Holy Spirit, is a term found in English translations of the Bible, understood differently among the Abrahamic religions. The term is used to describe aspects of other religions and belief structures; the word spirit appears either alone or with other words, in the New Testament. Combinations include expressions such as the "Holy Spirit", "Spirit of God", in Christianity, "Spirit of Christ"; the word spirit is rendered as רוּחַ in Hebrew-language parts of the Old Testament. In its Aramaic parts, the term is rûacḥ; the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, translates the word as πνεῦμα. This is the same word, used throughout the New Testament, written in Greek; the English term spirit comes from its Latin origin, how the Vulgate translates both the Old and New Testament concept. The alternative term, "Holy Ghost", comes from Old English translations of spiritus; the Hebrew Bible contains the term "spirit of God" in the sense of the might of a unitary God. This meaning is different from the Christian concept of "Holy Spirit" as one personality of God in the Trinity.
The Christian concept tends to emphasize the moral aspect of the Holy Spirit more than Judaism, evident in the epithet Holy Spirit that appeared in Jewish religious writings only late but was a common expression in the Christian New Testament. According to theologian Rudolf Bultmann, there are two ways to think about the Holy Spirit: "animistic" and "dynamistic". In animistic thinking, it is "an independent agent, a personal power which like a demon can fall upon a man and take possession of him, enabling him or compelling him to perform manifestations of power" while in dynamistic thought it "appears as an impersonal force which fills a man like a fluid". Both kinds of thought appear in Jewish and Christian scripture, but animistic is more typical of the Old Testament whereas dynamistic is more common in the New Testament; the distinction coincides with the Holy Spirit as either a permanent gift. In the Old Testament and Jewish thought, it is temporary with a specific situation or task in mind, whereas in the Christian concept the gift resides in man permanently.
On the surface, the Holy Spirit appears to have an equivalent in non-Abrahamic Hellenistic mystery religions. These religions included a distinction between the spirit and psyche, seen in the Pauline epistles. According to proponents of the History of religions school, the Christian concept of the Holy Spirit cannot be explained from Jewish ideas alone without reference to the Hellenistic religions. However, according to theologian Erik Konsmo, the views "are so dissimilar that the only legitimate connection one can make is with the Greek term πνεῦμα itself". Another link with ancient Greek thought is the Stoic idea of the spirit as anima mundi—or world soul—that unites all people; some believe that this can be seen in Paul's formulation of the concept of the Holy Spirit that unites Christians in Jesus Christ and love for one another, but Konsmo again thinks that this position is difficult to maintain. In his Introduction to the 1964 book Meditations, the Anglican priest Maxwell Staniforth wrote: Another Stoic concept which offered inspiration to the Church was that of'divine Spirit'.
Cleanthes, wishing to give more explicit meaning to Zeno's'creative fire', had been the first to hit upon the term pneuma, or'spirit', to describe it. Like fire, this intelligent'spirit' was imagined as a tenuous substance akin to a current of air or breath, but possessing the quality of warmth, it is not a long step from this to the'Holy Spirit' of Christian theology, the'Lord and Giver of life', visibly manifested as tongues of fire at Pentecost and since associated – in the Christian as in the Stoic mind – with the ideas of vital fire and beneficient warmth. The Hebrew language phrase ruach ha-kodesh is a term used in the Hebrew Bible and Jewish writings to refer to the spirit of YHWH, it means "spirit of the holiness" or "spirit of the holy place". The Hebrew terms ruacḥ qodshəka, "thy holy spirit", ruacḥ qodshō, "his holy spirit" occur; the "Holy Spirit" in Judaism refers to the divine aspect of prophecy and wisdom. It refers to the divine force and influence of the Most High God, over the universe or over his creatures, in given contexts.
For the large majority of Christians, the Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity: The "Triune God" manifested as Father and Holy Spirit. Two symbols from the New Testament canon are associated with the Holy Spirit in Christian iconography: a winged dove, tongues of fire; each depiction of the Holy Spirit arose from different historical accounts in the Gospel narratives. Called "the unveiled epiphany of God", the Holy Spirit is the One who empowers the followers of Jesus with spiritual gifts and power that enables the proclamation of Jesus Christ, a
Intelligent design is a pseudoscientific argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins". Proponents claim that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses, so it is not science. The leading proponents of ID are associated with the Discovery Institute, a fundamentalist Christian and politically conservative think tank based in the United States. Though the phrase "intelligent design" had featured in theological discussions of the argument from design, the first publication of the term intelligent design in its present use as an alternative term for creationism was in Of Pandas and People, a 1989 creationist textbook intended for high school biology classes; the term was substituted into drafts of the book, directly replacing references to creation science and creationism, after the 1987 United States Supreme Court's Edwards v. Aguillard decision, which barred the teaching of creation science in public schools on constitutional grounds.
