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44903remain on that dizzying crest

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  • Jewel
    Aug 5, 2008
      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "louise" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:

      From an aesthetic point of view, I have always found the Pascalian
      wager quite repulsive. To gamble on truth is to make a rational
      choice, as though belief could be manufactured. Possibly it can.
      Human beings differ considerably. At any rate I can see no
      connection between what Pascal reckons to be faith, and what
      Kierkegaard means by the leap. Scepticism as a starting-point always
      has my trust. Even when Voltaire is not enjoyable to read, he proves
      most sound.

      Skepticism has firm footing in Camus's theory of the absurd, and who
      has greater need of it than the person about to plunge to their
      literal death? Living isn't a leap or a gamble. It might be the
      ultimate skepticism.

      "In a man's attachment to life there is something stronger than all
      the ills of the world. the body's judgment is as good as the mind's,
      and the body shrinks from annihilation. We get into the habit of
      living before acquiring the habit of thinking. In that race that daily
      hastens us towards death, the body maintains its irreparable lead. In
      short the essence of the contradiction lies in what I shall call the
      act of eluding because it is both more and less than diversion in the
      Pascalian sense. Eluding is the invariable game. The typical act of
      eluding, the fatal evasion that constitutes the third theme of this
      essay, is hope. Hope of another life one must 'deserve' or trickery of
      those who live not for life itself but for some great idea that will
      transcend it, refine it, give it meaning, and betray itÂ…The leap does
      not represent an extreme danger as Kierkegaard would like it to do.
      The danger, on the contrary, lies in the subtle instant that precedes
      the leap. Being able to remain on that dizzying crest--that is
      integrity and the rest is subterfuge. I know also that never has
      helplessness inspired such harmonies as those of Kierkegaard. But if
      helplessness has its place in the indifferent landscapes of history,
      it has none in a reasoning who exigence is now known." (Myth of
      Sisyphus, Albert Camus)

      Camus feared that existentialism, which he confused with anarchistic
      nihilism, logically led to suicide. He recognized that faith can lead
      to suicide as well; and he thought people who lived without hope for
      eternity lived more responsibly, because this life is what we have
      now. Only we can create it.

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