In our lives, we have to make decisions constantly. These range from small, relatively unimportant decisions like choosing between Coke and Pepsi, to critical life decisions like the choice between going to college or heading straight into the workforce, marrying or remaining single, and one side of a moral debate and the other. One decision that is more important than any other by its very nature is the decision of whether or not to believe in God. I say "by its very nature" because the decision has eternal repercussions.
From France With Wisdom
One of my favorite books is Christianity for Modern Pagans by Peter Kreeft, which deals with this most important decision by outlining and explaining the Pensées (Thoughts), by Blaise Pascal. Pascal was a French-Catholic philosopher, scientist, and apologist who lived during the 17th century. He was a contemporary of Descartes, and until the 19th century was the only philosopher who didn't jump on the ideological bandwagon misnamed the "Enlightenment." Contrary to common misconception, he was not a Jansenist (the heretical group condemned by the Church during his time), at least in terms of his own theology, although he was associated with Jansenists. He was, however, a great physicist, mathematician, and inventor; he invented the first working computer (the Pascaline, a mechanical calculator), vacuum cleaner, and public transportation system. In the area of philosophy, Pascal is best known for his "Wager," which is an argument for the reasonableness of believing in God. The argument is not in any way a proof for God's existence; it is more of a thought experiment that approaches belief in God by a cost-to-reward analysis. Many philosophers and theologians throughout history have believed that the existence of God can be proven with varying degrees of certainty. For the sake of the Wager, Pascal assumes that you cannot prove the existence of God by reason alone, using philosophical arguments. Pascal instead wants you to consider what you can gain or lose by choosing to believe in God or not.
Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.
In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't (Pensées).
Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britain). The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, 1994. Print.