My mom sent me these on this day 4 years ago to wish me a happy children’s day. I had written this 13 years ago when I had just passed out of school. She copied it in her handwriting from the only copy of this piece on a text message on the old Nokia phone:

“Cogito Ergo Sum”

-René Descartes

(“I think, therefore I am”.)

Knowledge, as we “know” it, has problems. The very fact that there have been millennia of squabbles over what knowledge is, should raise enough red flags. How can we ever guarantee that any of our beliefs are true? For any belief we hold, we can ask why we believe it. And why do we believe said reasoning? So on and so forth. At one point we hit a dead-end claim, which we just have to accept to be true — an axiomatic truth. Because how would one go about proving…

Around 400 years ago, there was a Mathematician and a Physicist who put forth quite a simple argument. Perhaps less of an argument, and more of an invitation to a gamble- one where you bet your life. It’s perhaps ironic that the unit of measurement named after him was for the same physical phenomenon his wager inadvertently attempts to apply to bet one way over the other. Pascal’s wager — given no evidence, would you bet that God is or God isn’t. His “argument” goes as follows:

1] There are only two possible conditions — God is or God isn’t.

Sebastian Johnson

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store