Sunday, October 13, 2013

Blaise Pascal on Truth

“Truth is so obscured nowadays and lies [are] so well established that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it.”

– Blaise Pascal


  1. Ex N1hilo October 13, 2013


    For some, nihilism and everlasting non-existence are much more attractive. Holding to these beliefs frees them to live however they like without consequences. Or so they think.

  2. The Janitor October 13, 2013

    Blaise Pascal is making an observation about the 17th century ("nowadays"). Yet we recognize our own time as being no different. Would we recognize any time period as being different? I don't think so, not if we had more experience with that time period.

    Pascal's quote is more a reflection on the human condition than on the times.

    Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

  3. dgfisch October 13, 2013

    One of my favorite quotes comes from the Apocrypha: Fight for truth even to the point of death, and the Lord God will fight for you. (Ecclesiasticus 4: 28)

    Ah, yes, such smacks of fanaticism. The notions that compel one to strap on explosives and take out a segment of humanity for the "cause." But I hardly think this is the point of Sirach. His idea was that commitment to the truth is not an easy thing. Truth is often not the pillow on which we rest ones head. "The truth hurts" is a maxim that doesn't rest well with the postmodern mind, but if it is to be replaced by some accepted collection of what is convenient for the person to commit … Who'd lay down the life for the whim?

    The modern trend of thought would make cowards of us all.

  4. Carolyn October 14, 2013

    One of my favourite quotes!

  5. David Carter October 14, 2013

    Indeed. And Pascal also said, "People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive." So our love of truth for its own sake must lead us to merciless self-questioning, _especially_ when our beliefs offer attractive things like meaning, eternal life and a sense of community. But that's far too uncomfortable for most people to want to think about.

  6. Anonymous October 14, 2013

    We must love and stand for truth… or we will fall for anything.