A Philosophic Analysis of Face Masks

The answer lies in the work of the 17th century, French philosopher Blaise Pascal. He is well-known for a concept called “Pascal’s Wager.

Pascal was not studying the epidemiology of viral transmission. Pascal wanted to answer the question, “should we believe in God?He posited that humans live their lives in a gamble whether or not God exists.

We do not get to choose to play the game. The game is in progress as soon as we are born. God exists, or He/She does not. It is a yes or no question. Two options. The answer to this eternal question is known, but humanity discovers the truth at the time of death. We wager with our lives.

Pascal argues a rational person chooses to live as though God exists. Regardless of the actual existence of God, it is a good bet.

If correct, a believer would gain eternal life in heaven and avoid eternal suffering in Hell. If the gamble was wrong, and God does not exist, the believer would only experience a small amount of sacrifice during their lifetime.

Pascal recommended believing in God because the potential win, eternal happiness, far outweighs the risk of believing — even if it turns out God does not exist.

The rational decision is to choose infinite gain over a finite loss.

According to Pascal, a life lead gambling as though God does not exist is irrational. One might experience a slight increase in earthly gains but risk eternal damnation after death.

Pascal’s Wager: A coin toss we all must play. In the end, there is only one winner.

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