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Pascal's Wager

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JamieinNH, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Ransom

    Ransom Active Member

    Oct 3, 2000
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    James Flagg said:

    Pascal made no mention of Christianity is his famous "Wager".

    The Wager was but one part of a larger work of Christian apologetics that Pascal was trying to write, and must be read in that context.
  2. James Flagg

    James Flagg Member
    Site Supporter

    Oct 17, 2005
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    Pascal was more of a religious philosopher than an apologist, and I disagree that his wager "must" be read in any certain context. As I stated, his Wager makes no mention of Christianity. That being said, however, I have read that Pascal was a Catholic or a Jansenist (which, BTW, shares many beliefs with modern Fundamentalism) and yes, some form of Christianity is undoubtedly what he had in mind when he devised it.

    In light of later criticisms, especially those of Voltaire, I find Pascal's Wager weak in regards to philosophy and formal logic. It is a remnant seldom mentioned beyond Philosophy 101.
  3. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith Member

    Mar 11, 2005
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    Well.... a few points, if I may:

    Again, the moral apologetic is not based on everyone having the same morality....it does not say that everyone has the same basic moral code. It says that the existence of morals as such necessitates a moral law giver.

    I submit that this "accountable to their peers" idea cannot come from materialism. The claim is that this moral code is beyond ourselves, and actually morally better than "survival of the fittest" (and no, it is not the same thing...my sacrifice to help you does not ensure mutual survival). Further,the Nazi's claimed to be accountable to their peers. They claimed to be doing the right thing by their peers by eliminating the detriment to society....people they claimed were worthy of death.

    Oh, I'm sure you have. And you are correct in that it is nothing new. But I still feel the moral argument is a solid one, when it is properly understood and presented. Again, the moral argument does not say that everyone has the same morals. It says that unless we have a moral standard that is external to us all, then we have no grounds to say "That guy is wrong" about anyone, or any society (re: the Nazi's). Further, if we are nothing but a pile of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon, where did we get this idea of morality?

    For a good summary, see The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics which has an explanation of all facets of the moral argument, including the positions of Kant, Rashdall, Sorley, Elton Trueblood, C. S. Lewis, Feuerbach, and the author's own.

    The moral argument is a good one, it's just hard to communicate it without people thinking that we're saying everyone has biblical morals.