Bible Discussion: Blaise Pascal (Yep, You Guessed It)

Blaise Pascal (Yep, You Guessed It)
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Dr. Jason Gastrich
2004-01-13 17:27:59 EST
Blaise Pascal was a brilliant, Christian scientist.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), was renowned as the "Father of the Science of
Hydrostatics." He helped to found the principles of hydrodynamics and made
invaluable contributions in the areas of the mathematical treatment of conic
sections, the theory of probability and differential calculus, with the
invention of Pascal's triangle for calculating the coefficients of a
binomial expansion. He also helped in developing the barometer through his
discoveries in fluid mechanics, knows as "Pascal's Principle." He wrote his
Lettres provinciales in 1656-57, and in 1670, his highly influential
religious work, entitled Pensees sur la religion, was published. In it,
Blaise Pascal wrote:
"Men blaspheme what they don't know." - 1670, in Pensees, no. 556. John
Bartlett, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (Boston: Little, Brown and Company,
1855, 1980), p. 300.

Blaise Pascal was well-known for his famous "Wager of Pascal":

"How can anyone lose who chooses to become a Christian? If, when he dies,
there turns out to be no God and his faith was in vain, he has lost
nothing - in fact, he has been happier in life than his nonbelieving
friends. If, however, there is a God and a heaven and hell, then he has
gained heaven and his skeptical friends will have lost everything in
ell!" - Wager of Pascal. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science - Men of God (El
Cajon, CA: Master Books, Creation Life Publishers, Inc., 1990), pp. 15-16.

In his work, Thoughts , Letters, and Opuscules, Blaise Pascal declared:

"We know God only through Jesus Christ. Without this Mediator, is taken
away all communication with God; through Jesus Christ we know God. All
those who have pretended to know God, and prove Him without Jesus Christ,
have only had impotent proofs."

But, to prove Jesus Christ we have the prophecies which are good and valid
proofs. And those prophecies, being fulfilled and truly proved by the
event, indicate the certainty of these truths, and therefore the truth of
the divinity of Jesus Christ. In Him, and by Him, then, we know God.
Otherwise, and without Scripture, without original sin, without a necessary
Mediator, we can not absolutely prove God, nor teach a good doctrine and
sound morals."

"But by Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ, we prove God and teach doctrine
and morals. Jesus Christ, then, is the true God of men. Not only do we
know God only through Jesus Christ, but we know ourselves only through Jesus
Christ."

"We know life, death, only through Jesus Christ. Except by Jesus Christ we
know not what life is, what our death is, what God is, what we ourselves
are. Thus, without Scripture, which has only Jesus Christ for its object,
we know nothing, and we see not only obscurity and confusion in the nature
of God, but in nature herself. Without Jesus Christ, man must be in sin and
misery; with Jesus Christ, man is exempt from sin and misery. In Him is all
our virtue, and all our felicity. Out of Him, there is nothing but sin,
misery, error, darkness, death, and despair." - O.W. Wight, translator from
the French Language, Thoughts, Letters, and Opuscules, pp. 334-335. Stephen
Abbott Northrop, D.D., A Cloud of Witnesses (Portland, OR: American Heritage
Ministries, 1987), p. 352-353.

After His death, Pascal left in his effects this writing:

"The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob," not of
philosophers and scholars." - 1662, in a writing of his found in his
effects after his death. John Bartlett, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
(Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1855, 1980), p. 300.

See http://michaelnewdow.com for more!

--

Jesus Christ Saves Ministries
http://www.jcsm.org
Over 60,000 web pages!

John 8:36 reads, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free
indeed."

Galatians 5:1 reads, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ
has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."

ICQ#: 20731140
AIM: MrJasonGastrich
YIM: Jesus_Saved_Jason
MSN: jasongastrich@hotmail.com


Thore Schmechtig
2004-01-13 17:59:27 EST
> Blaise Pascal was well-known for his famous "Wager of Pascal":

Indeed, famous for his logical error.
His "reasoning" fits any faith of the world. If we were to follow is
wager, we just would have to pick the faith with the worst "hell" for
the unbelievers. Contrary to what "christians" delude themselves into,
Pascal's wager is useless to them.



