Monday, January 28, 2008

Philosophy Roundup 4

If there is no God, why are we so hungry to believe in Him? Just because evil liars stand between us and God, and block our view of Him, does not mean that the bright halo that surrounds each liar is not the outer edges of God, waiting for us to find our way around the lie.

You can't know from the outside what makes a person choose the things they choose.

Everyone dies. Everyone leaves. What matters is the things you build together before they go. What matters is the part of them that continues in you when they're gone.

All the stories are fictions. What matters is which fiction you believe.

Our unconscious choice reflects our true will.

I want all bad things to go away and everybody to be happy. What kind of childish dolt have I become?

So you had a lousy childhood - that was a few years ago, and you are expected now to put that behind you and get along with other people like a normally courteous adult.

Language comes to us, and with it lies and threats, cruelty and disappointment.

The price of having these emotions, these passions, is that you have to control them. You have to bear them when they're too strong to bear. You'll never make those feelings to away - you just have to learn not to act on them.

It is a part of our life, to step from the ancient to the modern, back and forth. We should feel rather sorry for those who know only one and not the other. It is better to be able to select from the whole menu of human achievements than to be bound within one narrow range.

Part of our purpose is now, is the moment. And part of it is the web of connections, links from soul to soul. If the purpose of life was just to continue into the future, then none of it would have any meaning, because it would be all anticipation and preparation. There is fruition. There is the happiness we've already had, the happiness of each moment. The end of our lives, even if there's no forward continuation, even no children at all - the end of our lives doesn't erase the beginning.

None of our experiences is wasted. The child you hold in your arms only for a day before he dies - that is not wasted, because that one day is enough of a purpose in itself. Entropy has been thrown back for an hour, a day, a week, a month. Just because we will all die here on this little world does not undo the lives before the deaths.

When we die, then our death has meaning to the rest of the universe. Even if our lives are unknown, the fact that someone lived here, and died, that will have repercussions - that will shape the universe.

This is how war is fought, in case you have any foolish ideas to the contrary: You don't fight with minimum force - you fight with maximum force at endurable cost. You don't just pink your enemy, you don't even bloody him, you destroy his capability to fight back. It's the strategy you use with diseases. You don't try to find a drug that kills 99% of the bacteria or viruses. If you do that, all you've accomplished is to create a new drug-resistant strain. You have to kill 100%.

There are times when you have to defend yourself or someone else against relentless evil. And some of those times the only defense that has any hope of succeeding is a one time use of brutal, devastating force. At such times good people act brutally.

Changing the world is good for those who want their names in books. But being happy, that is for those who write their names in the lives of others, and hold the hearts of others as the treasure most dear.

Edge nations, even when they rule the very civilizations in whose shadow they had once huddled, were never able to shake off their sense of not-belonging, their fear that their culture was irredeemably inferior and secondary. The result was that they were at once too aggressive and overextended themselves, growing beyond the boundaries they could consolidate and hold, and too diffident, surrendering everything that really was powerful and fresh in their culture while retaining only the outward trappings of independence.

No true national literature can ever be written by those whose values derive from outside that national culture.

Is who you are really who you want to be?

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