Reasons to Believe by Peter Kreeft

Christian’s all around the world are constantly being asked about their faith and weather or not there is such thing as this Creator. Based on many philosophers like Peter Kreeft and Pascal, these questions can be answered in many ways like the proof of the First Cause, kingdom math, the idea of caritas, Pascal’s wager, or simply choosing the best path for ourselves. There are reason to believe in the Christian faith and these reasons only enhance believing.

One of the most popular beliefs worldwide is that everything happens for a reason. Saying this is like saying that teenager died in that car crash at age sixteen for a reason. However if we switch this around and come to the conclusion that everything happens for a cause then it becomes so much more easier to explain that that is why it happened. Now we can say that a teenager died in a car crash due to the cause of a drunk driver or distracted driving, not it just happened for a reason. Another aspect to understand is that God is not the cause behind all bad things. It starts with the sin of mankind that cause these existential crises to happen. God is though, the cause that we exist and the cause that we can be causes to making the world a better place. Every living and nonliving being, good and bad didn’t happen for a reason otherwise many Jews may still be alive. Everything happens because of a cause, Adolf Hitler was the cause behind the loss of many Jews. God made this world not as a reason but because He is the First Cause.

Throughout our whole lives, we are taught that one plus equals two and there is no doubt that is true but if we think beyond Earth and look toward heaven, we reach this idea called kingdom math. This idea is the concept of one plus one plus one equals one. Kingdom math is based on the idea that when we love, we give. It is more important to give then recieve and in this situation, the giving is the left side of the equal sign which is greater than the receiving on the right side of the equal sign. This is also what being humble is all about. The line from the prayer of St. Francis, “In giving that we receive”, is an exact example of what kingdom math is because we receive more happiness and get closer to God when we give rather than when we get more.

The definition of egoism is, a theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality. On the other side of the spectrum is what we call caritas. The is the Christian love for mankind by the works of charity and giving. At the start of every mass, we as Catholics, begin by saying we are sinners and part of that comes from being a little more self-centered than God would like us to be. One of the five commandments of the Catholic church is that we shall help the needs of the church and this is when we change from being an egoist to doing things out of love or being caritas. Going through this stage, we also face what is called altruism. Altruism is the practice of being disinterested and selfless concern for the people around us. The question that comes with the idea of caritas is however, How do we change? The answer to this is simply by going to church regularly. Once we understand that when we give, we receive, our hearts begin to take another turn and we begin to notice the people around us more. We are all victims of being an egoist but it is not impossible to change that state of mind and be a little more caritas, after all we do have free will and that is because of The Big Man Upstairs.

Pascal’s wager is the wager in which God is or is not. Unlike many, Pascal does not believe in the Agnosticism, which are those that accept the idea God exists but don’t really act on the idea. Atheism or Theism, this is what Pascal bases his wager off of, these two options. The wager is asking the question, Why choose bad and risk everything if you can choose good and not risk anything? When we take this wager, we are betting on eternity, picking knowledge over happiness. Believe too much, we don’t win or lose anything but if we turn to those that don’t believe, our lives are at stake. Now Pascal doesn’t tell us that if we don’t believe, our lives will be an existential crisis but if we choose to have Christ in our life, we will be guaranteed a purpose in life full of peace, hope, joy, and love. This is proven when we place a wreath made of evergreen with one rose and three violet candles during Advent. Pascal’s wager is this choice of having a full life that will never end or living our lives watching the clock tick by as a world beyond us is in our backyard.

The biggest question that every single Christian must be prepared to explain is why we should believe in God in the first place. Pascal’s wager does play a major part in the answer to the question but there is still so much more to why we should. Even though this a very complex question, the most simple of answers is why not. Like said in Pascal’s wager, why should we risk losing everything rather that having joy and not risking anything. Why should you choose the flavourless, dry cracker, if right beside it, there is a freshly baked loaf of bread that your grandmother made? This is why we should believe in God. God is the one that is full of love, gives you a hug whenever you need one, puts a smile on your face when we are in His presence. Not having God in our lives is that dry cracker that will never fully satisfy us. Even the agnosticism, somewhat believe and it’s those baby steps that God is patient with. He doesn’t force us to believe but there is nothing more special in this world when God is smiling down on us. Without God, life is not complete and in order for this life to be complete, we should believe in God.

Reasons to Believe by Peter Kreeft is a great example on ways in which we can understand what is the core of the Christian faith. From the understanding of kingdom math to what is Pascal’s wager, even the most Catholic of us feel the need to be closer to God and this is so beautiful because this is what God truly wants of us as his disciples. There are so many reasons to believe and these are only five ways out of so many.

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