Grootager Argument

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The Investigation into Two Objections to Pascal’s Wager
In his essay “Wagering belief: examining two objections to Pascal’s wager,” D. Groothuis (1994) provides two explanations of objections to Pascal’s wager. He first begins to explain the basic structure of Pascal’s wager and then proceeds to critique two objections against it. The first of these examinations is whether Pascal’s guide for invoking belief involve a forced brainwashing. The second is why a theistic belief for salvation may or may not be sufficient for a theological argument. As a basic structure for his argument, Pascal’s wager attempts to make the reader want to believe in God despite whatever their current belief may be. Groothuis shares how the wager claims it is ‘safer
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480). Groothuis informs us of Pascal’s belief in a cupidity versus charity way of looking at life, in that ‘you can follow fallen nature or you can follow grace’ (p. 480). Pascal agreed that the sceptic’s ‘passions’ of self-interest prevent theistic belief because grace should cause him to believe. This cancels out brainwashing and calls for ‘testing’ of faith. Jesus tells that having pride in one’s status can prevent them from seeing their true identity (p. 481). Groothuis gives a clear example of this in a story of a great actor, now old, who is jealous of a new actor that was as just as great as he was. Despite his jealousy, he takes his friend’s advice and agrees to watch several of the younger actor’s films. Afterwards, he now confesses his greatness for the young actor, thus removing his past ‘blindness of his pride.’ This fallen nature causes us to steer from our humbleness that guides us to a …show more content…
483). As critics John Hick, William James and others point out, ‘a deity demanding belief is egotistical and not worthy of religious consideration’ (p. 483). Pascal’s argument for this however, is that those who make the wager and are given faith end up being able to receive certain spiritual and ethical benefits they may not otherwise be able to access. Groothuis provides an example of a violinist that regardless of ability, will need a master tutor to become better. A teacher is needed and the student must believe in the ability of the teacher to teach and so the violinist can advance (p. 484). To find faith one has to recognize their need for salvation and grace; they have to believe in the mediator, Jesus, in order to receive said grace. Groothuis then notes that Pascal seems to direct all of his explanation towards Christianity, as can be seen by his explicit examples of engaging in Christian religious practices. This is because we only know God through Jesus, and that without him, all communication with God would be broken off (p. 485).Belief in the deity is necessary, but not a sufficient condition for eternal

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