Pascals Wager

Posted: April 19, 2015 in Religion
Tags: , , , ,

First, lets take a look at what is Pascal’s Wager. A Pascal’s Wager is named after 17th-century French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal. One of Pascal’s most famous works was the Pensées (“Thoughts”), which was published posthumously in 1670. It is in this work that we find what is known as Pascal’s Wager. Another definition is, the argument that it is in one’s own best interest to behave as if God exists, since the possibility of eternal punishment in hell outweighs any advantage of believing otherwise. I was wondering to myself, why am I even interested in the Wager, when in my estimation is a dummies defense. I’m a fan of the apologetic program that pits Christians, atheist, agnostics, and scholars against one another. One of only programs of this kind that I actually enjoy. Justin Brierley the host does a good job. Back to my earlier point. This is taken from the Unbelievable website.
Blaise Pascal was a 17th century Christian philosopher and mathematician who said that we all bet our life on the existence of God. So, you are better off believing in God because you’ve everything to gain if it’s true and little to lose if it’s not. But you’ve plenty to lose if you bet on God not existing and it turns out that He does.
Kevin Moore is a young philosopher whose new book ‘Untrumpable’ revisits Pascal’s classic argument in terms of ‘wisdom’. He makes the case that Atheism is a foolish bet and we ought to live as if God existed. He even says his argument makes the best sense of Psalm 14 (The fool has said in his heart “there is no God”).
Norman Bacrac, of the Conway Hall Ethical Society disagrees with Kevin and says that believing in God wouldn’t make him change the way he lives as an atheist anyway.
Kevin Moore believes he has an iron clad argument, so much so he wrote a book about it. This is admirable at best, everyone should stand up for their personal beliefs. I’m an agnostic, sometimes a closet atheist. With that said, I did spend 27 years of my existance believing in this. All because of Billy Joe Strehlow and Wacob. I would like to say “belief is a hope, not a fact”. Pascal’s Wager makes sense only if you’re a believer.
Christians are or can be some of the biggest hypocrites but that’s fine, cause all they have to do is repent. Even if they are willingly sinning. With this type of argument it becomes more difficult to defend. The argument used by Kevin are 1. Foolishness 2. Wisdom 3. Choice, well, isn’t God pro choice? For me, they shy away from the hard questions. 1. What about all the other religions 2. Heaven 3. Hell I thought Rob Bell did a mediocre job in his book Love Wins. He didn’t go far enough, as soon as it got sticky he wavered. Our beliefs come from many sources, the christian beliefs comes from a book. I wonder how many people truly know how we got the bible; and NO it wasn’t by men who were moved by the holy spirit. The bible itself has some good things to say. 1 Thess 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good, I hold onto to the things that make sense instead of what is spiritually unsound and unprovable.
Arguments used to defend this is/are, 1. God speaks to use through nature, this shows God is evident (Rom 1). 2. Their is no cost in following Jesus/Yashua (Luke 9:57-62; 14:25-33). 3. It completely misrepresents the depravity of human nature. The natural man—one who has not been born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3)—cannot be persuaded to a saving faith in Jesus Christ by a cost-benefit analysis such as Pascal’s Wager (Matthew 13, Matthew 7:16-20, 1 Corinthians 2:14).
These arguments are flimsy, why not look at my issues. As I mentioned previously most christians differ on simple truths. Are they leaning to their own understanding of standing on the validity of the text itself.
Instead of answering everything point by point, I will simply summarize. The bible itself is a book of fear, not love. People have to realize when you become a believer you have to sign a contract sealed in blood. Who now have to live your life by rules of do’s and dont’s. God is silent, and confusing. I can except a devine creator just not the jesus story. I believe for the most part we were created by a designer but that is as far as it goes. That’s the reason for all these frivolous arguments. If we take the bible at first glance with the teachings of paul. The OT differs from the NT. The old speaks of death as nothingness, read the book of Ecclesiastics. The new has a different concept all together. We now have to believe in God’s mercy upon the exceptance of his son. Already you win the argument that your right and everyone else wrong Phil 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, even though Romans differs to who gets the acknowledgement Rom 14:11 It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ yet this is not a problem since they are the same person i.e. false doctrine of the trinity.
Lets deal with heaven and hell. The scriptures clearly state in John, “no man has acsended to heaven, except for the son of man that came down from heaven.” Secondly, believers are promised new Jerusalem. Please stop with all the little children and everyone going to heaven. Until a person I know has been dead for 10 years all of a sudden comes back and in great detail tells me what happens, I’m not open!
I could continue, but I’ll leave with this. Most people look at the bible from a myopic point of view. It’s either you believe it completely or you’re wasting your time. If you are a witness that means you have signed a contract to do a certain thing with certain promises. Before I forget allow me to answer a question. The first question I presented. What most people say or do is not want others to enjoy the shared gifts. The scriptures should be looked at as the three resurrections. 1. Life 2. Judgement, and the final; death!
The christian religion is built and falls upon Jesus being the son of God. Yet when you gather all the evidence, not the bible. He’s almost an non existent figure with no history. Many figures were around during his time and before, but theirs plenty of history that can be authenticated, but when if comes to Jesus, their’s good evidence he didn’t exist. I believe was a man the lived but nothing extroidnary, others during his time did more. If you look at the narrative more closely, his ministry was a failure. To sum up Pascals Wager, it is based on hope, not evidence. It only is relevant to the person that wrote it or believes in it. It assumes that what others believe don’t really count or isn’t relevant, only Christians are not in error. Pascals wager can’t tell others that they believe are wrong, maybe his theory is backwards which it is, but maybe it’s wrong. We all will find out when we take our last breath. Until live life purely, honestly, and with love.

Written by John the Revelator

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Comments
  1. chicagoja says:

    The problem with Pascal’s Wager, and Christianity in general, is that it’s based on the premise that a belief in God (or Jesus) results in salvation in an afterlife. The evidence for that is entirely absent. That said, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It was the French philosopher Voltaire who said, “ If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.” I believe that, to be more precise, God does exist but man invented him anyway. As it says in the book of John, no one has ever seen God; so man created God in his own image.

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  2. Kevin Moore says:

    Hello, John the Relevator!

    I found your blog through a Google search. I am glad to hear about people thinking about my argument. Given Pascal’s argument’s popularity and long standing problems, I know that it is really difficult for folks to see my argument through a different lens, for it is truly a different argument, though, of course, similar in kind. If you are interested in talking about my argument more, I would be happy to address any of your objections or questions.

    By the way, if you haven’t read my very short book, it is free on Amazon now (Kindle version).

    All the best,

    Kevin Moore

    Like

    • John the Revelator says:

      The arguments are not difficult, they’re your arguments. We can definitely start a dialogue, I would love to break bread with you.

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  3. Kevin Moore says:

    Great! I am not sure why I am not getting email updates when you reply but I’ll try to check back sooner next time.

    I am not really sure what you thought of my argument. Is there any questionable points about it that stand out in your mind? Maybe we can start there?

    Like

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