wager as a particularly clear example of the cases in which to base belief on volition is ‘simply silly’. Even one as sympathetic to Pascal's thought as Donald Baillie seems troubled by the advice. On the one hand, Baillie does not rule out the possibility that some cases of doubt or disbelief may be adequately treated by a measured dose of religious practice.