Category — English Proverbs
Those familiar with philosophy have likely come across what is known as Pascal’s Gamble (a.k.a. Pascal’s Wager or Pascal’s Gambit). Pascal’s Gamble considers the existence of God from the sole basis of reason, and his conclusion is that one cannot either prove or disprove the existence of God by reason alone. However, he proposes that the question of God’s existence MUST be answered in each person’s life as a matter of faith. He therefore developed a probability theory (Pascal was a mathematician and physicist as well) to address the proposition of God’s existence. Which leads us to today’s quote, “better to be safe than sorry”.
“It is better to be safe than sorry.” – English Proverb
Believe it or not, that is the conclusion that Pascal’s scientific analysis resulted in – better safe than sorry. Let me explain Pascal’s logic…
- The existence of God is a 50:50 proposition, either He is or He isn’t, like flipping a coin can only result in either heads or tails.
- Consider faith in God as a game, where when you play, only heads or only tails will come up.
- By using only reason, you cannot prove or disprove either position.
- You must choose, and thus you must take the gamble and make a wager.
- In your choosing, weigh the potential for loss and gain. If you choose God and win, you have everything to gain. If you choose God and lose, you lose nothing. If you choose against God and win, you have little to gain. If you choose against God and lose, you have everything to lose.
- Wager therefore that God is, and by so doing you have an infinitely happy life to gain against a finite chance of loss. What you have at stake is finite, what you have to gain in this life and the next is infinite.
- By reason or logic, when you have a game of chance with an equal probability of outcome, and one possible outcome has nothing at stake but infinite potential gain, then choose that one.
Even if you are struggling with faith, if you choose that God is, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
You can learn more about Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662) here.
Related quotes: “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best“.
October 31, 2010 2 Comments
Have you noticed a common thread among my posts this week? Other than none of the quotes have been from the Bible? Hint hint it might have to do with my travel schedule…
In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know out friends.
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.
You can bring a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.
So what’s the common thread?
October 22, 2010 1 Comment
There is a very popular quote about teaching, or preaching, or even just talking to someone who might hear, but they don’t listen. You may have brought them to the water, or maybe even brought the water to them, but they’re just either not thirsty enough or too stubborn to drink.
“A man may well bring a horse to the water, but he cannot make him drink.” – John Heywood, English Writer
As Christians, we feel that we must convert the world to faith in Jesus Christ, and that is a whole lot easier said than done. So while we work and aspire to that, let’s not fall into the temptation of discouragement when our testimony falls on deaf ears. Rather than telling yourself, “cast not your pearls before the swine”, perhaps it is better to accept your role as nothing more than a simple messenger. Remember the words of Paul to the Corinthians:
“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” – 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
We are messengers that plant seeds and water them, but at the end of the day it is God’s work. Let us not become weary in well doing, or in giving our testimony of the Gospel. Just do the job God has assigned you and He will do the rest. Yes, the saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” is true, but you’ll never know unless you first bring him to the water. And if you know a horse that is thirsty, bring him to the water and he will drink.
October 21, 2010 1 Comment