"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction"
- Blaise Pascal
About this Quote
This quote by Blaise Pascal talks to the power of spiritual conviction in inspiring people to do evil. Pascal recommends that when individuals are driven by spiritual conviction, they are most likely to do evil with a sense of purpose and interest. This is because religious conviction can supply a sense of ethical validation for one's actions, enabling them to do wicked without feeling guilty or remorseful. Moreover, spiritual conviction can offer a sense of community and belonging, which can make it simpler to dedicate wicked acts without feeling isolated or alone. Eventually, Pascal's quote works as a caution versus the dangers of religious conviction, and how it can be utilized to control individuals into doing evil.
"I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the second half of life - that is to say, over 35 - there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life"
"What other nations call religious toleration, we call religious rights. They are not exercised in virtue of governmental indulgence, but as rights, of which government cannot deprive any portion of citizens, however small"
"The funny thing is all these school shootings that we have, always happen in very religious communities. Maybe it's because the centre of their lives is a big fat nothing and it's just a fantasy and there's nothing there. I think maybe that might have something to do with it"
"Well, in The Chosen, Danny Saunders, from the heart of his religious reading of the world, encounters an element in the very heart of the secular readings of the world - Freudian psychoanalytic theory"
"An intellectual is going to have doubts, for example, about a fundamentalist religious doctrine that admits no doubt, about an imposed political system that allows no doubt, about a perfect aesthetic that has no room for doubt"