Apothegms and Observations XXII

  1. Mr. Nitpicker, what are we to do with you?
  2. Nietzsche attempts to be a philosopher of joy.
  3. I respect a feminist who knows the tradition: WollstonecraftBeauvoir, Wittig, and Butler.
  4. The Internet is undoubtedly great, but undoubtedly has given fools bullhorns.
  5. Without a rite of passage, it is difficult to decide when a child becomes an adult.
  6. Perhaps teenage listlessness is caused by adults not being seen as adults.
  7. A challenge! If you desire the well-being of our black brothers and sisters, then move to the inner city and make a real difference.
  8. After I read Nietzsche, the atheism of anyone else seemed a joke.
  9. In philosophy, brevity is probably best. This is not the case in conversation.
  10. Boldness: The virtue is not forgotten, but the reason for its virtuosity may be.
  11. Which method of inquiry has been shown to be able to produce certainty and agreement over long periods of time? The scientific method. Therefore, if certainty and agreement are valued, then when it is possible, let us use the scientific method.
  12. A political philosophy exists only within a moral philosophy and an anthropology.
  13. Conflicting counsel necessitates courage.
  14. There can be no tyrants in a world that happily laughs at itself. Thus, comedy is threatening to a tyrant.
  15. Once I understood the draw of nihilism, my view of art changed.
  16. The people who like nihilism are the people who have never lived it.
  17. Having an abundance of comedy can tend towards nihilism.
  18. If I could not believe in God, I imagine I would be dead by now, from a drug overdose. If I was lucky, I would be in an asylum. All observation and thinking would only bring the deadness of life right through my eyes and into my brain, cutting it with quick slices, squeezing it with endless migraines, and the drowning of sorrows would become a full-time job. I would laugh at Camus‘s fear of the reality of Man’s situation, his weakness that is manifested in wanting to elude the obvious Nihilism, his arbitrary conviction, holding on to the value of meaningless emotion and revolt and strength and freedom and invention and integrity. I would laugh at Rand‘s naivety, her ignorance of the ruin of Aristotle’s conception of Nature: Darwin. I would speculate that the Underground Man was right; only a simpleton can be happy. For if life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, then it is better not to know this truth. Nietzsche was also right; once God has been killed, the only way out of nihilism is irrationalism, which is insanity. Thank You, Father, for Your gift of Life! Thank You, Father, for renewing my heart towards belief in You, though I deserve it the least! Therefore, help my unbelief, and let me live for You. A final thought – is this the apothegm of an extremist?
  19. Oh, what a comfort it is to know that God is holding on to me, and not the other way around!
  20. Which respects the person-hood of the convict more: a retributive conception of criminal justice, or a rehabilitative conception? But, which benefits society more?
  21. Truly, The Oh Hellos are triumphant.
  22. This is perhaps the primary mistake of queer theory: assuming that the exception destroys the rule.
  23. Two titles that I wish were not taken: Mein Kampf and The Guide for the Perplexed.
  24. This is a fundamental war: humility, peace, and joy vs. pride, confusion, and despair.
  25. When I say that America was founded on Christian principles, I am primarily talking about William Bradford, not Thomas Jefferson.
  26. It is a great blessing to be carefree.
  27. Talent is not hubris, but a good gift from God, to be used.
  28. Perhaps this is a pattern: first, naïve love of good things leads to idolatry, then fear of corruption leads to denunciation of good things, and finally, suffocation of straight-lacedness leads to gentle recovery of good things.
  29. Humility… I constantly run from you, into regret.
  30. With a nod to the Avetts, perhaps there are two meanings to the modern word, “Pride.” To feel pride in one’s nation or career is be thankful for a gift. To have hubris is to be blindly self-absorbed, self-important, to think oneself to be infinite and primary. It is to disregard the equal value of others, to ignore the fact of creatureliness, to hilariously desire Godhood.
  31. A word I often forget: service. The leader serves.
  32. If Nietzsche’s entire system rests on his psychology, the Will to Power, then if his psychology is unsatisfactory, then his entire system is unsatisfactory. Surely his psychology is unsatisfactory: does it accurately describe a “noble soul” who loves to go fishing with his grandson? Does it accurately describe Hub, the adventurer who gives a talk to young men, teaching them about the good things of life beyond themselves? In short, does it accurately describe a retired free spirit?
  33. If a community feels uneasy about celebrating “Culture” in the universal sense, I hesitate to trust it.
  34. I go with the existentialists in their astute psychology, their exposition of the inner workings of the individual, but I do not go with them in their terror of the meaninglessness of life. “Do not fret,” I say to the existentialist within, “He is risen!”

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