Manual Making Sense of It All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life

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Pascal was a brilliant mathematician he more or less invented our modern mathematics of probability , a scientist,and a devout Catholic who on Nov. His Pensees are a classic of introspection, devotion, and philosophical speculation.

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Mostly he is known today for his famous "wager" on whether it is better to bet on the existence of God or the non-existence. Its implications are usually vastly oversimplified, as this book points out in fascinating detail. Thomas Morris was a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, and is thus a very sympathetic interpreter of Pascal. His book is usually enlightening, but occasionally a bit simplistic for example, he enthusiastically endorses C.

Lewis's "Trilemma"[there's a good article on it in Wikipedia] which even 30 years ago when I first encountered it I thought was pretty naive.

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PDF Making Sense Of It All Pascal and the Meaning of Life EBook - video dailymotion

Most modern theologians have had the same reaction. But Morris has a gift for apt illustration, although I got a little tired of his repeated endorsements of the views of Woody Allen. I liked this book well enough to look forward to his "Bluffer's Guide to Philosophy," which sounds like it's right up my alley. View all 4 comments. Starts off strong, gets tough to slog through, but is worth the effort. Blaise Pascal, who you know of because of his being a child and adult prodigy in math, physics, and invention, turns out to have been a pretty interesting guy.

These thoughts express his conviction that thoughtful, smart individuals must inevitably see the integrity and inevitability of belief in Christianity once faced with the logic he would lay out in the book.

Sadly, he perished before he formally wrote this Apology for the Christian Faith. This author brings us Pascal's work. He doesn't simply walk through the Penses in numbered sequence, because they weren't intended by Pascal to be presented that way. Instead, this author assembles them into Pascal's system of belief, organizing the human and the theistic logical proofs the author thinks Pascal was making.

That early portion provided me very interesting structure for reflection. That roughly second half of the book simply didn't have the helpful structure of writing that the first half enjoyed. Thus it didn't compel me to sit down in long enough stretches of time to consume it effectively - despite likely containing much more significant elements of Pascal's case. Nonetheless, despite giving it a less-than-perfect rating, I'd still recommend this book to two readers: a Christians seeking to deepen their faith by incorporating the thinking of great Christian thinkers of history, and b skeptical non-believers who are willing to do their homework to know how acknowledged brilliant minds can accept the Christian way - even if the skeptics are doing to in order to better argue against the faith.

Neither reader will be perfectly served, but both will be humbled by the mental power of Pascal, and both are likely to be forced to grapple hard with many of the theological arguments Pascal makes - which may cause them some consternation. May 18, John rated it it was amazing. This book is one of a very, very few books I put in a crucial category indeed: Christian books, written by well-qualified Christian intellectuals, that you could give to a non-Christian-and-non-academic-but-intelligent reader. Yes, there's C. And then there's The book now seems a little dated in a few of its references to popular culture.

But the wit and wisdom have generally worn well, and there is plenty of them both on every page. Tom Morris was a brilliant philosoph This book is one of a very, very few books I put in a crucial category indeed: Christian books, written by well-qualified Christian intellectuals, that you could give to a non-Christian-and-non-academic-but-intelligent reader. Tom Morris was a brilliant philosopher at the University of Notre Dame who left a tenured professorship to bring philosophy to business--and beyond he is the author of Philosophy for Dummies, among other popular books.

His quite extraordinary ability to render powerful ideas in a popular way shows up nowhere better than here. If you're a Christian, you'll be the better for reading this book. And then you'll want to buy copies to give to your smart friends. And, as I say, there aren't many books like that.

Dec 24, DJ Dycus rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy , theology , religion , nonfiction.


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Morris is so easy to read, and he deals with complex philosophical issues in a manner that make them accessible and comprehensible. Pascal's Pensees is a random collection of thoughts and ideas that were never put into their proper, final form; Morris comes along and takes these puzzle pieces and provides context--a philosophical and theological framework into which they would have originally fit.

The first time through I marked a lot of passages, but I feel as if one reading isn't adequate to ab Morris is so easy to read, and he deals with complex philosophical issues in a manner that make them accessible and comprehensible. The first time through I marked a lot of passages, but I feel as if one reading isn't adequate to absorbing all of the wisdom and brilliance to be gleaned.


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I'll definitely be reading this again in the near future. Jan 30, Julia rated it it was amazing. Clear, concise writing and thoughtful explanations.

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I may have not agreed with everything, but I enjoyed the journey and thought a lot about my own life. Mar 16, Jeffrey Backlin rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophy , practical , existentialism. A breakdown and investigation into the thoughts of one of the most interesting philosophers I've read.

Oct 29, IWB rated it it was amazing. Mar 02, Sam rated it it was amazing. Wish the Pensees could be dealt with as a whole and not as a collection of Proverbs? This is the book for you.

Making Sense of it All Pascal and the Meaning of Life

Apr 30, John Cross rated it it was amazing. One of my favorite all time books. Jachin Rupe rated it it was amazing Jan 18, Derek rated it it was amazing Mar 17, Em rated it really liked it Apr 11, Stephen rated it liked it May 17, Tommy rated it liked it Jul 29, DrWhitesaw rated it really liked it Apr 15, Vicky rated it really liked it Nov 07, Sam C rated it it was ok Feb 09, Relating numerous personal anecdotes, incorporating, intriguing material from the films of Woody Allen and the journals of Leo Tolstoy, and using the writings of the seventeenth-century genius Blaise Pascal as a central guide, Morris explores the nature of faith, reason, and the meaning of life.

His lucid reflections provide fresh, fertile insights and perspectives for any thoughtful person journeying through life. Grace Bible Church Library Your cart is empty. Log in to your account. Advanced search Recent comments Tag cloud. Forgot your password? By: Morris, Thomas V [author.

Summary: An instructive and entertaining book that addresses basic life questions. Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.