Tag: Philosophy

Emo Phillips Talks Someone off the Ledge (Almost)

Emo Phillips had a joke about this:

“Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!”

He said, “Nobody loves me.”

I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?” He said, “Yes.”

I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.”

I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.”

I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.”

I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.”

I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”

I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.”

I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.”

Via reddit

Let Go or Get Dragged. Embracing Change, David Bowie on

CARLOS ALOMAR: The trilogy—Low, “Heroes,” Lodger—changed my life forever. In adjusting myself to the methodologies that were used, and the new form of freethinking and linear thinking that I was exposed to, it changed me. They taught me that every time I came back to David, I needed to change. He wanted R&B, rock and roll, electronic music, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, romantic music. Stir the pot and out comes the Thin White Duke. He was such a restless person. He didn’t like being comfortable. Comfortable is genre-driven, and be careful, because it will outlive you and it will surpass you. David had a lovely saying, “Let go, or be dragged.” He was David 2.0, 3.0.

David Bowie: A Life
Dylan Jones

Apology for Idlers – Robert Louis Stevenson

He who has much looked on at the childish satisfaction of other people in their hobbies, will regard his own with only a very ironical indulgence. He will not be heard among the dogmatists. He will have a great and cool allowance for all sorts of people and opinions. If he finds no out-of-the-way truths, he will identify himself with no very burning falsehood. His way takes him along a by-road, not much frequented, but very even and pleasant, which is called Commonplace Lane, and leads to the Belvedere of Commonsense. Thence he shall command an agreeable, if no very noble prospect; and while others behold the East and West, the Devil and the Sunrise, he will be contentedly aware of a sort of morning hour upon all sublunary things, with an army of shadows running speedily and in many different directions into the great daylight of Eternity. The shadows and the generations, the shrill doctors and the plangent wars, go by into ultimate silence and emptiness; but underneath all this, a man may see, out of the Belvedere windows, much green and peaceful landscape; many firelit parlours; good people laughing, drinking, and making love as they did before the Flood or the French Revolution; and the old shepherd telling his tale under the hawthorn.

Quote from the essay, Apology for Idlers, which you can find here:
The Lantern-Bearers and Other Essays
Robert Louis Stevenson

Provocative Drama – Cassavetes on

When people were walking out of Husbands and Faces en masse I never felt bad about that because I thought that it was pain that was taking them out of the theater and I thought that it wasn’t the fact that the film was bad. It was that they couldn’t take it without changing their own lifestyles, which made both those films very successful to me. I thought at the time that Husbands was anti the lifestyle of almost everyone in America. We presented a lifestyle that went against their lifestyle. People walked out because they didn’t want to accept the fact that there could be anything wrong with the way they lived their lives.

It doesn’t matter whether audiences like it; it matters whether they feel something. I feel I’ve succeeded if I make them feel something — anything. The hope is that you don’t make it so easy for an audience that when they go to your movie they have nothing to think about except, ‘That was wonderful. Good. Next! What else are you going to entertain my great appetite with?’ I want to make you mad. Yeah, that’s going to take longer. And yeah, when we have it we’ll let you know, I mean. And we’ll put it there.

Cassavetes on Cassavetes
John Cassavetes, Ray Carney

If Life is a Joke Shouldn’t it be a Good One? – George Bernard Shaw and Tolstoy

“You said that my manner in that book was not serious enough — that I made people laugh in my most earnest moment. Why should humour and laughter be excommunicated? Suppose the world were only one of God’s jokes; would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one?”

Letter from George Bernard Shaw to Tolstoy

In Samuel Beckett’s play Happy Days, the character Winnie says something along the same lines:
“How can one better magnify the Almighty than by sniggering with him at his little jokes, particularly the poorer ones?”
(See also: John Simon on Beckett’s Happy Days)

Human beings reveal their character most clearly by what they find ridiculous. – Goethe Quote

The first time I read “Elective Affinities” was in college, when it appeared on the syllabus of a class that I swiftly dropped. The teacher pronounced “Goethe” with enthusiastic violence, making it sound like a noise someone would make when using the toilet. I read the book on my own time and strip-mined it for insights on marriage, fashion and virtue. (“Human beings reveal their character most clearly by what they find ridiculous.”)

