COLL E103 truth or eternal damnation

COLL E103 truth or eternal damnation - 1 COLL E103 February...

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COLL E103 February 13, 2009 First Paper Truth or Eternal Damnation It is no question that both Pascal’s Pensées and Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy are arguments in favor of the existence of God. They both use the rhetoric of reason, but in very different ways: Descartes attempts diminish doubt by establishing reason and Pascal attempts to create doubt by denying the very existence of reason. While Descartes tried to reason with God’s existence, Pascal tried to persuade people into believing by bringing forth the risk of eternal damnation. Pascal’s argument that reason alone is imperfect is lacking in comparison to Descartes’ because it can only scare one into believing whereas the use of reason is capable of changing one’s perception of God’s very existence. Pascal bases his argument on the his idea that one must acquire her belief in God through faith because reason is nonexistent: “There is no certainty, apart from faith, as to whether man was created a good God, an evil demon, or just by chance, and so it is a matter of doubt, whether these innate principles are true, false, or uncertain.”(33). Descartes, on the other hand, actually comes to the conclusion that people were created by God and not by an evil demon and not through the idea of faith but through his own reasoning. He even starts out by claiming that it is possible that he is being deceived and
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This document was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course EDUC 212 at Indiana.

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COLL E103 truth or eternal damnation - 1 COLL E103 February...

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