Tuesday, August 25, 2015

pascal's wager

Carl Henry, as a young man undergoing conviction of -- but struggling with -- the truthfulness of Christianity, reasoned along the lines of Pascal's "wager" (Pensees, #233)... This is a right use of that very good question, "what have I got to lose?" ... 

"I somewhat understated my readiness by a fallback to Pascal's wager.  'If I go ahead, and there's nothing to it, I have nothing to lose,' I said; 'if I don't go ahead, and there is something to it, I have everything to lose.'" 

~ Carl F. H. Henry, Confessions of a Theologian, p. 46.

Further thoughts from Pascal...

#236  "According to the doctrine of chance, you ought to put yourself to the trouble of searching for the truth. For if you die without worshiping the True Cause, you are lost. -- 'But,' say you, 'if He had wished me to worship Him, He would have left me signs of His will.' -- He has done so, but you neglect them. Seek them, therefore. It is well worth it."  

#237  "Chances.—We must live differently in the world, according to one of two different assumptions: (1) that we could always remain here in it; or (2) that it is certain that we shall not remain here long, and uncertain if we shall remain here even one hour. This last assumption is our real condition."

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