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Making Sense of It All: PASCAL and the Meaning of Life [Paperback]

By Thomas V. Morris (Author)
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Item description for Making Sense of It All: PASCAL and the Meaning of Life by Thomas V. Morris...

No matter how old you are, the big questions keep coming up---questions about life, death, God, religion, the nature of faith, the formation of an adequate worldview, and the meaning of it all. Morris takes a new look at those old issues in this entertaining and instructive book. Relating numerous personal anecdotes, incorporating intriguing material from the films of Woody Allen and the journals of Leo Tolstoy, and using the writings of the 17th-century genius Blaise Pascal as a central guide, he'll help you philosophize about your life, enjoy the process, and perhaps even make sense of it all.

Publishers Description
An instructive and entertaining book that addresses basic life questions. Relating numerous personal anecdotes, incorporating, intriguing material from the films of Woody Allen and the journals of Leo Tolstoy, and using the writings of the seventeenth-century genius Blaise Pascal as a central guide, Morris explores the nature of faith, reason, and the meaning of life. His lucid reflections provide fresh, fertile insights and perspectives for any thoughtful person journeying through life.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.44" Width: 5.35" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 6, 1992
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Edition  New  
ISBN  080280652X  
ISBN13  9780802806529  

Availability  0 units.

More About Thomas V. Morris

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Thomas V. Morris is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. His books include The Logic of God Incarnate, Making Sense of it All, and True Success: A New Philosophy of Excellence.

Thomas V. Morris has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Notre Dame.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Philosophers
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Reference
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Philosophical Theology

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Reviews - What do customers think about Making Sense of It All Pascal and the Meaning of Life?

The Greatness and the Wretchedness of Pascal's Thought  Jan 18, 2008
I honestly don't know what to say about this book. It's written by a prominent Christian philosopher, Thomas Morris, who draws on Pascal's Pensees to give an analysis of faith, reason and the human condition. The writing is clear and conversational, the topics are profound, and some sections -- such as the discussion of skepticism -- are gems of lucidity. But boiled down to its essentials, the Pascal/Morris argument goes like this:

-- People without faith in God are unhappy and wretched, and spend most of their time covering up and denying their unhappiness and wretchedness;

-- Therefore, God must exist, because believing in Him makes people happy and ensures they'll be cared for in the afterlife;

-- In fact, God must be the Christian God, the father of Jesus and one of the Trinity, since hoary old "miracles" and "prophecies" attest to the authority of the Bible.

That's Pascal's argument in a nutshell. Really. It's that flimsy. All the focus is on knocking down atheism as an untenable way of life. Once that's accomplished, a fairly doctrinaire form of Christianity is treated as the natural default position. No consideration is given to other religious options -- even though most religious traditions can boast "miracles" and "prophecies" of their own. No consideration is given to the possibility of forging an atheistic life of courage and decency. Bad faith reigns supreme: Pascal appeals to Christians looking for practical reasons to keep up Christian practice even though they suspect Christianity is false.

I love the Pensees, but their elegant aphorisms and sharp insights can obscure the absurdity of the total argument. The same is true of Morris's book. It's a good reminder that Christian philosophers should keep their philosophy separate from their Christianity.
Finding Meaning with Pascal as a Guide  May 1, 2007
This is a great book, which takes diverse sources such as Pascal and Woody Allen and probes the reasons why most of us waste our lives on trifles and baubles, distracting ourselves from our mortality and avoiding life's big questions. The book is part fun, part serious as it makes Pascal's inquiries into human nature very readable. The Christian and nonChristian alike should enjoy this study of how people waste their lives and how they can find meaning. Two great companions to this book, though more secular, are Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning and Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving.
Outstanding! Quite readable - An excellent companion to Pascal's Pensees  Jan 12, 2007
Tom Morris is a gifted writer and philosopher. This book amplifies Pascal in ways you may not have thought about before, and it clearly intriques the critical mind about the possibility of the Truth behind Christianity. The leap from mind to faith doesn't seem all that large after reading this enticing book.
fascinating!  Sep 29, 2006
this is a very insightful philosophical/theological book dealing with the plight of humanity in relation to faith in God and the meaning of life. There are a few things herein that will no doubt be disagreed with by many readers, but the many deep insights otherwise are well worth it.
Morris Captured the Spirit of Pascal  Sep 20, 2005
Making Sense Of It All is one the best books I have ever read on the topic of Christian philosophy and apologetics. This book is unique both in its organization and content. Morris utilizes some of the scientific, philosophical, and apologetic statements of the great Christian thinker Blaise Pascal (from Pascal's book Pensees) and shows how faith in Jesus Christ is the unique answer to mankind's deepest yearnings for meaning, purpose, significance, and life eternal. This book skillfully and successfully answers many of the existential objections that people give for not believing. Morris weaves together many of Pascal's brilliant insights into a significant and powerful Christian apologetic work.

Though covering a lot philosophical and theological ground, this book is remarkably readable and at places quite humorous. It addresses philosophical, theological, and apologetic issues with tremendous clarity and in an engaging style. This volume provides deep insight into why people living in today's world avoid thinking about ultimate issues. I only wish the book contained a bibliography and/or notes for further reading.

Thomas V. Morris has been called one of Christianity's finest contemporary philosophers (former Notre Dame professor). This book is indeed evidence of his first rate philosophical ability.

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