No Comment, Quotation — March 9, 2008, 12:00 am

Merton on the Choice Between Good and Evil

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The mere ability to choose between good and evil is the lowest limit of freedom, and the only thing that is free about it is the fact that we can still choose good.

To the extent that you are free to choose evil, you are not free. An evil choice destroys freedom.

We can never choose evil as evil: only as an apparent good. But when we decide to do something that seems to us to be good when it is not really so, we are doing something that we do not really want to do, and therefore we are not really free.

Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, ch. 27 (1961).

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