French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian, Blaise Pascal (1623–1662), made many notable contributions to mathematics and physical science including a study of hydraulics which lead to the development of the syringe.
Pascal was also the first to formally use probability theory, a mathematical analysis of uncertainty such as the outcome of a dice roll or the likelihood of a success of a trip to the moon. The first use of probability theory was Pascal’s Wager which asks people to decide how best to live their lives based on the uncertainty that a Christian God exists or does not exist.
The instructions for the game are this:
Although there is no right or wrong answer, Pascal argues some wagers offer more potential benefits. There are four possible outcomes to the game:
Pascal argues that the best way for rationale people to handle the uncertainty of God’s existence is to live as though God does exist and seek to believe in God. This yields the highest benefits for the least risk.
While Pascal’s Wager is an odd way to view God and faith, it does raise some interesting questions.