From the mid-1990s, the intelligent design movement, supported by the Discovery Institute, advocated inclusion of intelligent design in public school biology curricula. This led to the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial in which U. S. District Judge John E. Jones III found that intelligent design was not science, that it "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, thus religious, antecedents," and that the school district's promotion of it therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. ID presents two main arguments against evolutionary explanations: irreducible complexity and specified complexity; these arguments assert. As a positive argument against evolution, ID proposes an analogy between natural systems and human artifacts, a version of the theological argument from design for the existence of God. ID proponents conclude by analogy that the complex features, as defined by ID, are evidence of design. Detailed scientific examination has rebutted the claims that evolutionary explanations are inadequate, this premise of intelligent design—that evidence against evolution constitutes evidence for design—is a false dichotomy.
It is asserted that ID challenges the methodological naturalism inherent in modern science though proponents concede that they have yet to produce a scientific theory. By 1910 evolution was not a topic of major religious controversy in America, but in the 1920s the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy in theology resulted in Fundamentalist Christian opposition to teaching evolution, the origins of modern creationism. Teaching of evolution was suspended in U. S. public schools until the 1960s, when evolution was reintroduced into the curriculum, there was a series of court cases in which attempts were made to get creationism taught alongside evolution in science classes. Young Earth creationists promoted creation science as "an alternative scientific explanation of the world in which we live"; this invoked the argument from design to explain complexity in nature as demonstrating the existence of God. The argument from design, the teleological argument or "argument from intelligent design", has been advanced in theology for centuries.
It can be summarised as "Wherever complex design exists, there must have been a designer. Thomas Aquinas presented it in his fifth proof of God's existence as a syllogism. In 1802, William Paley's Natural Theology presented examples of intricate purpose in organisms, his version of the watchmaker analogy argued that, in the same way that a watch has evidently been designed by a craftsman and adaptation seen in nature must have been designed, the perfection and diversity of these designs shows the designer to be omnipotent, the Christian God. Like creation science, intelligent design centers on Paley's religious argument from design, but while Paley's natural theology was open to deistic design through God-given laws, intelligent design seeks scientific confirmation of repeated miraculous interventions in the history of life. Creation science prefigured the intelligent design arguments of irreducible complexity featuring the bacterial flagellum. In the United States, attempts to introduce creation science in schools led to court rulings that it is religious in nature, thus cannot be taught in public school science classrooms.
Intelligent design is presented as science, shares other arguments with creation science but avoids literal Biblical references to such things as the Flood story from the Book of Genesis or using Bible verses to age the Earth. Barbara Forrest writes that the intelligent design movement began in 1984 with the book The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, co-written by creationist Charles B. Thaxton, a chemist, with two other authors, published by Jon A. Buell's Foundation for Ethics. Thaxton held a conference in 1988, "Sources of Information Content in DNA", which attracted creationists such as Stephen C. Meyer. In March 1986, a review by Meyer used information theory to suggest that messages transmitted by DNA in the cell show "specified complexity" specified by intelligence, must have originated with an intelligent agent. In November of that year, Thaxton described his reasoning as a more sophisticated form of Paley's argument from design. At the "Sources of Information Content in DNA" co
Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case regardless of empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. Another way of defining belief sees it as a mental representation of an attitude positively oriented towards the likelihood of something being true. In the context of Ancient Greek thought, two related concepts were identified with regards to the concept of belief: pistis and doxa. Simplified, we may say that pistis refers to "trust" and "confidence", while doxa refers to "opinion" and "acceptance"; the English word "orthodoxy" derives from doxa. Jonathan Leicester suggests that belief has the purpose of guiding action rather than indicating truth. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to personal attitudes associated with true or false ideas and concepts. However, "belief" does not require active circumspection. For example, we never ponder. We assume the sun will rise. Since "belief" is an important aspect of mundane life, according to Eric Schwitzgebel in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a related question asks: "how a physical organism can have beliefs?"
