Religion and Gambling
Posted by Myretta on February 02, 1998 at 20:54:52:
The O&L Site that Kate referenced earlier has a page of "leading questions." The first question deals with a quote from the third of the book we are in now, actually deals with the whole story:
"Our whole faith is a wager, Miss Leplastrier. We bet -- it is all in Pascal and very wise it is too, although the Queen of England might find him not nearly Presbyterian enough -- we bet that there is a God. We bet our life on it. We calculate the odds, the return, that we shall sit with the saints in paradise. Our anxiety about our bet will wake us before dawn in a cold sweat." He continues, "I cannot see, "he said, "that such a God, whose fundamental requirement of us is that we gamble our mortal souls, every second of our temporal existence. . . It is true! We must gamble every instant of our allotted span. We must stake everything on the unprovable fact of His existance."
At first blush, this statement of Oscar's makes him sound like a doubter. How can a truly religious man regard his religion as a gamble? On second look, though, it seems to me that Oscar is, instead, a man who has thought long about his beliefs and concluded that he cannot know the real consequence of either the belief or of the action. Is this Kierkegaard's "leap of faith"? Is Oscar a truly devout man?
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