John von Neumann invented Game Theory, redefined ordinal numbers, contributed mightily to quantum mechanics, and developed the architecture which enables modern computing. He also designed the trigger mechanism which detonated the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and he was key in developing “Mutually Assured Destruction” as a means of balancing the world order as the nuclear age dawned. He possessed an intellect rivaled by only a handful of other persons, and he was, without doubt, one of the most important individuals of 20th century. He also was agnostic for the majority of his life, though he was baptized Catholic at 30 years old in order to marry his Catholic fiancee. But when suddenly facing his own death at just 53 years old, he had to face the questions of the afterlife and the existence of God. Ever the gamer, Pascal’s Wager gave him the argument that convinced him to return to the Catholicism of his first wife, and then significant conversations with a learned Benedictine priest helped him to understand the faith and desire the sacraments. He died with the Last Rites in January 1957.
- Society of Catholic Scientists
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- John Von Neumann: The Computer Genius Behind the Atomic Age
- John von Neumann – New World Encyclopedia
- A new biography explains the genius of John von Neumann | The Economist
- Science in Christian Perspective
- The Man from the Future: The Visionary Life of John von Neumann
- John von Neumann: The Real Dr. Strangelove
- John von Neumann: The Scientific Genius Who Pioneered the Modern Computer, Game Theory, Nuclear Deterrence, and Much More
- Theory of Games and Economic Behavior: 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition
- The American Catholic Almanac
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