Bowing to the old gods
November 25, 2017 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Which european philosopher (or scientist?) was it I think from the middle ages who bowed to a statue of one of the old gods and answered that at some point it might be their turn in power again and he wanted to be in their favor?

I remember hearing this story (don't know if it's true or not) but can't remember who it was, Leanardo de Vinci? It was someone like that, I think. Has anyone else heard a story like this and who was it? It's possible it was more recent in the 18th or 19th century, but I don't think so.
posted by xarnop to Religion & Philosophy (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't speak for an original quote but I did come across this from Terry Pratchett:

“This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts...”
― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

posted by ninazer0 at 8:09 PM on November 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

Are you thinking of Pascal’s Wager?
posted by msali at 9:28 PM on November 25, 2017

No it was neither one of those, but lol, it was a story about how he saw a statue and bowed while he was in either Italy or Greece, I think it was to Zeus or Jupiter and was asked why and said that the Christian god might not always be in power and he wanted to honor the old gods in case it was their turn in power again (very very sloppy recreation). Whatever he said was much shorter but conveyed that point essentially. If I find it I will post it here for anyone who became curious, it's driving me nuts I can't remember who it was!!
posted by xarnop at 5:42 AM on November 26, 2017

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