According to Pascal.

They declare, when they expound it to the world, that it is foolishness (stultitiam); and then you complain because they do not prove it! If they proved it, they would not keep their word.

I don't really get what the message he is saying because it is somewhat contradicting to the sentence of If they proved it, they would not keep their word. So what exactly does it mean to lack of proof shows they're not lacking any sense ?


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    Please add a reference to the original source, thanks. – Jo Wehler Nov 15 '15 at 22:37

The question is a little bit difficult to follow, but the reference really helps in understanding where this is coming from.

Fideism is a term usually applied to speak negatively of a view though a few have owned up to the term. (Note how the article describes it as an "ascription").

To call someone a fideist is to maintain that they believe faith is opposed to reason rather than somehow compatible with it.

The Pascal quote (which I don't have the broader context within Pascal off the top of my head) is referring to 1 Corinthians "foolishness to the Greeks" description of the Gospel. The idea is that some claim is inscrutable to reason.

We might reword it as :

  1. X is true such that no argument can be given for X.
  2. Ergo, to ask for an argument for X is to misunderstand the nature of X.

Or alternately:

  1. X is true BECAUSE X is foolishness (i.e., cannot be known through argument). = if foolish, then true
  2. There is an argument that concludes X is true
  3. Then X is false (per modus tollens 1,2 )

presumably you're going to need some qualifiers to make such an argument work (it would be a terrible position to hold that anything that is foolish is true).

We can find somewhat similar arguments in Kant about the nature of things-in-themselves and understanding them (namely, that understanding does not apply to things in themselves but rather things as objects).

  • So for you what does it actually mean "The lack of proof shows they're not lacking any sense ?" – Shulz Nov 16 '15 at 9:13
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    @Shulz that seems like some weird English to me. But meaning-wise, if you think something cannot be proved (i.e. with proofs) then it makes sense that you don't offer one for it. So this might be construed as having the "sense" (perhaps better = consistency) to not offer proofs for the unprovable. – virmaior Nov 16 '15 at 19:38

Now I've found the answer of lack of proof shows they're not lacking any sense . Since Christians rely on miracles they don't have the empirical proof but although they explained what happened during 'miracle'. It is through their words that describes the situation but cannot give a proof.

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