Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Quote: Pascal on Being Mistaken

"I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true."

- Blaise Pascal in Pensées (386 /241)

6 comments :

Lee said...

Pascal's wager is rubbish.

So in this quote Pascal isn't afraid that he is believing that Christianity is true and might find out he was mistaken and it really was the Muslims who had it right?

Even if Pascal is correct, he is insulting his own god in thinking that we could get away with dishonest belief (isn't God suppose to be all knowing?)

Also, which does he feel is better. Dishonest belief, or honest disbelief?

Very poor, very poor.

Yet, I hear it so often from Christians it is sad they are believing due to fear

Lee

Brian said...

Welcome back, Lee. I hope you had a great Christmas.

As for Pascal's "wager" -- it should not be one's motivation for dishonest belief (which, in Pascal's case it was not); but it should be a good motivation for an honest search for truth. The stakes are too high to treat the God question lightly.

Brad said...

I suppose to someone who knows the Lord the question is mute. To the unbeliever it may be equally mute; but the stakes are high and the statement is true: "It would be better to be a mistaken believer than a mistaken unbeliever.

RkBall said...

moot.

bossmanham said...

Not that I don't respect his wager to a point, but it's too bad that it's what he is known for best. Pascal was so brilliant and had many other great ideas that should be propagated.

Lee said...

Hi Brian,

I hope you had a great Christmas.

I did thanks, weather has been nice and sunny so far – plenty of BBQ’s and will be taking my sons to the beach tomorrow.

Christmas is strange down in Oz :-)

As for Pascal's "wager" -- it should not be one's motivation for dishonest belief (which, in Pascal's case it was not)

I could not question Pascal’s own belief, but his argument is suggesting that I should believe ‘just in case’ which is stupid as I have already said.

This means his argument is weaker than weak.

but it should be a good motivation for an honest search for truth.

His reason for this “honest search” is for all the wrong reasons – it should be for the desire to know the truth, for truths sake – not for fear.

The stakes are too high to treat the God question lightly.

Why do you believe that they are so high? Do you believe because of fear or the desire for Heaven (This is the argument from Pascal isn’t it?)

I like to think I question this topic more than most – if true, the question is the most important one.

However, I’ve seen little reason and even less evidence to believe it is true.

There is more evidence for planets around other stars, dark matter and gravity than there is for the Christian God it would appear – sorry about that. Not for the want of looking

Lee

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