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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Pascal's Wager

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Joined: 2004/6/8
Posts: 2

 Pascal's Wager

I recently saw this discussed on another forum, but thought I'd like to hear more opinions on it. So what are your thoughts on Pascal's Wager? Was he right to barter with logic?

If you're not familiar with this idea, Pascal's Wager simply claims that belief in God is beneficial for a person because it offers reward, while non-belief in God has no rewards and possible loss. There may be a bit more to it than that, but I think that sums it up.


 2004/6/8 12:55Profile

Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 The Mind on Fire

Quoting from an article from [i]Christianity Today:[/i]

Either God exists or he does not, Pascal writes, and you must bet one way or another. If God exists, you could gain or lose infinite happiness. If God does not exist, then you could lose at most finite pleasure. "If you win, you win everything; if you lose, you lose nothing. Do not hesitate, then; gamble on His existence."

It is important to note that Pascal did not consider the so-called [i]Pascal's Wager[/i] an intellectual argument that will convince people to come to Christ. For him, this is a [i]moral[/i] decision of a person lost in the world, not an argument from reason. In fact, elsewhere Pascal had asserted that there is no way of knowing the true God apart from revelation—he found the argument from design unconvincing.

Indeed, Pascal's own transformation came about as a result of a powerful religious experience on the night of November 23, 1654. He wrote an account of this mysterious experience on the "night of fire":

God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and savants
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
God of Jesus Christ.

Forgetfulness of the world and of everything except God
He is to be found only in the ways taught in the Gospel

This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.[/i]


 2004/6/15 15:14Profile

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