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There is a generic sense in which all transgression is inextirpable, just as every misdoing is, in a relatively straightforward, hyper-Protestant kind of way, inexpiable: no penitential ceremony, sacrificial ritual, or confessional performance—no “good work”—can wipe out the “infinite debt” incurred by our free and rational decision to embrace evil. Arising from our own freedom, every moral debt is by definition strictly irredeemable; there is no possible reparation that might counteract or compensate for our transgressions. To discharge our sin demands of us nothing less than an act of radical conversion—“a total change of heart.”

Irreparability is indeed the very key to morality.

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