Philosophy 1020 Lecture Notes - Jansenism

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An argument for the rationality of religious belief. Pascal thought the arguments for the existence of god were not compelling, and also that the arguments against the existence of god were not compelling. He thought we were caught in inescapable ignorance about whether god exists or not. Pascal"s fundamental vision: in a situation of insurmountable uncertainty the best we can do is think about probabilities and make a rational best guess. He proposed that if can t settle the truth of the matter about the existence of god, we should ask a different question: Where g stands for the proposition that god exists, along with the traditional (christian) eschatological story. Believing in god is a game of chance, we make a good bet with the information we have. The only way to be sure of avoiding the big loss, and to have a chance at the big.

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