UNWRITTEN RULES OF (PSEUDO-CHRISTIAN) FUNDAMENTALISM

1. "I'm right and you are wrong".
2. Never admit that you are wrong, even if you really are.
3. When you have nothing to say, hurl insults.
4. Regard and portray your own violence, whether physical,
psychological,
or verbal, at all times as defensive
4a. Specific example for 4.: Cry for "freedom of religion", but
whenever followers of other faiths want the same freedom and courts
agree, scream "Persecution!"
5. Be prepared at all times to lie and bluster, particularly when backed
into a corner in an argument
6. Never accept responsibility for any mess you have personally caused.
7. When you are forced to admit to an error, regard the whole process of
error and correction as part of God's personal plan for you and not as a
something for which you should apologise retract or make amends except
verbally and secretly to God himself
8. Always see yourself and you personal actions as part of God's plans
for
the world. Recognise that even your errors are just part of Gods will
for
the betterment of mankind.
9.Profess humility but avoid the actual experience of it.
10.Refuse to take in information that differs from your own view and
oppose all such information through classification of such information
in
a derogatory and simplistic manner(eg by categorising it as left wing
propaganda)
11.Refuse to accept that truth is not black and white; that reality is
complex and there are shades of grey
12.Refuse to forgive anyone else for anything unless you purport to
forgive on behalf of other people unconnected with you for whom you
don't
have that right anyhow.


Eric Gill
2004-01-13 18:34:06 EST
"Dr. Jason Gastrich" <news@jcsm.org> wrote in news:iCrMb.58716$C87.36515
@twister.socal.rr.com:

<snip>

> Blaise Pascal was well-known for his famous "Wager of Pascal":

Also known as "Fallacy of Exclusion, Textbook Case."

It does, however, lend invaluable insight into the thought process of the
religious, and how some can ignore obvious problems with their irrational
beliefs and yet function, sometimes very well, in what they believe to be
unrelated fields.

<snip>


R. Dunno
2004-01-13 19:14:09 EST
Dr. Jason Gastrich <news@jcsm.org> wrote:
>
[snip Pascal's Wager]

Yeah, but if you're in the game because of Pascal's Wager, you're in
because of reward, not belief.


Dr. Desertphile
2004-01-13 19:32:42 EST
On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 22:27:59 +0000 (UTC), "Dr. Jason Gastrich"
<*s@jcsm.org> wrote:

> Blaise Pascal was a brilliant, Christian scientist.

Charles Darwin was a brilliant, Christian Scientist.

--
"To the bat tank!" --- Tank Girl
"You're the thickest piece of dung ever to masquerade as an intellectual."
--- Uncle Davey, talk.origins newsgroup, 10Jan2004


David Wise
2004-01-13 21:17:10 EST
Ah, yes, "Pascal's Wager". Years ago in a face-to-face conversation
with a creationist, he offered practically no defense nor comment to
the several creation-science errors I asked him about. Then he hit me
with what he thought would blow me away: "after-life insurance",
Pascal's Wager dressed up as a car insurance analogy. Since I was
familiar with the Wager, I was able to point out the several things
wrong with his argument, namely that we are being asked to pay
outrageously exorbinant premiums on a policy that will only pay off in
the most improbable circumstances -- using his car insurance analogy,
it would only pay if you were hit by a green Edsel -- on the
northbound side of the Santa Ana Freeway -- while it was exceeding the
speed limit -- backing up -- at night -- with its lights off -- being
driven by a one-armed Lithuanian midget.

You can read my page on that encounter and discussing the Wager at
http://members.aol.com/dwise1/cre_ev/wager.html .

Share and enjoy.


