Pascal’s Wager and the Value of Truth

Pascal’s Wager has been cited, and the value of ‘truth’ has been questioned, in a rather curious Guardian article by Harriet Baber who has been trashed by PZMeyers who has been called out by ‘Siris’ (with John S Wilkins agreeing to some extent), and Ophelia Benson has also taken it on. Despite the objections of Siris (and having now read the above linked Stanford Encyclopedia entry) I don’t think Meyers is off-base with regard to the Wager being “bollocks”, but I do think his ad feminem tone was more what I would expect of some of his fanboys than of himself and I also think he missed some of the subtleties of Ms Baber’s position. Not that I agree with her, but I do find that she gives some insight into how an intelligent and thoughtful person can come to adopt a religious position.

Coincidentally, the question of  ‘truth’ also comes up in Philosophy Talk this week, where John Perry takes issue with the pragmatic theory of truth in the promo for a broadcast on William James.  Am I wrong to imagine a connection between James “pragmatic” theory, what Baber says, and the postmodernists’ ideas of  “socially constructed” truth?

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1 Response to Pascal’s Wager and the Value of Truth

  1. H. E. Baber says:

    Just stumbled on this. Int’resting. But I should note that I have little sympathy with James’ pragmatic theory of truth and none with anything post-modernists or other non-analytic “philosophers” do. However, coincidentally, I did my dissertation on John Perry’s stuff on personal identity!

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