April 30, 2009

Pascal's Wager

I am not a betting man, but this is an interesting approach to take with someone who prides themselves with being logical and finds your faith in the God of the Bible to be less so.

Pascal's Wager, is a suggestion posed by French philosopher Blaise Pascal as a way of dealing with the question of the existence of God. I will leave aside all the ramifications of probability theory that the waget entails, it is beyond me to lay it out in a comprehensible manner.

To my mind, here is how the wager works:

  • Either God exists or he does not
  • Either you believe in God or you do not
This leads to four possible conditions:

1-God exists and you believe; you go to heaven (assuming you have placed faith in Jesus as your only way to salvation).

2-God does not exist and you believe in Him. You are no worse off, having lived an edifying life and winding up in the same place as everyone else.

3-God does not exist and you do not believe in Him. You enjoy some of the momentary pleasures of this world, you are probably not all that happy with it, and you wind up in the same place as those who have had a more edified life.

4-God exists and you do not believe in Him. Oops. I guess you have a problem now, wear something cool, loose and flowing.

As you can see, the last condition is the situation that has the most dire, irrevocable consequences.

As a logical person, leaving aside questions of faith for a second, which is the logical path of follow?

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
Jim Elliott - October 28, 1949 Journal entry


Gina Hendrix said...

Nice Post. Love Pascal.

Andy C said...

Thanks for stopping by.