sisters ❤ #dogs
accidentally opening a program that takes a long time to open so you have to wait twenty seconds to close it
The gist of Pascal’s Wager is it’s most rational to believe in God because you stand to gain an infinite amount if you’re right, while you’ll only lose a finite amount if you’re wrong (and vice versa). Actually it’s more about how you live than holding an abstract belief. This is why Pascal said the Wager’s unavoidable: since you’re already living you’re already making it every moment.
A criticism of the Wager is you can’t choose to believe something, which I think is partly true and partly false and partly beside the point. Obviously you can’t will yourself into a new worldview instantly, but by pretending to believe and performing all the actions, Pascal says, true faith will come after a while. You could say then you’re just brainwashing yourself but that begs the question of whether we hold our current beliefs for very similar reasons. It’s also somewhat beside the point because Pascal’s trying to make us Christians, not infallible saints, and being Christian or religious is about living and orienting yourself in a certain way, not being instantly perfect. Being Christian, in particular, is all about struggling and striving for perfect faith, while realising it’s a gift from God and we simply can’t attain it on our own.
So it’s not quite as silly as it seems: weighing eternity against finitude and choosing to believe has practical consequences which, Christians say, lead to something (‘faith’) that transcends intellectual belief anyway. So you aim for intellectual certainty to start with—though incredibly far from it—and end, God willing, with something far deeper than it.
Another big problem is which God to believe in. Pascal makes it nice and simple by making it seem like there’s just Religion and Unbelief, but actually there’s many different religions saying different things. When you factor them all in the odds drop dramatically and the decision becomes much harder.
But is it really a problem? Only if they’re mutually exclusive; but I see it more as orientations to being: you have a religious/’transcendental’ orientation and a nonreligious/’worldly’ one. The latter will yield finitudes but the first may yield infinitudes. You can still have your religion of choice as the fullest expression of this transcendental orientation, without denying it in other religions or even in the lives of conventionally unreligious people.
Basically, Pascal’s Wager should be reformulated thus: if you orient yourself to the world you’ll certainly get a limited amount of happiness, but if you orient yourself beyond it you may get infinite. So in that sense I’d agree with it; but in Pascal’s own sense, considering his simplistic understanding/dismissal of other religions, I’d object.
Good question—thank you!
You know stuff when they start the sentence with X and you know whatever comes after X is just gonna be a holocaust.
Just installed 12” subs in my car
Best still ever.