Epistemology is concerned with delineating the boundary between justified belief and opinion, involved with a theoretical philosophical study of knowledge. The primary problem in epistemology is to understand what is needed in order for us to have knowledge. In a notion derived from Plato's dialogue Theaetetus, where the epistemology of Socrates most departs from that of the sophists, who at the time of Plato seem to have defined knowledge as what is here expressed as "justified true belief"; the tendency to translate from belief to knowledge, which Plato utterly dismisses, results from failing to distinguish a dispositive belief from knowledge when the opinion is regarded true, in terms of right, juristically so, the task of the rhetors to prove. Plato dismisses this possibility of an affirmative relation between belief and knowledge when the one who opines grounds his belief on the rule, is able to add justification to it. Plato has been credited for the "justified true belief" theory of knowledge though Plato in the Theaetetus elegantly dismisses it, posits this argument of Socrates as a cause for his death penalty.
Among American epistemologists and Goldman, have questioned the "justified true belief" definition, challenged the "sophists" of their time. Mainstream psychology and related disciplines have traditionally treated belief as if it were the simplest form of mental representation and therefore one of the building blocks of conscious thought. Philosophers have tended to be more abstract in their analysis, much of the work examining the viability of the belief concept stems from philosophical analysis; the concept of belief presumes an object of belief. So, like other propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and intentionality, both of which are hotly debated topics in the philosophy of mind, whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial. Beliefs are sometimes divided into dispositional beliefs. For example, if asked "do you believe tigers wear pink pajamas?" A person might answer that they do not, despite the fact they may never have thought about this situation before.
This has important implications for understanding the neuroscience of belief. If the concept of belief is incoherent any attempt to find the underlying neural processes that support it will fail. Philosopher Lynne Rudder Baker has outlined four main contemporary approaches to belief in her controversial book Saving Belief: Our common-sense understanding of belief is correct – Sometimes called the "mental sentence theory," in this conception, beliefs exist as coherent entities, the way we talk about them in everyday life is a valid basis for scientific endeavour. Jerry Fodor is one of the principal defenders of this point of view. Our common-sense understanding of belief may not be correct, but it is close enough to make some useful predictions – This view argues that we will reject the idea of belief as we know it now, but that there may be a correlation between what we take to be a belief when someone says "I believe that snow is white" and how a future theory of psychology will explain this behaviour.
Most notably, philosopher Stephen Stich has argued for this particular understanding of belief. Our common-sense understanding of belief is wrong and will be superseded by a radically different theory that will have no use for the concept of belief as we know it – Known as eliminativism, this view argues that the concept of belief is like obsolete theories of times past such as the four humours theory of medicine, or the phlogiston theory of combustion. In these cases science hasn't provided us with a more detailed account of these theories, but rejected them as valid scientific concepts to be replaced by different accounts; the Churchlands argue that our common-sense concept of belief is similar in that as we discover more about neuroscience and the brain, the inevitable conclusion will be to reject the belief hypothesis in its entirety. Our common-sense unders
In natural theology and philosophy, a cosmological argument is an argument in which the existence of a unique being seen as some kind of god, is deduced or inferred from facts or alleged facts concerning causation, motion, contingency, or finitude in respect of the universe as a whole or processes within it. It is traditionally known as an argument from universal causation, an argument from first cause, or the causal argument, is more a cosmogonical argument. Whichever term is employed, there are three basic variants of the argument, each with subtle yet important distinctions: the arguments from in causa, in esse, in fieri; the basic premises of all of these are the concept of causality. The conclusion of these arguments is first cause, subsequently deemed to be God; the history of this argument goes back to Aristotle or earlier, was developed in Neoplatonism and early Christianity and in medieval Islamic theology during the 9th to 12th centuries, re-introduced to medieval Christian theology in the 13th century by Thomas Aquinas.
