What's your opinion on Pascal's Wager?
#1
It goes like this. Each of us has to make a choice of whether or not to believe in Jesus Christ. Many of us have to make this choice without having proof that we consider decisive either way. Therefore effectively we have to make a wager. However, we can compare the possible outcomes to help us choose which way to bet. If we bet on believing in Christ and we are right, then our reward will be eternal bliss. 

If we bet on Christ, and we are wrong, then we have lost little – merely missed out, perhaps, on a few worldy pleasures. However if we bet against Christ – i.e., we decide not to believe in him – and we turn out to be wrong, then we have missed out on eternal life. So it is rational to put your faith in Christ, Pascal argues.

What do you think? 
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
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#2
Firstly, I think it will convince few to embrace the Faith.


Secondly, even if they did, they really would not be making a Supernatural act of Faith.

Thirdly, "belief in Jesus Christ" is not sufficient to have the reward of "eternal bliss" but requires a great deal more, so it really isn't as simple as the wager makes.
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#3
(04-12-2018, 11:36 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: Firstly, I think it will convince few to embrace the Faith.


Secondly, even if they did, they really would not be making a Supernatural act of Faith.

Thirdly, "belief in Jesus Christ" is not sufficient to have the reward of "eternal bliss" but requires a great deal more, so it really isn't as simple as the wager makes.

It's a start though, right?
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
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#4
(04-12-2018, 11:40 PM)BrianW99 Wrote:
(04-12-2018, 11:36 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: Firstly, I think it will convince few to embrace the Faith.


Secondly, even if they did, they really would not be making a Supernatural act of Faith.

Thirdly, "belief in Jesus Christ" is not sufficient to have the reward of "eternal bliss" but requires a great deal more, so it really isn't as simple as the wager makes.

It's a start though, right?

Not really.

I think you are more likely to make someone think you have a very weak argument if that is where you start.

Apologetics typically begins with showing the truths of religion that can be known by reason (there is a God, He created everything, He is All Good, etc.), then showing the reasonableness of the supernatural truths (the Gospels are reliable, it is possible for God to reveal things, it is not contrary to reason for God to work as the Catholic faith says he does). 

Paschal's wager starts by admitting that one can reasonably doubt the existence of God. In fact, agnosticism or atheism is contrary to reason. That won't get you very far and actually tends to undermine the other arguments.
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#5
(04-12-2018, 10:13 PM)BrianW99 Wrote: It goes like this. Each of us has to make a choice of whether or not to believe in Jesus Christ. Many of us have to make this choice without having proof that we consider decisive either way. Therefore effectively we have to make a wager. However, we can compare the possible outcomes to help us choose which way to bet. If we bet on believing in Christ and we are right, then our reward will be eternal bliss. 

If we bet on Christ, and we are wrong, then we have lost little – merely missed out, perhaps, on a few worldy pleasures. However if we bet against Christ – i.e., we decide not to believe in him – and we turn out to be wrong, then we have missed out on eternal life. So it is rational to put your faith in Christ, Pascal argues.

What do you think? 
Peace.....I don't see it as a good thing to barter with Jesus - just do and pray as we ought in complete surrender, trust and hope.....this guy Pascal sounds like he is betting to cover himself.
  God bless, angeltime :heart:
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#6
The problem with Pascal's Wager is in its simplicity.

Too often do we hear in other religions that believers will still perish. Christianity too, will have believers perishing in the afterlife "All who say to me Lord, Lord, will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Therefore, even if one does believe in God, it is not necessarily a guarantee that they will merit eternal life and if one chose to believe in the wrong religion, then not only did they waste their life, but they will perish for all eternity.

It is important to remember that Pascal's Wager was an unpublished note for an incomplete treatise on the Christian faith that Mr. Pascal died before finishing, therefore it is not clear if this note would have been used in the final draft or not.
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#7
I think in it's simplicity it has logic in how atheism is a losing proposal no matter how you look at it. 

That doesn't mean that someone should believe in a religion just to roll the dice and hope for the best. You can't use something like Pascal's Wager as a hedge and just go through the motions.

When it comes to other religions, every single one says that those who don't believe in it will have a bad after life. Whether the reality is as strict as that we won't know till we get there, but you're certainly not going to get many people to follow your religion if there's no requirement of joining. That's why even beyond theology, casting aside EENS is just plain stupid.
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#8
(04-13-2018, 02:18 PM)GangGreen Wrote: I think in it's simplicity it has logic in how atheism is a losing proposal no matter how you look at it. 

Except atheists would argue it with the reverse, claiming that by choosing to live a good life and not believing in God means you make the world a "better" place and not waste your life with frivolities. The problem with Pascal's Wager is the presupposition that to not believe in God invariably leads to damnation.
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#9
You know, I'd never thought of that, but you're quite right. Just to make the wager implies the existence of a God who will condemn you to damnation for betting wrong.
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#10
(04-13-2018, 05:03 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: You know, I'd never thought of that, but you're quite right. Just to make the wager implies the existence of a God who will condemn you to damnation for betting wrong.

It implies the possibility of the existence of a God who will condemn you to damnation for betting wrong. If God exists, and won't condemn you (to hell) for being atheist, then you should be atheist. You'll go to heaven anyway, and you get to do whatever you want in this life. But if Christianity is true, then God does condemn those who refuse to believe, and since the punishment of hell is infinite, is it worth the risk?

If they're right, and God doesn't exist, then all the good in the this world ultimately doesn't matter. But the point of the Wager is that since heaven (and hell) is infinite, even an extremely tiny chance that He exists and that heaven awaits for those who follow Him means you take the chance, since anything, no matter how small, multiplied by infinity is infinite. That's greater than zero, which is the result if atheism is true - when you're dead, you're dead, and that's it. Even if you say the good you do in this world matters, it's still less than the potential reward of heaven.

It's not enough just to believe in God, but maybe someone starts being religious to avoid hell, and God's grace takes over from there and allows the former atheist to grow to love God. Maybe it's not the best argument, since the existence of at least a god can be known through reason, but Pascal's not wrong in saying if there's even a tiny chance hell exists, it isn't worth the risk to not be Christian - but there's more to being Christian than simply believing God exists.
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