Episode 12 kicks off a short, 2-part series on Pascal’s Wager. I remember hearing the wager years ago thinking to myself it sounded pretty reasonable. If Christianity is true, there’s tons to gain, and if it’s false, very little to lose. That seems to make it pretty rational to commit to God. It wasn’t until years later that I heard good objections to the Wager–the kind of objections that really made me doubt its validity.
Fortunately for us, we have an expert on Pascal’s Wager, Dr. Michael Rota, to help us think through this very interesting argument. He’s written a book entitled Taking Pascal’s Wager where he updates the argument and defends it against the biggest objections. If sound, Dr. Rota’s version of the Wager makes it reasonable to commit to God even if you’re just 50% sure of his existence, thus, lowering the bar for Natural Theology. Definitely give this one a listen!
Dr. Michael Rota
Dr. Rota has been on the philosophy faculty at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) since 2005. As of Sept 2018, he’s Professor of Philosophy at UST and a Program Officer at the Templeton Religion Trust. In his recent book Taking Pascal’s Wager, he gives an extended argument for the reasonableness and desirability of Christian commitment. From 2010-2016, he and Dean Zimmerman co-organized the St. Thomas Summer Seminars in Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology. He is currently doing preliminary research for a book on slavery and religion, in which he and the sociologist Kevin Bales will be writing together.
Check out his website here.
No joke, I was never really impressed by Pascal’s Wager until recording this interview. It really had me thinking. Part 2 is equally good. Be on the lookout for it!
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