"Dr. Jason Gastrich" <news@jcsm.org> wrote in message news:<iCrMb.58716$C87.36515@twister.socal.rr.com>...
> Blaise Pascal was a brilliant, Christian scientist.
>
> Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), was renowned as the "Father of the Science of
> Hydrostatics." He helped to found the principles of hydrodynamics and made
> invaluable contributions in the areas of the mathematical treatment of conic
> sections, the theory of probability and differential calculus, with the
> invention of Pascal's triangle for calculating the coefficients of a
> binomial expansion. He also helped in developing the barometer through his
> discoveries in fluid mechanics, knows as "Pascal's Principle." He wrote his
> Lettres provinciales in 1656-57, and in 1670, his highly influential
> religious work, entitled Pensees sur la religion, was published. In it,
> Blaise Pascal wrote:
> "Men blaspheme what they don't know." - 1670, in Pensees, no. 556. John
> Bartlett, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (Boston: Little, Brown and Company,
> 1855, 1980), p. 300.
>
> Blaise Pascal was well-known for his famous "Wager of Pascal":
>
> "How can anyone lose who chooses to become a Christian? If, when he dies,
> there turns out to be no God and his faith was in vain, he has lost
> nothing - in fact, he has been happier in life than his nonbelieving
> friends. If, however, there is a God and a heaven and hell, then he has
> gained heaven and his skeptical friends will have lost everything in
> ell!" - Wager of Pascal. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science - Men of God (El
> Cajon, CA: Master Books, Creation Life Publishers, Inc., 1990), pp. 15-16.
>
> In his work, Thoughts , Letters, and Opuscules, Blaise Pascal declared:
>
> "We know God only through Jesus Christ. Without this Mediator, is taken
> away all communication with God; through Jesus Christ we know God. All
> those who have pretended to know God, and prove Him without Jesus Christ,
> have only had impotent proofs."
>
> But, to prove Jesus Christ we have the prophecies which are good and valid
> proofs. And those prophecies, being fulfilled and truly proved by the
> event, indicate the certainty of these truths, and therefore the truth of
> the divinity of Jesus Christ. In Him, and by Him, then, we know God.
> Otherwise, and without Scripture, without original sin, without a necessary
> Mediator, we can not absolutely prove God, nor teach a good doctrine and
> sound morals."
>
> "But by Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ, we prove God and teach doctrine
> and morals. Jesus Christ, then, is the true God of men. Not only do we
> know God only through Jesus Christ, but we know ourselves only through Jesus
> Christ."
>
> "We know life, death, only through Jesus Christ. Except by Jesus Christ we
> know not what life is, what our death is, what God is, what we ourselves
> are. Thus, without Scripture, which has only Jesus Christ for its object,
> we know nothing, and we see not only obscurity and confusion in the nature
> of God, but in nature herself. Without Jesus Christ, man must be in sin and
> misery; with Jesus Christ, man is exempt from sin and misery. In Him is all
> our virtue, and all our felicity. Out of Him, there is nothing but sin,
> misery, error, darkness, death, and despair." - O.W. Wight, translator from
> the French Language, Thoughts, Letters, and Opuscules, pp. 334-335. Stephen
> Abbott Northrop, D.D., A Cloud of Witnesses (Portland, OR: American Heritage
> Ministries, 1987), p. 352-353.
>
> After His death, Pascal left in his effects this writing:
>
> "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob," not of
> philosophers and scholars." - 1662, in a writing of his found in his
> effects after his death. John Bartlett, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
> (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1855, 1980), p. 300.
>
> See http://michaelnewdow.com for more!
>
> --
>
> Jesus Christ Saves Ministries
> http://www.jcsm.org
> Over 60,000 web pages!
>
> John 8:36 reads, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free
> indeed."
>
> Galatians 5:1 reads, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ
> has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."
>
> ICQ#: 20731140
> AIM: MrJasonGastrich
> YIM: Jesus_Saved_Jason
> MSN: jasongastrich@hotmail.com


Tom McDonald
2004-01-13 21:36:13 EST
Dr. Jason Gastrich wrote:

> Blaise Pascal was a brilliant, Christian scientist.

<snip history of Pascal's Wager>

> See http://michaelnewdow.com for more!
>

Jason,

You won't see this 'cause you've got me killfiled; but perhaps
others would be intrigued to learn that Jason has quoted from
Michael Newdow's site about the Founders of the US of A.

Curiously, Blaise Pascal is listed (along with other
non-Founders) as a Founder of the US of A. Blaise, of course,
was a brilliant, if decidedly odd, man. A Frenchman. Who lived
over 100 years before the Declaration of Independence.

