Posthumous Epiphanies

I wanted to contrast a well-known atheist considering Pascal’s wager after his death.  This is partially inspired by Peter Kreeft’s book “Between Heaven and Hell” which is a fake conversation between J.F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis, and Aldous Huxley which takes place after death (They all died on the same day – Nov. 22, 1963).

Bertrand Russell, in the sketch, is one of the most well-known atheist authors prior to the recent media craze over the new atheists.  One of his better known books on atheism is Why I’m Not a ChristianBlaise Pascal was a Catholic philosopher and theologian from the 17th century.  Two of the ideas he is most remembered for is his teaching about a vacuum in the heart of man that can only be filled with God, and his idea of a wager regarding belief in God.  He postulated that because one has more to lose by not believing in God that it is a better “bet” to believe in God.

While I think his argument is logical, it is unconvincing in that no one should believe something they think is false.  Apart from my theological aversion to Pascal’s Wager, I thought the contrast to Russell reading it posthumously (after death) and now being persuaded (having an epiphany) was funny.