Michael Novak on Nihilism and ‘The Moral Principle’

“I have tested this moral principle and have found it fortifying: Accept the experience of nothingness as a gift, search deep into it, live by its living streams. One thing I particularly appreciate about this moral principle is that it requires no illusions. Far from shutting one’s eyes to the nothingness and the meaninglessness, one keeps the cellar door open in order to feel, at all times, its cool, stale draft. In that way, one is never allowed to forget. And from these four moral virtues, one forgets creative strength. Creation out of nothingness.

Freedom means choosing every moment who I am, and what exactly I must do this minute. Self-governement – yes, precisely that. Yet not exactly without community, community down through time, community around the planet. Not exactly isolated. One’s ancestors continue to live in one’s own consciousness. One’s unversal brothers also do. All together, on a darkling plain.”

Quoted from Michael Novak’s No One Sees God: The Dark Night of Atheists and Believers (Doubleday, 2008), pp. 24-25.


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