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Old 04-07-2018, 05:30 AM
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Default Pascal...and his wager

A thing I once so summarily dismissed in an ignorance, abetted by its facile use, has had cause for revisit. This cause was prompted by reading a recent quote attributed to him:

"There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous."

This summation in such brevity might also be easily dismissed were it not having a weight (to me) undeniable. Seeing "in part" and therefore declaring "in part" does not preclude a foundation of truth. So, in faith of that recognition, I was persuaded simply: "there's more to this brother than previously surmised" as evidenced by my disregard.

I wondered if the distillation of "his" wager was just that, a derivative of something deeper, perhaps never intended to be so concluded in a few sentences. I was glad to be shown so wrong in my dismissal.

I do not seek his now endorsement from those things I have found agreeable in his considerations, for I have not even begun (nor do intend) an exhaustive dive into the words he has left.

It is enough for me to be reproved of my presumption regarding him, and perhaps offer some relief to those who have felt compelled to something of that sort...likewise. Based only on a passing familiarity with what seemed his sine qua non expression of faith.

As Hummerpoo said here:

Yes, if we look, we find that the same sort of mischaracterizations, inaccuracies, and unrelated issue tactics were used long ago as are being used today. And I would point out that they are found on both sides of most issues, at one time or another.
I ain't the most self aware man, Bobby, but if I met myself in a dark alley, ain't both of us gunna walk out...and mos' probbly, neither of us" Jimmy "Packrat" Soos, "Partners at the Great Divide"

Last edited by Israel; 04-09-2018 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:40 AM
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From what I understand Pascal had advanced much of his reasoning (of which his wager was a part) axiomatically upon the conviction that no man can escape this wager. No man does "opt out", or can. It seems for him the central matter of all consciousness and those finding themselves "in it".

I do not disagree, even if one may see he must concede much to being a given to advance it. Though it is for us as believers (is it not?) the central matter in which all men are engaged, our seeing may find itself hobbled in apologia (as I believe his may be) if seeking to set all the parameters for argument on the table in such terms.

We have seen this. Men are clever. And men also know that he who defines the terms of an argument (or is allowed to) has already prevailed in that. Therefore the more clever will not concede to the setting of such propositions to a limit if their engagement is to be circumscribed by the terms of another. It's to any, a de facto surrender at the start.

How often have we heard "which god?" And probably rightly so. The believer in Jesus Christ is not concerned with matters outside those of the will of the Father of Jesus Christ, he is not contending for just "any" god. Or persuaded (and perhaps seeking to persuade) according to belief in just any god as salutary to the soul. Nevertheless, in contending, how often do we find the presumed equivalency of "all gods" presented? This is at the very least obfuscatory, and perhaps frustrating (as it need be) to one who, believing his call in defense of the faith, seeks to keep "his God" alone on the table for discussion.

Likewise, a clever tactic is to argue from the place of being in cognito. Shifting, at will, ones identity in the matter, so that any opposition, or argument sought to be presented in opposition, is itself undercut by the shifting identity of the one opposed. Opposition always demands a firm target.

This we have also seen. The "atheist" is more than willing to abandon that appellation to seek further confounding. And I am not convinced this is an unfair tactic...for it sharpens us, even if we see the feint is not honest brokerage for his own soul. He will have to deal with that dissonance, himself. And rightly he should be left to it.

We encounter this now when the atheist seeks (but only for argument's sake) to divest himself of that term that allows him to be engaged as opposition. Yes, if he can remain shifty in argument to himself opposition fails...for it cannot identify him. And this is how it now often presents; in willingness to abandon a definition. And thereby escape as target in argument.

"I am no more an atheist than I am an "A-unicornist" for neither exist to me and am no more living compelled to deny a "god" than I live in obligation to deny unicorns".

The adversary is clever. But, we wrestle not with flesh and blood.

Our conviction is not toward clever argument, nor more clever argument. For the believer the matter of "keeping the right God on the table" must become moot. In every way. Our conviction is this, must be, and will be: "this is already done". The "right" God has already subjected himself to all tearing open. Indeed the only God who alone is right...has done this.

And it is we ourselves called to that table. We are either on it (with Him) or not. The cleverest of arguments laid there can never be substitute for the honor that calls us.

We have the privilege amongst the whole of the world, and every faithful witness in Heaven (and who yet may remain in earth) to, no less than Paul, declare the "unknown God". Acts 17

The "known god" is easily dismissed by the adversary, the god of man's traditions and dependent upon man's endorsement. The One who "got away", and continues so far above through the resurrection remains the One who, try as he might, can never truly get his hands on to hold down.

And He...is.

For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

It is we...who are now on the table.
I ain't the most self aware man, Bobby, but if I met myself in a dark alley, ain't both of us gunna walk out...and mos' probbly, neither of us" Jimmy "Packrat" Soos, "Partners at the Great Divide"
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