Gambling on God

dice.jpgIs it right to gamble on God? If we’re not absolutely convinced that God even exists does it make any sense to live as if he does?

Many people will say that they are absolutely convinced that God is real and that they know him. Others seem equally as convinced that God doesn’t exist. What about those who aren’t completely sure one way or the other? Is there a place for stepping across the line and living as if they believed one way or the other? If so, which is better, to live as if God is real or to live as if he is a fabrication of human imagination?

Blaise Pascal’s posthumously published writings, known as Pascal’s Wager, suggested that knowing absolutely isn’t a prerequisite for faith.

Pascal’s Wager (or Pascal’s Gambit) is a suggestion posed by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal that even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should “wager” as though God exists, because so living has potentially everything to gain, and certainly nothing to lose.

Pascal figured that if the person who lives as if God is real is wrong, they’ve lost nothing, but if the person who lives as if God doesn’t exist is wrong, they lose everything.

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

This week we discussed the idea of gambling on God and Ross recounted stories of people who came very close to believing in God but there was still a gap between what they’d been told about God and what they truly believed. Many people have felt that the gap to God is smaller than the gap away from him and so they’ve taken the step to believe and then felt an enormous confirmation within their spirits that they’ve connected with the Creator.

You can hear our conversation by clicking play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

What has your experience been? Have you stepped across the line to belief in God? Did that come after you were totally convinced of the truth of who God is or did you still have doubt? What happened after you took that step?

Maybe you’ve heard people talking about God but you’re not sufficiently convinced that the evidence stacks up. What would it take to convince you that God exists?

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Access 31 Closed Down

access31.jpgWhile their website is still trumpetting the secure digital future of Perth’s Access 31, the TV screen last night told a different story. I’m sure that the website will soon catch up with the news that Perth’s community television station has officially closed.

The difficult decision to shut down Access 31 was apparently made at a board meeting yesterday. At five o’clock yesterday afternoon normal programming made way for a “thank you and goodbye” message.

18th JUNE 1999 – 6th AUG 2008


The station had secured half a million dollars in a rescue package from Perth businessman, Garry Baverstock, only a month ago but it is believed that after reports of Lotterywest withdrawing a $250 000 grant, Baverstock also decided to withdraw his offer.

It’s been reported that a number of Access 31 staff have recently resigned as the writing on the wall became clearer. CEO Andrew Brine revealed last week that he had also resigned for personal reasons after leading the station for 11 years.

I must admit that I wasn’t a big viewer of Access 31 but I did switch on every now and then and it’s a shame to see the station disappear. It’ll be interesting to see if any other community groups are able to resurrect the station.

Unfortunately television, even community television, is an extremely expensive business and it isn’t an easy task to fund such a costly venture.

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Radiothon 2008

SFM_Logo.jpgI’m not sure how much posting I’ll be doing over the next week as I’ll be pretty busy with this year’s Sonshine FM Radiothon.

Radiothon will be 6 Days focussed on providing the final funds needed to get us over the line and into our new building. It begins today and will finish this Friday, the 1st of August.

On January the 26th 2009 98.5 Sonshine FM be celebrating its 21st birthday with the official opening the brand new broadcast complex in Como, a complex that’ll be more cost efficient and much better suited to current and future needs.

The new facility will benefit from lower overheads, bringing greater financial security for Sonshine FM’s future.

Unfortunately, some promised funding for the building didn’t eventuate, so we’re now looking to raise the shortfall in funds to move in debt free through Radiothon 2008. Our target is $250 000.

Last year, we were aiming to raise $250,000 but our listeners and supporters overwhelmed us by giving $298,000! We’re excited about what surprises this year’s Radiothon will bring.

Visit the Sonshine FM website for more details.

Radiothon starts at midday today with a four hour outside broadcast at the partially completed building in Murray Street Como.

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The Chamoru people of Guahan

Guam.jpgThe Chamoru people of the island we know as Guam have waged a long struggle for an act of self-determination as a significant step in their struggle to protect their land and culture from the effects of militarisation.

Their movement for non-violent social change in their homeland is largely unknown here in Australia.

The island has served as a military base for many years and now plans are underway to increase the military presence amongst these peaceful people.

Guahan (the indigenous name for Guam) is considered to be an ideal base since it is about three hours flying time or two to three days by ship from Japan, Okinawa, Indonesia and the Philippines. Flying to China or North Korea from the West Coast of the United States takes 13 hours, from Guahan it takes four. A carrier group based at Guahan could reach Taiwan in two days.

Guahan is strategically located close to several of the worlds most important sea lanes, such as the Strait of Malacca, through which some 50% of the world’s oil passes each year.

Dr Lisa Natividad and Julian Aguon of Guam joined me during my morning programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM this morning to talk about the situation and what we can do about it. If you’d like to be more informed about the plight of the Chamoru people just click the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

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A Busy Week Relaxing

Rotto.jpgIn a few days time I’ll be letting the stress melt away as we spend some family time at Rottnest.

I’ve been looking forward to our Rotto week for the past year, since we were last there, but this time it’ll be different.

Half way through the week I’ll be heading off for dinner … on the Gold Coast.

We’ll travel to Rottnest on Monday, I’ll head back to the mainland on Wednesday afternoon and find some way to get to Perth Airport so I can take a five hour flight to Brisbane before an hour’s drive to the Gold Coast. By that time it’ll be past midnight and I’ll be ready to drop.

After a few hours sleep I’ll be up and ready for a day at the Christian Media Australia Conference. In the evening there’ll be a dinner where Compassion Australia will have opportunity to communicate with the conference delegates about our recent trip to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It was such a significant trip that I wanted to have the opportunity to be there for the dinner. If I can help communicate the desperate need we witnessed to others working in the media, we may have the opportunity to get the message out even further and start making a difference for those who are suffering.

After what I hope will be a good night’s sleep on the Thursday, I’ll do the trip in reverse, arriving in Perth around 1:30 Friday afternoon. I’ll then have to find my way to Fremantle again to take the ferry back to Rottnest to spend a few more days unwinding before we head back to the real world.

So far the plan should work as long as I can find a way to get between Fremantle and the airport and from the airport back to Fremantle.

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