Pascal: ‘against indifference’

Many of us are familiar with “Pascal’s wager.” Recently, however, I found I was more greatly moved by Pascal’s thought “against indifference.”

In it, Pascal asks only whether the fate of the soul is near the forefront of our minds.

If it is not, then why not? If the people we spend time with are not concerned about it, then why do we spend time with them?

For the fate of the soul, Pascal asserts, comes logically before all other concerns. What we think about our soul guides the rest of our thought and action, and so is not a consideration to skimp on.

Reading the argument against indifference alerted me to my own indifference: Were Pascal to have asked for my opinion about the topic, I would have had little response and few questions of my own.

The passage also happens to be, I think, beautiful prose worth 10 minutes in its own right.

(By the way, anyone in my position who wants to begin addressing their indifference could do worse than the Very Short Introduction to theology by David Ford).


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