Daniel Garber earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1975. He taught at the University of Chicago from 1975 to 2002 and has since been teaching at Princeton University. Garber is especially interested in the interrelations between philosophical and scientific questions in the early modern period. He has written widely on Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Bacon, Hobbes, Jean-Baptiste Morin and other figures.



Can you Decide to Believe in God? Thoughts after Pascal’s Wager

Pascal’s wager challenges us to believe in God: If God exists and we believe in him, then we win everything; if he doesn’t, we lose nothing. But if we bet against God, then we lose everything. There are some celebrated “refutations” of the argument. But even if it succeeds, what if we just can’t believe? Pascal recommends a regimen: Act like a believer, go to Mass and take Holy Water, and belief will come. He is probably right. But should we trust a belief that has come to us in this way? Is it self-deception? Or is it revelation?

Time: 9:30 pm
Location: Cultural Services of the French Embassy / Ballroom