Sunday, November 24, 2013

Religion My Way: Pascal's Wager

I suppose that most of you know a lot more about religion than I do. I have lived a long time and was raised to be a good girl using the Christian Ethic so I am not totally clueless.  However, I am finding that I love Pascal's Wager. This little philosophy describes the games so many of us play with our religious beliefs.

Blaise Pascal was a philosopher that lived in the mid 17th century. Here is the game of chance he talked about:
Pascal's Wager is an argument in apologetic philosophy which was devised by the seventeenth-century French philosophermathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or does not exist. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss. Wikipedia
unknown; a copy of the painture of François II...
unknown; a copy of the painture of François II Quesnel, which was made for Gérard Edelinck en 1691. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I find that rationality and religion belief are two intellectual inclination that cannot walk hand in hand very successfully. I try to live a moral and good life but I often question belief systems and widely held rules. However, I always keep in mind that I could be very wrong about what I think is true. I suppose that is the reason I live as though I believe it all and remember the golden rules of religion. It seems that it is a good idea. After all, according the Pascal, I have everything to gain if it is true and nothing to lose if it is not.

I think Pascal's Wager is fascinating. How about you?

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