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Blaise Pascal

1623 - 1662

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and theologian. His most influential theological work, ‘Pensees’ (‘Thoughts’) offers a defence of the Christian faith, including the well-known ‘Pascal’s wager’. Pascal argued that a rational person should ‘bet’ on God’s existence and live accordingly, because if God turns out not to exist, the losses would only be finite (e.g. the ‘pleasures’ of sin), whereas he stands to receive infinite gains (eternal happiness in heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternal punishment in hell) if God does prove to exist.