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This is part of a series of notes in response to "What's So Great About Christianity" by Dinesh D'Souza
Chapter 17 | A Skeptic's Wager: Pascal and the Reasonableness of Faith
D'Souza continues in the same vein as the previous chapter, reiterating the limits of science and stating that faith allows one to transcend those limits to know things about the "outer realm." I still fail to see how one can place any reliability in truths attained by faith. If, by definition, science and reason cannot attain any truths outside of their respective domains... what is the domain of faith? Anything that is unsupported by evidence? How can one be certain or even reasonably sure about what they have faith in? Is it only sure if there's a pre-existing religion with enough followers all having faith in the same thing?
And what is the evidence for Christianity as compared to those with faith in other religions? Are those with faith in other supernatural beings or hypotheses justified since they, too, have faith?
An appeal to Pascal's wager has always frustrated me. How might one, as D'Souza ends his chapter, "...live a good and moral life, and to live as if God did indeed exist"? If this simply means living in a way which is thought to satisfy the hypothetical Christian God, then many will probably have no issues with aligning their lives with most of the deeds valued by such a being. But what if this wager entails belief of any sort? I have not the slightest idea, yet, how I could force belief of some sort. It's just not there. The switch flipped and I find it incredibly unlikely that God exists. Now what? Just choose to believe in order to have a chance at heaven? I have found things at least slightly more complicated than this.
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