Pascal's Wager: To Believe or Not to Believe in God Essay

Pascal's Wager: To Believe or Not to Believe in God Essay

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How can someone believe in a “person” that they have no corporeal knowledge of? Can a person put all of their faith into a deity that may not even exist? Religion has been a part of human existence since the beginning of time, but Christianity formed less than 2000 years ago without being at all taken down, shows that there has to be some sound proof to this religion. Christianity, Pascal’s own religion and the basis of the Wager, is the largest religion in the world, with a following of over 2 billion people, which spans over approximately thirty denominations worldwide. Pascal’s Wager means to show that being a Christian is more beneficial than not being a Christian due to a smaller loss when humans have faith. The Wager is a philosophical apologetic, which is an argument for the existence of a god or gods. With this wager, Pascal wants people to realize the potential outcomes and how they affect them eternally. Since Pascal is a Christian at the time of writing the Wager, he is calling for trust and faith that his Christian God is the God.
Blaise Pascal wrote numerous books throughout his lifetime, but one was published after his death call the Pensées. The Pensées are a collection of smaller notes and thoughts Pascal had when going through his life, they were gathered in the time after his death and put together and in included in them was the Wager. Pascal’s Wager is #233 of the Pensées and talks about how one can decide on whether or not they should believe in God, and the outcome of their beliefs because God either does exist, or he does not. He says that you have to choose one side to be on, you cannot be partial to both sides. With wagering, you have gains and losses, which Pascal explains in the Wager: “You have two thi...

... middle of paper ... implanted into minds as a test of the mind versus the heart to figure the rationality in humans. As said already, rationality has to do with the mind, while faith is in the heart. If it were a fight over finding rationality as to why choosing one religion over another is better, it would not be fully supported because finding the complete reason for faith will not be finished seeing as “the heart has reason which reason cannot understand” (Pascal 467).

Works Cited

B. Williams, Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973-1980, Cambridge University Press 1981, p. 94-100
E. Mortimer, Blaise Pascal: the Life and Work of a Realist, Methuen and Co 1959, p. 191-195
F. Baird, From Plato to Derrida: Sixth Edition, Prentice Hall 2011, p. 464-469
L. Burkholder, Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy, Blackwell Publishing 2011, p. 28-31

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