Philosophy Argument Blaise Pascal's Gamble

1226 words - 5 pages

Since the beginning of philosophical thinking, mankind has tried to answer the age old question: "Does God Exist?" Some great minds have wrestled this rhetorical question, and out of these minds came various theories. Among these great minds was Blaise Pascal, a French Mathematician, scientist and religious philosopher. As a mathematician, Blaise Pascal has been famed for his independent discovery of the "Pascal's Triangle" (some Chinese guy found the same thing as well), and other works of math. As a scientist, he invented the hydraulic press and the syringe. He also did a lot of work on pressure, hence the name of the unit of pressure. As a religious philosopher, Blaise Pascal investigated the existence of God and came up with an answer unlike any other philosopher before him.Blaise Pascal's answer was called "Pascal's Wager" or "Pascal's Gambit". "Pascal's Wager" is an argument which encourages belief in God. The argument states that mankind can never prove the existence of God. The reason is because man depends too much on the 5 human senses to prove or disapprove. Our 5 senses are taste, touch, smell, sound and sight. These 5 senses can only detect atomic matter, which is basically "stuff". If God is omnipotent and omnipresent, God is not going to be made up of atoms, ions, photons, electrons, quarks, etc. Therefore, humans trying to prove the existence of God would be like using a metal detector to prove the existence of water. Therefore, we cannot prove the existence of God in life. Blaise Pascal said that there are only two choices in faith, you believe in God, or you don't believe. If you choose "I don't know if God exists", you still don't believe. Since we cannot prove the existence of God, faith is in a way, a gamble. People might ask, "How do we choose?" This is when the true genius of Pascal comes in. Blaise Pascal said that if you choose either of the options, there will be two results; God exists, and God doesn't exist. By examining the consequences of each result, we can decide whether we should believe in God or not. If you don't believe in God and God exists, presumably you burn in hell after you die. If you don't believe and God doesn't exist, nothing happens. You don't even get to mock anyone because you're dead. On the other hand, if you believe in God and God exists, you go to heaven. If you believe in God and God doesn't exist, then nothing happens. You don't even get humiliation because you're dead. Blaise Pascal analyzed the question this way and concluded that believing in God is the most sensible and logical choice, since you have nothing to lose.Unlike other philosophers who encountered this mind boggling question, Pascal did not prove nor disapprove the existence of God. In fact, Pascal claimed that it's impossible for humans to prove the existence of God with extremely good reasons. Philosophers who are against the existence of God create theories for why God doesn't exist, or why we even know the term "God"....

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