10. The theories we have been examining not only fail to satisfy either the reason or the aspirations of humankind, but they present to the mind a succession of insurmountable difficulties, of questions in regard to matters of fact, which they are utterly incapable of answering. We have to choose between three theoretic alternatives: annihilation, absorption, and the individuality of the soul before and after death. It is to this last belief that we are led by reason; and it is this belief that has constituted the basis of all religions in all the ages of the world.
If reason leads us to the conviction of the persistence of the soul’s individuality, it also leads us to the admission of the consequence of that persistence, viz., that the fate of each soul must depend on its own personal qualities; for it would be irrational to assume that the backward souls of the savage and the evil-minded are at the same level as those of the scientific and the benevolent. Justice demands that each soul should be responsible for its own actions; but, in order for souls to be thus responsible, they must be free to choose between good and evil. Unless we admit the freedom of the will, we must necessarily assume the existence of fate; and responsibility cannot co-exist with fatalism.