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Logic vs. Faith: Blaise Pascal

Some believe that Logic and Faith are opposites. Nothing could be further from the truth. A famous philosopher of the 1600s was Blaise Pascal. He set down a theory that the logical man will always choose Christianity over Atheism. His argument was titled, "The Necessity of the Wager". He said that the fact of our existence compelled us to choose between belief in a divine creator and rejection of that belief.

If we accept that a choice must be made then we can view the results of that choice in a logical way. We have two options, to believe or not to believe. We have two possible realities, the first that there is no God and the second that there is in fact a God.

Should we choose not to believe in God there are two possible results based on the independent realities: if there is no God and we do not choose to believe we will find upon our deaths sheer oblivion, nothingness. Should we again choose not to believe, and there just happens to be a God the result would not exactly be to our liking.

Now, there is the other choice that humans can make - to believe in God. There are two possible outcomes for this action. First, if we choose to believe and there is no God then again we are faced with oblivion. However, should we choose to believe and there is a God, then we achieve salvation.

All these words can be summarize in a small table:

  No God Yes God
Do Not Believe: oblivion damnation
Believe: oblivion salvation

Taking into account the four outcomes possible and the two choices available, which choice makes the most logical sense? It would seem obvious that the intelligent mind, the logical mind, even were the possibility quite remote (though it is not remote) would choose to believe in God, for it is the only choice the human can make and have any hope of eternal happiness.

Logic does play a role in our beliefs. Paul said that we are saved by faith; yet we may be led to that faith by the strength of our intellect.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Bibliography:

>Christianity for Modern Pagans : Pascal's Pensees by Blaise Pascal and edited by Peter Kreeft

Blaise Pascal : Reasons of the Heart (Library of Religious Biography) by Marvin O'Connell

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