But then again, Mr. Newdow has to come up with a Founder a Week
who he can quote (or quotemine) as supporting his proposition
that the US of A is a Christian nation, and ought to formally
recognize that. Nice man, huh?

Tom McDonald


Tom McDonald
2004-01-13 21:40:39 EST
Dr. Jason Gastrich wrote:

> Blaise Pascal was a brilliant, Christian scientist.

<snip>

> See http://michaelnewdow.com for more!
>

Whoops. My mistake. Jason is responsible for the web page, and
hosts it on his oft-flacked site.

Michael Newdow is the atheist who wants to get the recent
addition (during the McCarthy years) 'under God' taken out of the
Pledge of Allegiance, to make it read as it did when it was
originally adopted.

Sorry.

Tom McDonald


Friar 386sx
2004-01-14 00:47:37 EST
Eric Gill writes:

> Dr. Jason Gastrich wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>> Blaise Pascal was well-known for his famous "Wager of Pascal":
>
> Also known as "Fallacy of Exclusion, Textbook Case."
>
> It does, however, lend invaluable insight into the thought process of the
> religious, and how some can ignore obvious problems with their irrational
> beliefs and yet function, sometimes very well, in what they believe to be
> unrelated fields.
>
> <snip>

Actually, I think perhaps what Pascal was trying to do was face the problems
head on. If there was anybody who ever ignored obvious problems with their
religious beliefs, it wasn't Pascal; although it is true that in the end he
may have merely tried to resolve a problem with a problem. (Although, in
fairness, it seems that the Pensees were never finished. ;-)

http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/pensees/pensees-SECTION-3.html

"Who then will blame Christians for not being able to give a reason for
their belief, since they profess a religion for which they cannot give a
reason? They declare, in expounding it to the world, that it is a
foolishness, stultitiam; and then you complain that they do not prove
it! If they proved it, they would not keep their word; it is in lacking
proofs that they are not lacking in sense. 'Yes, but although this
excuses those who offer it as such and takes away from them the blame of
putting it forward without reason, it does not excuse those who receive
it.' Let us then examine this point, and say, 'God is, or He is not.'
But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here.
There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played
at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will
turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither
the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend neither
of the propositions."

To him, it was not possible to logically reach the conclusion of "God," so
for Pascal the most persuasive argument, in general, would be that one would
be foolish not play the safest bet.

"Do not, then, reprove for error those who have made a choice; for you
know nothing about it. 'No, but I blame them for having made, not this
choice, but a choice; for again both he who chooses heads and he who
chooses tails are equally at fault, they are both in the wrong. The
true course is not to wager at all.'"

"Yes; but you must wager. It is not optional. ..."

He doesn't tell us why it isn't optional, other than to say things such as
"The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing." And that's a
problem; because anybody could say that about anything, period. Why
Mr. Gastrich would want to use this when the good Dr. apparently believes
there are no logical problems with his religion, I dunno.

--
meme-complex \meem kompleks\, n. The freedom to worship god his way.

"You are perfectly welcome to worship God your way, I will worship Him
His way." -- Roberts


David
2004-01-14 01:27:47 EST
Tom McDonald <tmcdonald2672@nohormelcharter.net> wrote:

> Dr. Jason Gastrich wrote:
>
> > Blaise Pascal was a brilliant, Christian scientist.
>
> <snip>
>
> > See http://michaelnewdow.com for more!
> >
>
> Whoops. My mistake. Jason is responsible for the web page, and
> hosts it on his oft-flacked site.
>
> Michael Newdow is the atheist who wants to get the recent
> addition (during the McCarthy years) 'under God' taken out of the
> Pledge of Allegiance, to make it read as it did when it was
> originally adopted.

Well I wonder what Jason's motive could be for slandering Michael Newdow
(sarcasm off).

Pascal was a founding father? Jason you have so many to choose from,
can't you put a few more 'real' founding fathers on that site to make it
look legitimate? A reasonable person would assume you are picking random
people out of the encylopedia.

Also shouldn't you be picking Christians to be making your point? Or is
your point to display your ignorance to the world? It's enough to make
anyone think your book is a pile of .....pick your foul smell.....

David

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