Friday, August 24, 2012

Why happy atheists are destined for unhappiness eternally

Peter Kreeft on Pascal's Pensées (from his book Christianity for Modern Pagans)

Pascal is in Red and Kreeft is in Blue

Pascal's Pensée [12]

Order. Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. The cure for this is first [I] to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect.

Next [2] make it attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then [3] show that it is.

Worthy of reverence because it really understands human nature.

Attractive because it promises true good.

The root of most atheism is not argument but attitude, not intellection but feeling, not the love of truth but the fear of truth...The point—that atheism's origin is not intellectual but volitional and moral-follows from Christ's promise that all who seek (God) will find (him). For unless this promise is a lie, and Christ a liar, there can be only two causes for not having found God, that is, for unbelief: (I) not seeking him, or (2) time. For eventually, however long the delay, all seekers find. See no. 160...

Pascal's Pensée [160]

There are only three sorts of people: those who have found God and serve him; those who are busy seeking him and have not found him; those who live without either seeking or finding him. The first are reasonable and happy, the last are foolish and unhappy, those in the middle are unhappy and reasonable.

There is no fourth class, none who find God without ever seeking him.

Group I are believers. They are "reasonable" or wise or sane because they seek and happy because they have found.

Group 2 are unhappy atheists and agnostics. They are "reasonable" because they seek and unhappy because they have not yet found.

Group 3 are the happy atheists. They are "unreasonable", foolish, spiritually insane, because they do not even seek the truth; and they are unhappy (forever!) because they do not find.

Thus, paradoxically, unhappy atheists are destined for happiness eternally, and happy atheists are destined for unhappiness eternally (just as Jesus said in Luke 6:21-26).

The great divide, the eternal divide, is not between theists and atheists, or between happiness and unhappiness, but tween seekers (lovers) and nonseekers (nonlovers) of the Truth (for God is Truth). Thus it is the heart and not the head that determines our eternal destiny.

We all instinctively know this is right.

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