Pascal’s Pensees and Pauline Perspective

Blaise Pascal (1623 – 62) wrote his justly famous Pensees, and perhaps one of the more well known passages is his “Wager” or “Gambit.” In part III note 233, it goes as such:

“God is, or He is not.” But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up… Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose… But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is… If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.

The Wager is often expressed in the following table:

                                  Does God exist?
Yes No
Do I believe in God? Yes Eternal blessing is gained. No reward
No Eternal blessing is lost. No loss

Now here is my question. I won’t try to answer it here (perhaps in a future post). Is Pascal’s Wager above consistent with Paul’s argument below? Continue reading