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Insuffecient Evidence

Satisfactory Essays
Blaise Pascal is a well-known French mathematician and philosopher who lived between 1623-1662. During Pascal’s short 39 years of life on this blue marble created many timeless arguments and works that are still discussed to this very day. One of these is the collection of writings published shortly after his death titled the Pensees. In this collection of writings one of his more famous arguments is framed out. This argument is normally labeled as “Pascal’s Wager”. During this argument he explains why any rational being should believe in God, even though said rational being does not have sufficient evidence. Pascal argues that due to the available choices and following consequences the rational being is forced logically to believe in God. The following is an explanation and critical evaluation of this philosophically important argument.
One of the first issues that Pascal wants to make sure is covered is that his argument is not for the existence of God, but instead it is intended to argue that it is more logically sound to believe in the God, than to deny his existence. This is shown by Pascal’s statement; “But to which side shall we incline. Reason can decide nothing here (104).” This shows as previously stated Pascal is not trying to argue for God’s existence, but continues to argue for why it is more logically sound to believe than to not believe. Pascal gives reasons that it is impossible for any finite being to truly comprehend a being such as God, and that we as finite beings can never truly give a conclusive answer to if God exists.
Another issue that Pascal takes time to address is the difference between the choices of does God exist and believing in God. The argument for if God exists allows for three choices. The fi...

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...s or prove that you truly have faith in God and not just using God as a “means-end”. This adds the problem of what would prove to be enough to truly prove to God that you are not using him as a “means-end”, since part of the definition of God is that he is knows all and thus would not be fooled by such shallow belief. Thus it becomes more that just a simple coin toss. Pascal might argue that he also believe that a person must have true faith, and might add that practicing the belief in God could lead to a better finite life even if incorrect.
Overall this issues that arise seem to give Pascal’s Wager some major hurdles to overcome. In the end it seems to be that it may not be simple as easy as believing in a God. This issue from which God do you believe in to could God be an evil, this would seem to dictate that you would have to add many more rows to his wager.
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