I’m down south for a while (the lower-48 for those not familiar with the Alaskan terminology) and find I have more time than usual for reading. Right now I’m in the middle of Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh. It’s the story of a several hundred year-old theorem that resisted proof by the greatest mathematical minds during that time and has only recently been solved.

I was amused by Pascal’s view of religion,

Pascal was even convinced that he could use his theories to justify a belief in God. He stated that “the excitement that a gambler feels when making a bet is equal to the amount he might win multiplied by the probability of winning it.” He then argued that the possible prize of eternal happiness has an infinite valaue and that the probability of entering heaven be leading a virtuous life, no matter how small, is certainly finite. Therefore, according to Pascal’s definition, religion was a game of infinite excitement and one worth playing, because multiplying an infinite prize by a finite probability results in infinity.

There are many paths to faith.

That said, I recommend the book. I’ve been a fan of Singh since discovering The Code Book several years ago.

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