Sunday, December 07, 2008

READ MY APOCALYPSE: Aphorisms on Religion and Philosophy

Which would be the greater miracle, if the human race were created by God or if it came into existence by chance? Perhaps those monkeys really did type Shakespeare…
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Suppose, as some do, that the Big Bang was just part of a cycle of bangs stretching backwards and forwards forever… So when God said Let there be light, He was just reinventing the light bulb?
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The world does not need faith so much as it needs credit.
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Apocalyptic thinking is least appropriate in a real emergency.
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The Middle Ages turned religion into a neurosis. We have turned neurosis into a religion.
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The St. Peter Principle: Every clergyman rises to the level of his spiritual incompetence.
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Heaven is a gated community.
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In my Father’s house are many McMansions.
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I let Jesus into my heart... Now all He does is watch TV and leave crumbs on the sofa.
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I have listened to the call of Being. It is a recording.
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Did Nietzsche have a system? Yes. But it was a nervous system.
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The Owl of Minerva is a fly-by-night operator.
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The Tree of Knowledge stands on a trunk full of facts. Next to it sways the Flower of Poetry on its ghostly epistème. The Tree branches out, the Flower opens up. They evolve in different directions and are radically the same. Think your way to the roots.
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Dendrites: tiny knowledge trees.
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Truths are misconception’s exceptions.
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Synergy.—A poetaster, a mediocre musician, a scatterbrained philosopher, a sloppy philologist: from the intersection of these incompetencies rose Nietzsche’s incomparable genius.
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Epistomological Proposition in the Form of a Cheap Suit Joke.—Q. How is epistemology like a cheap suit? A. It keeps coming apart along the “seems.”
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Pale Ontology: 1. The study of all delicate ghostly things that will forever shimmer just beyond the grasp of the mind. 2. Branch of philosophy that studies the gradual but inexorable falling away from us of that night we pledged eternity to each other on the beach beneath the stars as a fundamental predicate of Being. 3. Science that measures the perpetually receding earliness of things.
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He kept bumping his head into walls. In an open field he stumbled through the absence of walls.
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Take a thing for granted and you no longer see it. Look at it too closely and it disappears.
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The anti-chameleon has the uncanny ability to maladapt to any surroundings.
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Everything is necessary; nothing is sufficient.
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The improbability of Nietzsche: a nineteenth-century Prussian Lenny Bruce.
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Nietzsche reads on the page like a great stand-up comic.
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Nietzsche and Untimeliness.—Untimeliness is essentially a comedic position and requires perfect timing.
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Nietzsche harvested the peculiar ripeness of the untimely.
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The difference between ripeness and decay is a matter of taste.
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Yes, Virginia, there is tragedy in Heaven, but it is set to music by Mozart, illustrated by Botticelli, and narrated by Oscar Wilde.
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Life is a one-way street—but look both ways.
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The origin did not happen, it is happening.
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Infinity is never finished.

Arthur Chapin