The cosmological argument is related to the principle of sufficient reason as addressed by Gottfried Leibniz and Samuel Clarke, itself a modern exposition of the claim that "nothing comes from nothing" attributed to Parmenides. Contemporary defenders of cosmological arguments include William Lane Craig, Robert Koons, Alexander Pruss, William L. Rowe. Plato and Aristotle both posited first cause arguments. In The Laws, Plato posited that all movement in the world and the Cosmos was "imparted motion"; this required a "self-originated motion" to maintain it. In Timaeus, Plato posited a "demiurge" of supreme wisdom and intelligence as the creator of the Cosmos. Aristotle argued against the idea of a first cause confused with the idea of a "prime mover" or "unmoved mover" in his Physics and Metaphysics. Aristotle argued in favor of the idea of several unmoved movers, one powering each celestial sphere, which he believed lived beyond the sphere of the fixed stars, explained why motion in the universe had continued for an infinite period of time.
Aristotle argued the atomist's assertion of a non-eternal universe would require a first uncaused cause – in his terminology, an efficient first cause – an idea he considered a nonsensical flaw in the reasoning of the atomists. Like Plato, Aristotle believed in an eternal cosmos with no end. In what he called "first philosophy" or metaphysics, Aristotle did intend a theological correspondence between the prime mover and deity. According to his theses, immaterial unmoved movers are eternal unchangeable beings that think about thinking, but being immaterial, they are incapable of interacting with the cosmos and have no knowledge of what transpires therein. From an "aspiration or desire", the celestial spheres, imitate that purely intellectual activity as best they can, by uniform circular motion; the unmoved movers inspiring the planetary spheres are no different in kind from the prime mover, they suffer a dependency of relation to the prime mover. Correspondingly, the motions of the planets are subordinate to the motion inspired by the prime mover in the sphere of fixed stars.
Aristotle's natural theology admitted no creation or capriciousness from the immortal pantheon, but maintained a defense against dangerous charges of impiety. Plotinus, a third-century Platonist, taught that the One transcendent absolute caused the universe to exist as a consequence of its existence, his disciple Proclus stated "The One is God". Centuries the Islamic philosopher Avicenna inquired into the question of being, in which he distinguished between essence and existence, he argued that the fact of existence could not be inferred from or accounted for by the essence of existing things, that form and matter by themselves could not originate and interact with the movement of the Universe or the progressive actualization of existing things. Thus, he reasoned that existence must be due to an agent cause that necessitates, gives, or adds existence to an essence. To do so, the cause must be an existing thing. Steven Duncan writes that it "was first formulated by a Greek-speaking Syriac Christian neo-Platonist, John Philoponus, who claims to find a contradiction between the Greek pagan insistence on the eternity of the world and the Aristotelian rejection of the existence of any actual infinite".
Referring to the argument as the "'Kalam' cosmological argument", Duncan asserts that it "received its fullest articulation at the hands of Muslim and Jewish exponents of Kalam. Thomas Aquinas adapted and enhanced the argument he found in his reading of Aristotle and Avicenna to form one of the most influential versions of the cosmological argument, his conception of First Cause was the idea that the Universe must be caused by something, itself uncaused, which he claimed is that which we call God: The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find. There is no case known in.
Problem of evil
The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with an omnipotent and omniscient God. An argument from evil claims that because evil exists, either God does not exist or does not have all three of those properties. Attempts to show the contrary have traditionally been discussed under the heading of theodicy. Besides philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is important to the field of theology and ethics; the problem of evil is formulated in two forms: the logical problem of evil and the evidential problem of evil. The logical form of the argument tries to show a logical impossibility in the coexistence of God and evil, while the evidential form tries to show that given the evil in the world, it is improbable that there is an omnipotent and wholly good God; the problem of evil has been extended to non-human life forms, to include animal suffering from natural evils and human cruelty against them. Responses to various versions of the problem of evil, come in three forms: refutations and theodicies.
A wide range of responses have been made against these arguments. There are many discussions of evil and associated problems in other philosophical fields, such as secular ethics, evolutionary ethics, but as understood, the "problem of evil" is posed in a theological context. The problem of evil acutely applies to monotheistic religions such as Christianity and Judaism that believe in a monotheistic God, omnipotent and omnibenevolent; the problem of evil refers to the challenge of reconciling belief in an omniscient and omnibenevolent God, with the existence of evil and suffering in the world. The problem may be described either experientially or theoretically; the experiential problem is the difficulty in believing in a concept of a loving God when confronted by suffering or evil in the real world, such as from epidemics, or wars, or murder, or rape or terror attacks wherein innocent children, men or a loved one becomes a victim. The problem of evil is a theoretical one described and studied by religion scholars in two varieties: the logical problem and the evidential problem.
