Pascal’s argument is fallible because he reaches the conclusion that we should “wager” God’s existence, rather than coming up with “proof” by using deductive reasoning like Descartes provides in his argument. These early 17th century philosophers both provided writings defending the validity of the Christian religion and of God’s existence. After the Protestant Reformation of 1517, the Catholic Church’s sanctity was questioned. Different religions sprouted across Europe and citizens of Western Europe began questioning religion itself and the existence of God. Blaise Pascal and Rene Descartes each claimed to have a strong belief in Catholicism (or a denomination of), and because of this strong belief, they sought to defend the validity of the existence of God. Pascal wrote a collection of aphorisms which he started to revise into a writing he would call the “Apology of Christian Religion”. However, Pascal died before he was able to complete it. In Pascal’s Pensees (his writings were collected and organized in the 19th century and 20th century), Pascal systematically dismantles the notion that we, the people, can trust reason to validate God’s Existence. Pascal rambles on about what “we” can’t do to prove God, instead of finding his own proof of God’s existence. His approach to persuade us into believing God is to use mathematical equations and odds to reach the conclusion that it is worth it to a person to wager on God’s existence. Descartes on the other hand, uses deductive reasoning and a systematic approach in a philosophical treatise he called “Meditations on First Philosophy”. In “Meditations”, Descartes provides six meditations each provided a separate argument proving God’s existence and reaches the conclusion that God’s existence in undeniable (I will only use two and sum up the other three in my argument). Obviously neither was able to accomplish their goal, however I will show how and why Descartes’ argument is more persuasive... [continues]
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