Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

section 10, group 3

During Thursday's class we did not have any philosophical discussions. We did, however, learn more about Karl Marx and Marxism during the one of the class presentations.


  1. Anonymous12:17 PM CDT

    Dustin Chitwood
    What year did Pascal invent a mechanical calculating machine?-1642
    What is your view on the mind/body problem, and are you a dualist or physicalist?
    This link highlights points about the mind/body problem and the two viewpoints about the problem.

  2. FQ:
    What is Pascal's best known book?

    Are you a physicalist or a dualist? Why?


  3. Anonymous12:50 PM CDT

    FQ: Pascal had these skills/traits/professions in addition to being a philosopher: scientist, inventor, & _______________.

    DQ: Has anybody ever tried to proselytize you with a type of Pascal’s wager?

    Pascal’s wager applied to climate change economically

    For my commentary, I’ll answer my own DQ. Yes, I’ve had someone try to convert me to a religion (Christianity) by using some form of Pascal’s wager. Once upon a time, in the year twenty ot’ seven, my unit’s First Sergeant and I were discussing religion in almost a drive-by fashion. This was normal, I’m an admitted atheist, he was a man of deep faith, though it never came across in the performance of his duties. He would always tease me about converting; I would make jokes like “there is as much chance of me converting to Islam as there is Christianity.” Then one day, he dropped the tone of banter we had and looked at me to say “if you’re wrong, you’re going to be very wrong on this. Do you think it’s worth the chance?”

    I was a bit stunned. Here was an actual pitch for converting me to Christianity, with the implied notion that if there is a heaven and hell as Christianity defines it, I should take the safe bet like Pascal offered (though I didn’t know Pascal yet). And it came from a guy who had a significant level of influence over my job since he was the senior non-commissioned officer in the unit.

    I wasn’t offended, because I felt he was being genuine in his belief, and said what he did out of a sincere place of what I would call good. He honestly wanted to “save my soul” as his religion preached he should do. He wasn’t condescending, or forceful about it, but he was genuine. It was the only time he made such a direct pitch, but it gave me a new perspective since instead of an abstract theory (strangers trying to convert non-believers) I now had first-hand experience with someone I interacted with almost daily in my work. To put it another way: this wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness at my door before suppertime.

    I never considered, even for a moment, changing my beliefs, but I did gain a new respect and understanding for his as it dawned on me.


  4. Pascal converted to Jansenism after he began writing about religion. What was he before he converted?

    Do you think it's okay to sit on the fence about belief in God? Do you think you should have a firm belief one way or the other?