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?

One 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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