Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
What else does this longing and helplessness proclaim, but that there was once in each person a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? We try to fill this in vain with everything around us, seeking in things that are not there the help we cannot find in those that are there. Yet none can change things, because this infinite abyss can only be filled with something that is infinite and unchanging—in other words, God himself. God alone is our true good.
C. S. Lewis:
If we are made for heaven, the desire for our proper place will be already in us, but not yet attached to the true object, and will even appear as the rival of that object. . . . If a transtemporal, transfinite good is our real destiny, then any other good on which our desire fixes must be in some degree fallacious, must bear at best only a symbolical relation to what will truly satisfy. Continue reading
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?
|Do I believe in God?
||Eternal blessing is gained.
||Eternal blessing is lost.
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