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Taking Pascal's wager : faith, evidence, and the abundant life

Author: Michael Rota
Publisher: Downers Grove, Illinois : InterVarsity Press, an imprint of Intervarsity Press, [2016]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Since we can't know with absolute certainty that God exists, each of us in a sense makes a bet. If we believe in God and are right, the benefits include eternal life. If we are wrong, the downside is limited. On the other hand, we might not believe in God. If we are right, then we will have lived in line with reality. If we are wrong, however, the consequences could be eternally disastrous. This was the challenge  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Rota, Michael, 1975- author.
Taking Pascal's wager
Downers Grove : InterVarsity Press, 2016
(DLC) 2016010662
Named Person: Blaise Pascal
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Rota
ISBN: 9780830851362 0830851364
OCLC Number: 921867642
Notes: Includes indexes.
Description: 248 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Part 1. Uncertainity and commitment. A curious offer --
Pascal's wager: the basic argument --
Objections to the wager: moral reservations and the cost of commitment --
More objections to the wager: other religions and Christianity --
Part 2. Evidence. Where did physical things come from? --
Why is the universe just right for life? --
A primer on probability --
God and the multiverse --
The beauty and existential resonance of Christianity --
Counterevidence: divine hiddenness and evil --
Historical evidence for Christianity: the resurrection --
Miracle or myth? --
Part 3. Saying yes to God. Dietrich Bonhoeffer --
Jean Vanier --
Immaculée Ilibagiza --
Conclusion: Taking the wager.
Responsibility: Michael Rota.

Abstract:

"Since we can't know with absolute certainty that God exists, each of us in a sense makes a bet. If we believe in God and are right, the benefits include eternal life. If we are wrong, the downside is limited. On the other hand, we might not believe in God. If we are right, then we will have lived in line with reality. If we are wrong, however, the consequences could be eternally disastrous. This was the challenge posed by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal over three hundred years ago. But Michael Rota contends that Pascal's argument is still compelling today. Since there is much to gain (for ourselves as well as for others) and relatively little to lose, the wise decision is to seek a relationship with God and live a Christian life. Rota considers Pascal's wager and the roles of uncertainty, evidence and faith in making a commitment to God. By engaging with themes such as decision theory, the fine-tuning of the universe, divine hiddenness, the problem of evil, the historicity of the resurrection and the nature of miracles, he probes the many dynamics at work in embracing the Christian faith. In addition, Rota takes a turn not found in many books of philosophy. He looks at the actual effects of such a commitment in three recent, vivid, examples--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jean Vanier and Immaculée Ilibagiza. Like Pascal, Rota leaves us with a question: What wager will we make?"--Back cover.

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