Monday, February 21, 2011

Quote of the Day by Blaise Pascal

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.


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  2. I was thinking today about how therapy is like religious worship for the God-less.

    I do like Pascal's wager, but here's the thing: The miserable/me-centered/therapy-needing/hard-hearted heathen is so obsessed with their day-to-day miseries that should they take up this wager nothing will really change, as their hard heart will quickly turn back to their own personal efforts of pulling themselves out of their hopelessly miserable despair.

    This can't, in my opinion, just be a simple wager, but something that requires a turning of the whole heart, i.e. repentance. Now I will follow with the classic Calvinist argument that the only way the miserable heathen can have a change of heart is if God reaches down and gives it to him. In other words, those who truly take the wager have already been saved by the hand of God. To me this is just a cute little intellectual exercise are really only, at best, a vague beginning of a true turn to faith.

  3. I see Pascal’s Wager as an argument that gets atheists to rethink their position and to get agnostics off of the fence. The logic of it has always appealed to me. As I said in “The Stalemate,” “So, we can see that both atheists and theists have some decent arguments, but are in a stalemate. The reason why someone should make the leap of faith is that it is more beneficial to be a believer. If there is no God and we are here randomly then life is completely meaningless. We are born to live relatively short lives in a deeply flawed world that is doomed to destruction. All our work and all our memories will be destroyed—in time it will be like we never existed. In a world with no God theists will perish with false hopes; however they will have lead fulfilled lives that seemed to have meaning for them. However, they would have given over some of their autonomy for no reason. Atheists/agnostics will perish being right and they would have lived lives with full autonomy. However, all three sides come to the same end dead and forgotten, so we see that in a world with no God it doesn’t matter what you believe.”

    However, I do agree that this argument or any argument can not make anyone a believer. I believe that God can use Pascal’s Wager to open people’s minds and soften hearts, but without the work of the Holy Spirit this argument will brushed aside.