Originating with Greek philosopher Epicurus, the logical argument from evil is as follows: If an omnipotent and omniscient god exists evil does not. There is evil in the world. Therefore, an omnipotent and omniscient god does not exist; this argument is of the form modus tollens, is logically valid: If its premises are true, the conclusion follows of necessity. To show that the first premise is plausible, subsequent versions tend to expand on it, such as this modern example: God exists. God is omnipotent and omniscient. An omnipotent being has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence. An omnibenevolent being would want to prevent all evils. An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence, knows every way in which those evils could be prevented. A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil. If there exists an omnipotent and omniscient God no evil exists.
Evil exists. Both of these arguments are understood to be presenting two forms of the'logical' problem of evil, they attempt to show that the assumed propositions lead to a logical contradiction and therefore cannot all be correct. Most philosophical debate has focused on the propositions stating that God cannot exist with, or would want to prevent, all evils, with defenders of theism arguing that God could well exist with and allow evil in order to achieve a greater good. If God lacks any one of these qualities—omniscience, omnipotence, or omnibenevolence—then the logical problem of evil can be resolved. Process theology and open theism are other positions that limit God's omnipotence and/or omniscience. Dystheism is the belief; the evidential problem of evil seeks to show that the existence of evil, although logically consistent with the existence of God, counts against or lowers the probability of the truth of theism. As an example, a critic of Plantinga's idea of "a mighty nonhuman spirit" causing natural evils may concede that the existence of such a being is not logically impossible but argue that due to lacking scientific evidence for its existence this is unlikely and thus it is an unconvincing explanation for the presence of natural evils.
Both absolute versions and relative versions of the evidential problems of evil are presented below. A version by William L. Rowe: There exist instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil bad or worse. An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil bad or worse. There does not exist an omnipotent, wholly good being. Another by Paul Draper: Gratuitous evils exist; the hypothesis of indifference, i.e. that if there are supernatural beings they are indifferent to gratuitous evils, is a better explanation for than theism. Therefore, evidence prefers that no god, as understood by theists, exists; the problem of e
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis was a British writer and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford Cambridge University, he is best known for his works of fiction The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Space Trilogy, for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity and The Problem of Pain. Lewis and fellow novelist J. R. R. Tolkien were close friends, they both served on the English faculty at Oxford University and were active in the informal Oxford literary group known as the Inklings. According to Lewis's memoir Surprised by Joy, he was baptised in the Church of Ireland, but fell away from his faith during adolescence. Lewis returned to Anglicanism at the age of 32, owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, he became an "ordinary layman of the Church of England". Lewis's faith profoundly affected his work, his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim. Lewis wrote more than 30 books which have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies.
The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularised on stage, TV, cinema. His philosophical writings are cited by Christian apologists from many denominations. In 1956, Lewis married American writer Joy Davidman. Lewis died on 22 November 1963 from one week before his 65th birthday. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of his death, Lewis was honoured with a memorial in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, on 29 November 1898, his father was Albert James Lewis, a solicitor whose father Richard had come to Ireland from Wales during the mid-19th century. His mother was Florence Augusta Lewis, née Hamilton, known as Flora, the daughter of a Church of Ireland priest, great granddaughter of both Bishop Hugh Hamilton and John Staples, he had Warren Hamilton Lewis. When Lewis was four, his dog Jacksie was killed by a car, he announced that his name was now Jacksie. At first, he would answer to no other name, but accepted Jack, the name by which he was known to friends and family for the rest of his life.
When he was seven, his family moved into "Little Lea", the family home of his childhood, in the Strandtown area of East Belfast. As a boy, Lewis was fascinated with anthropomorphic animals, he and his brother Warnie created the world of Boxen and run by animals. Lewis loved to read. Lewis was schooled by private tutors until age 9, his father sent him to live and study at Wynyard School in Watford, Hertfordshire. Lewis's brother had enrolled there three years previously; the school was closed not long afterward due to a lack of pupils. Lewis attended Campbell College in the east of Belfast about a mile from his home, but left after a few months due to respiratory problems, he was sent to the health-resort town of Malvern, where he attended the preparatory school Cherbourg House, which Lewis calls "Chartres" in his autobiography. It was during this time that Lewis abandoned his childhood Christian faith and became an atheist, becoming interested in mythology and the occult. In September 1913, Lewis enrolled at Malvern College.
