Pious or Impious? “None of the Above” Is Not An Option


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Ireland_road_sign_RUS_003_public_domain_1200x1200Peter Kreeft, commenting on Pascal’s Wager, notes how inevitable death makes choice between Christian belief and unbelief unavoidable.

We are “condemned to freedom” (to use Sartre’s formula). “There is no choice”, says Pascal; that is, we cannot choose whether or not we must choose. We must choose, though we are free to choose unbelief or belief. Why can’t we choose not to choose? Why can’t we choose agnosticism? Because we are “already committed”, that is, “embarked”…, as on a ship….We are moving, past a port that claims to be our true home. We can choose to turn and put in at this port (that is, to believe) or to refuse it (that is, to disbelieve), but we cannot choose to stay motionless out at sea. For we are not motionless; we are dying. Our journey—and our fuel—is finite. Some day soon the fuel will run out, and we will no longer be able to choose to put in at the port of God, to believe, for we will have no more time….In other words, to every possible question life presents three possible answers: Yes, No and Evasion. Death removes the third answer.

—Peter Kreeft, Christianity For Modern Pagans: Pascal’s Pensées Edited, Outlined And Explained, 299-300 in the 1993 Ignatius Press edition. Alternate Link (by Author/Title instead of ISBN).

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