Moral Permission to Believe in God
The question of moral permission to believe in God is a crucial contributor to the discussion on ethical dilemmas. While not all people who do not believe in God are able to see this as an advantage, there are also people who believe in God and still tend to ignore the existence of plain beliefs. Therefore, if a person believes that God exists, for example, they should have the full right to believe in it and ask for whatever they want during their prayers. Given that Vaughn sees faith as a totally permissible phenomenon (104), it may be safe to say that people whose faith in God is exceptionally strong might have an advantage in the face of atheists and agnostics. At this point, it would be most important to ensure that faith does not interfere with other people living their everyday lives comfortably.
Pascal’s argument for believing in God presented by Vaughn is another reason why one should not interfere with one’s beliefs in the first place (104). The fact that God could be beyond a person’s comprehension is what makes this argument rather strong and leaves enough room for the discussion on how humans could protect themselves from divine interventions through prayers and talking to God. On the other hand, the core weakness of this belief is that Pascal never witnessed God, and there would be no reason for the famous philosopher to claim that God would be beyond typical human comprehension. Even if a person chooses not to believe in God, this does not mean that they are ignorant or excessively confident. Instead, it should be noted that the divine presence is what makes our world unique and drives many individuals toward achieving excellence.
When there is no evidence to support the claim that God does not exist, it looks like another void hypothesis that has been generated to reiterate the previous findings and overlook the importance of bringing new data to the table. An argument on whether God exists or not should be supported by at least several pieces of plausible evidence in order to be considered a valuable addition to the current knowledge base. If one looks at agnostics and atheists, it will become evident that God, in the case of His existence, would always tolerate and forgive us – as His children – because we would not gain enough knowledge to comprehend the role He plays and the things He does for us in the meantime. The willingness to refuse the existence of God without any relevant evidence is in line with both agnostic and atheist agendas because there is no viable proof of God’s existence anyway.
In order to arrive at a decision like this, both atheists and agnostics would have to utilize their reason, but there is no clear response as to whether God exists and the reason is His gift to humanity. Therefore, Pascal’s argument remains relevant to this day because no one truly knows the real background behind the creation and development of the human organism, including our ability to think and make decisions based on our inner thoughts. The existence of different theories, on the other hand, makes this argument even deeper because the true meaning behind being either an atheist or a religious person has not been discovered yet. Accordingly, everyone could treat their ability to use reason as a God’s gift and not be corrected by those who support other theories, as the lack of evidence is a sort of relativistic protection from such arguments.
Vaughn, Lewis. Philosophy Here and Now: Powerful Ideas in Everyday Life. Oxford University Press, 2019.