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Lecture 4

Philosophy 1020 Lecture 4: Sept 18th Intro to Phil.docx

Course Code
PHIL 1020
Dennis Klimchuk

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Intro to Phil
Sept 18th 2014
Venice Marivani
Metaphysics- the nature of reality
Pascal Wager
-Not an argument against or for the existence of God, but the argument that it is rational
to behave in a certain way that believes God to exist
-Begins with the idea of the infinite but we are ignorant of its nature
-Wants to introduce the idea of things we know exist but do not know the nature of
-Infinite: the idea of series that never end
-Know that numbers are never ending
-Numbers are finite
1. “If there is a God, he in infinitely incomprehensible.”
It’s an unavoidable question
The nature of god is incomprehensible
2. “You must wager. It is not optional.”
You must pick a side
Should wager on the side that believes God exists because all the benefits
are on that side
Have nothing to lose, but have something to lose on the side that does not
3. “If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
If you find out God does not exist, you will have lived a life full of faith
and joy and end up having nothing to lose
4. “Wager, then, without hesitation, that He is.”
-Even if it’s false, its an illusion worth buying into because it evidently makes you
How can one make oneself believe?
1. “Endeavor…to convince yourself, not by increase of proofs of God, but by the
abatement of your passions”
2. “Follow the way by which they began, by acting, this will naturally make you
believe and deaden your acuteness- “But this is what I am afraid of” And why?
What have you to lose?
Says that if you behave as though you have the belief then the belief really
will come
This will make you believe and make your skeptism disappear
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