It wasn’t until revisiting the book five years later that I saw what I had missed — and, contrarily, probably missed a lot of what I’d understood the first time. The novel is about an aristocratic married couple, Charlotte and Eduard, who fall in love with other people. They work through their rift by exchanging stiff philosophical dialogues about fate, domesticity, nature, freedom, transgression — you know, all the fun stuff. Aphorisms everywhere.

There’s a piece in The American Scholar in which Alberto Manguel describes Goethe as never merely narrating, but always injecting theories into his prose, with those theories permeating each section “like the smell of fried onions.” It remains the only novel I’ve read that feels like the work of a scientist (author) guiding lab rats (characters) through a maze (plot). It was published in 1809 to widespread bafflement.

Wind, Of Course, Goethe and Shame Our critic recommends old and new books.
Molly Young

Rational Groping

How does one inquire into value? The standard answer these days is, by rational groping. That is, we begin from our intuitive sense of things and then fashion our ethical “intuitions” into a body of knowledge through reflection. Say we ask the question, is time in leisure good in itself? I’m inclined to answer, “Yes, intuitively speaking; it does seem so.” Which is to say something like “Yes, it seems so, but I don’t yet claim to have an explanation why this would be true, and I might change my mind I can’t find one.” But then I can try to think up principles or theories that would explain my intuitive reactions. I can adjust and prune either the intuitions or the principles or theories, until they all fit into a coherent system. I can keep tinkering until the overall fit seems holistically satisfying, much in the way scientists gradually refine theories. John Rawls, the twentieth century’s most influential political philosopher (and Quine’s colleague at Harvard), called this the search for “reflective equilibrium.” It is always a search, in both ethics and science. We never just coast along without the Socratic labors of reexamination. But the search has a destination. We can gain in understanding and confidence.

Surfing with Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry into a Life of Meaning
Aaron James

When a Scholar Acknowledges All His Sources, He Brings the Day of Redemption a Little Closer – Talmud Quote

His voice is so weightily authoritative that he hardly ever bothers to cite a source or quote a fellow critic. There is, so the sociologist Michael Walzer tells us, ‘a saying in the Talmud that when a scholar acknowledges all his sources, he brings the day of redemption a little closer’, in which case Williams has managed to postpone the Messiah’s arrival indefinitely. Not that he always had that many sources to quote. There were many significant thinkers whom he never read; and while this reflects something of his originality and independence of mind, the way he draws so deeply on his own resources, it also betrays a certain pride and aloofness, a refusal to be beholden to his fellow intellectuals, which is not easy to square with his politics.

Critical Revolutionaries: Five Critics Who Changed the Way We Read
Terry Eagleton
(from the section on Raymond Williams. )

Theological Purpose of Hell – Reddit discussion

I think satan just gives you a tour and shows you around like in mtv cribs

Shows lake of molten lava…”and this is where the magic happens😉”

It could happen to you, cause it happened to me

If you want an actual answer, satan isn’t punishing you for disobeying God. The Bible teaches that everything good comes from God, and Hell is simply a place of complete separation from him. So it’s pure torture.

This. Hell is a result of the fall of man and a man’s choice on earth to knowingly and totally reject God. Hell is a continuation of this separation from God, but now it is absolute separation. And the soul is very aware of this and so suffers in existing in a place devoid of God who is love. The soul realizes their rejection of God. But I do not believe what the soul in hell would feel is regret. It’s too late. There is no love there at all. I think those souls would curse at God. The devil does not really understand love, but one thing is certain–he does not want it to exist.

So basically nothing changes when I die?

No more rent

Supposedly you’d be going through a constant agonizing state of emptiness and craving something completely out of your reach.

Why the middle ages decided to make that all about gore and torture only they know (well, we do too – fear of hell was lucrative af).

even Inferno has Satan chained up and frozen at the centre of hell.

His punishment is self inflicted though. He’s trapped in the ice because he won’t stop beating his wings in rage and generating the ice storm keeping him frozen in place. If he did stop for a while he could escape but he’s a slave to passion and can’t.

So fucking metal