There’s a chapter in Leszek Kołakowski’s wonderful Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing? 23 Questions from Great Philosophers (Basic Books, 2007) entitled “Faith: Why should we believe?” in which he outlines an argument from the Pensées by Blaise Pascal. Here’s the money quote:

“It is remarkable, Pascal says, that people don’t think about the things that most vitally concern them: their deaths, immortality, salvation. They do not think about them because they do not want to think about them; they would rather not be reminded of what awaits them. They flee from what is most vital, escaping into amusements of all kinds, anything to forget; their entire life becomes a series of amusements, a way of escaping. We invent all sorts of ways to avoid confronting the fundamental issue: hunting, theatre, parties, intrigues—even wars—all these are just ways of anaesthetizing the pain of existence.”

Happy Monday.



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