Death of Simone Weil, French Philosopher, Activist, and Religious Searcher Hot

Death of Simone Weil, French Philosopher, Activist, and Religious Searcher

Simone Weil, 1936

Simone Weil dies in Kent, England of cardiac failure and after refusing proper treatment for tuberculosis.

Simone Weil was a French philosopher, activist, and religious searcher who will be regarded by many Catholics as a "saint outside the church" because of her religious writings and despite the fact that she was never baptized (she came from a non-practicing Jewish family).

Simone Weil's philosophy was both political and spiritual; combining the two, she focused on ways to heal social rifts between different groups in society. Weil was unusual among left-wing intellectuals in that as she got older and as her philosophy developed, she grew more rather than less religious.

Weil argued for the existence of a good God, although she was never able to prove it. Instead she offered a wager which she hoped might solved the problem:

"If we put obedience to God above everything else, unreservedly, with the following thought, 'Suppose God is real,' then our gain is total. ...

If one follows this rule of life, then no revelation at the moment of death can cause any regrets, because if chance or the devil governs all worlds we would still have no regrets for having lived this way.

This is greatly preferable to Pascal's wager."

Where Simone Weil's argument goes wrong is that one can one live a life of loving and learning without any reference to God. Adding "suppose God is real" does not appear to add anything important or necessary.


An Encounter with Simone Weil

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