Truth Is Obscured Nowadays (Pascal)

This is one of those books that I don’t always agree with, but it does always make me think: Christianity for Modern Pagans by Peter Kreeft.  It’s basically a modern commentary on some of Pascal’s Pensees.  Here’s one part that got me thinking about truth; it’s worth sharing:

Truth is so obscured nowadays and lies are so well established that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it (Pascal).

Here are Kreeft’s comments on Pascal’s statement; though I don’t fully agree with them, they are worth digesting:

This is why the discovery of truth depends on the heart and will, not just the head and mind.  This is why the prime requisite for any great truth (like God, or the meaning of life or death, or who we are and what we ought to do, or even finding the right mate and right career) is love, passion, questing, and questioning.  Once we pursue a question with our whole being, as Socrates pursued ‘know thyself’, we will find answers.  Answers are not as hard to come by as we think; and questions, real questioning, is a lot more rare and precious than we think.

Finding is not the problem, seeking is.  For truth is hidden, ever since the Fall but especially ‘nowadays’, now that our secular society no longer helps us to God, as traditional societies did.  Lies are well established on the level of appearance (for example, movies); truth and reality are hidden, behind the lies.  No one will find the truth today just by listening to the media, which are largely in the power of the Father of Lies.  We have to ignore the pervasive chatter and seek the countercultural, unfashionable, media-scorned truth behind these obstacles.

Clearly, this situation has become vastly exacerbated since Pascal’s day.  Here again he plays the prophet; he is more relevant to our time than his own.

If we do not love the truth, we will not seek it.  If we do not seek it, we will not find it.  If we do not find it, we will not know it.  If we do not know it, we have failed our fundamental task in time, and quite likely also in eternity.

Peter Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans, p. 216-17.

Shane Lems