August 20, 2010


Agnosticism: Neutrality is impossible. One must choose. (Thaddeus J. Kozinski, 20 August 2010, MercatorNet)

Have you ever heard of the famous wager of the 17th century mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal? "Either God is, or he is not. But to which view shall we be inclined? Reason cannot decide this question. Infinite chaos separates us. At the far end of this infinite distance [death] a coin is being spun that will come down heads [God] or tails [no God]. How will you wager?" The agnostic says, "The right thing is not to wager at all." Pascal replies, "But you must wager. There is no choice. You are already committed."

As Pascal points out, we can't not choose. Agnosticism is not really an option, for we must act, not just think, in this life, and all action is either for or against God. All actions either are oriented to and motivated by love, or they are not. (I mean voluntary, deliberate, and significant actions here—sneezing or putting on one's socks in the morning might be safely considered neutral!) If God is love, then there can be no real neutrality. Of course, Pascal's wager is only a rough start for those who have little else than their self-interest to motivate themselves. One must go deeper.

It's pretty simple, really. If you choose to live as if love does not exist, then you will have to accept the consequences: a loveless life and a loveless afterlife. Whether life ends in this world or goes on, you ain't gonna have love either way, for unconsciousness surely isn't love, and if there is indeed life after death, well, you reap what you sow—why would you choose love in the afterlife if you rejected it in this one?

"Ah, sir, may God forgive you for the damage you've done to the whole rest of the world, in trying to cure the wittiest lunatic ever seen! Don't you see, my dear sir, that whatever utility there might be in curing him, it could never match the pleasure he gives with his madness?"

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 20, 2010 6:26 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus