Studies in Pascal’s Ethics by A. W. S. Baird (auth.)

By A. W. S. Baird (auth.)

The target of those reports is to teach how Pascal's ethical outlook displays the impression on his considered the elemental doctrine of the 3 orders. this doesn't suggest that an test is made to categorise all Pascal's ethical decisions so one can relate them to that doctrine. The purpose is quite to differentiate the several ethical stances Pascal takes, and to check how a long way the plain inconsistencies among them will be defined, if now not reconciled, within the mild of the orders. it truly is made transparent on the outset how the 3 orders shape the framework of Pascal's scale of values, with different orders representing instantly different types of ethical worth and orders of being. The atypical nature of this scale, within which ethical and ontological values coalesce, demands a double criterion, or variable, to permit for transformations either one of measure and of sort. because the criterion of rank within the scale is truth, the assigning of price turns into mostly a query of viewpoint: a top quality from a given order taken on its own is genuine, and has ethical worth, but if in comparison with a high quality from the next order it loses either its truth and its worth.

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Pascal follows Saint Augustine when he insists here that the resemblances between pagan and Christian morality are merely apparent, so that the moral quality of outwardly similar acts is radically AMBIVALENT ATTITUDE TOWARD NATURAL MORALITY 31 Once again the contrast is worked in to discredit Jesuit moral theology by showing that it is based upon natural principles. The extract implies that such virtues as pagan ethical teaching may produce, when judged by the Christian criterion, will not be seen as real virtues at all.

E. IV, p. 311. "Et ainsi, ... un seul docteur peut toumer les consciences et les bouleverser a son gre, ... " C. ,' G. E. IV, p. 310. •. vous avez bien mis ceux qui suivent vos opinions probables en assurance a l'egard de Dieu et de la conscience; ... " C. p. E. V, p. 50. " ... les cas de conscience ... " C. V, p. 51 "C'est par cette subtilite de conscience qu'it a prouve ... " C. pp. E. V, p. 382. " C. p. V, p. 386. " C. p. E. VI, p. 28. "... les questions de la contrition, ... " ibid. " ... " C.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Ia IIae, Q. 4; Q. 2; E. , Paris 1944, pp. -D. Sertillanges, La philosophie morale de Saint Thomas D' Aquin, Paris 1916, pp. 127-148. 65 G. N. Clark, The Seventeenth Century, 2nd. , Oxford 1947, p. 314. 66 M. Pellisson, in an article entitled: La secularisation de la morale au XVIlIe siecie, maintains, "Quand Pascal intenta aux jesuites Ie grand proces, ou il denonce 63 64 AMBIVALENT ATTITUDE TOWARD NATURAL MORALITY 27 Now although the term conscience occurs frequently in the Provinciales, apparently with its usual meaning,67 Pascal makes no express appeal to it as man's natural guide to conduct.

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