He found the school competitive. After leaving Malvern, he studied with William T. Kirkpatrick, his father's old tutor and former headmaster of Lurgan College; as a teenager, Lewis was wonder-struck by the songs and legends of what he called Northernness, the ancient literature of Scandinavia preserved in the Icelandic sagas. These legends intensified an inner longing that he would call "joy", he grew to love nature. His teenage writings moved away from the tales of Boxen, he began using different art forms, such as epic poetry and opera, to try to capture his new-found interest in Norse mythology and the natural world. Studying with Kirkpatrick instilled in him a love of Greek literature and mythology and sharpened his debate and reasoning skills. In 1916, Lewis was awarded a scholarship at Oxford. Within months of entering Oxford, the British Army shipped him to France to fight in the First World War. In one of his letters, Lewis cited that his experience of the horror of war, along with the loss of his mother and his unhappiness in school, were the bases of his pessimism and atheism.
Lewis experienced a certain cultural shock on first arriving in England: "No Englishman will be able to understand my first impressions of England," Lewis wrote in Surprised by Joy. "The strange English accents with which I was surrounded seemed like the voices of demons. But what was worst was the English landscape... I have made up the quarrel since, he expressed an interest in the Irish language, though there is not much evidence tha
Pascal's Wager is an argument in philosophy presented by the seventeenth-century French philosopher and physicist Blaise Pascal. It posits that humans bet with their lives that God either does not. Pascal argues that a rational person should seek to believe in God. If God does not exist, such a person will have only a finite loss, whereas he stands to receive infinite gains and avoid infinite losses. Pascal's Wager was based on the idea of the Christian God, though similar arguments have occurred in other religious traditions; the original wager was set out in section 233 of Pascal's posthumously published Pensées. These unpublished notes were assembled to form an incomplete treatise on Christian apologetics. Pascal's Wager was groundbreaking because it charted new territory in probability theory, marked the first formal use of decision theory, anticipated future philosophies such as existentialism and voluntarism; the Wager uses the following logic: God is, or God is not. Reason cannot decide between the two alternatives.
A Game is being played... where tails will turn up. You must wager. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all. Wager without hesitation that He is. There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, what you stake is finite, and so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, the infinite to gain. But some cannot believe, they should then'at least learn your inability to believe...' and'Endeavour to convince' themselves. Pascal asks the reader to analyze humankind's position, where our actions can be enormously consequential but our understanding of those consequences is flawed. While we can discern a great deal through reason, we are forced to gamble. Pascal cites a number of distinct areas of uncertainty in human life: Pascal describes humanity as a finite being trapped within an incomprehensible infinity thrust into being from non-being, with no explanation of "Why?" or "What?" or "How?"
On Pascal's view, human finitude constrains our ability to reliably achieve truth. Given that reason alone cannot determine whether God exists, Pascal concludes that this question functions like a coin toss; however if we do not know the outcome of this coin toss, we must base our actions on some expectation about the outcome. We must decide whether to live as though God exists, or whether to live as though God does not exist though we may be mistaken in either case. In Pascal's assessment, participation in this wager is not optional. By existing in a state of uncertainty, we are forced to choose between the available courses of action for practical purposes; the Pensées passage on Pascal's Wager is as follows: If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, having neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is......."God is, or He is not." But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos.
A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither the other. Do not reprove for error those who have made a choice. "No, but I blame them for having made, not this choice, but a choice. The true course is not to wager at all." Yes. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have the true and the good. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose; this is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all. Wager without hesitation that He is. "That is fine. Yes, I must wager. Let us see. Since there is an equal risk of gain and of loss, if you had only to gain two lives, instead of one, you might still wager, but if there were three lives to gain, you would have to play, you would be imprudent, when you are forced to play, not to chance your life to gain three at a game where there is an equal risk of loss and gain.
But there is an eternity of happiness. And this being so, if there were an infinity of chances, of which one only would be for you, you would still be right in wagering one to win two, you would act stupidly, being obliged to play, by refusing to stake one life against three at a game in which out of an infinity of chances there is one for you, if there were an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, but there is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, what you stake is finite. Pascal begins by painting a situation where both