Blaise Pascal

An Example of Voluntarism: Can we choose to believe?



A. GodÕs existence is not rationally knowable Š


B. The Wager Š either God does or doesnÕt exist


1. Two States:


a. God exists


b. God does not exist


2. Two Acts:


a. We believe that God exists


b. We donÕt believe that God exists


3. Four Results:


a. God exists and we believe Š salvation


b. God exits and we donÕt believe Š damnation


c. God doesnÕt exist and we believe Š moral life (no salvation)


d. God doesnÕt exist and we donÕt believe Š immoral life (no salvation)


C. Habituating Ourselves to Belief


1. Control the passions


2. Follow the example of those who do believe


3. By acting as if you believe, you will eventually believe