Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'philosophy'

Sympathy, conscience, disgust, despair, repentance, and atonement are for us repellent debauchery – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler

July 24th, 2012 · Comments Off on Sympathy, conscience, disgust, despair, repentance, and atonement are for us repellent debauchery – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler · Electoralism, Means and Ends, Philosophy, Politics

‘My point is this,’ he said; ‘one may not regard the world as a sort of metaphysical brothel for emotions. That is the first commandment for us. Sympathy, conscience, disgust, despair, repentance, and atonement are for us repellent debauchery. To sit down and let oneself be hypnotized by one’s own navel, to turn up one’s […]

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When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler

July 22nd, 2012 · Comments Off on When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler · Philosophy, Politics, Religion

‘When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality. With unity as the end, the use of every means is sanctified, even cunning, treachery, violence, simony, prison, death. For all order is for the sake of the community, and the individual must be sacrificed to the common good.’ […]

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Confrontation with death always altered the mechanism of thought – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler

July 21st, 2012 · Comments Off on Confrontation with death always altered the mechanism of thought – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler · Humanism, Philosophy, Quotes

Rubashov wondered what other surprises his mental apparatus held in store for him. He knew from experience that confrontation with death always altered the mechanism of thought and caused the most surprising reactions – like the movements of a compass brought close to the magnetic pole.

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Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of – “The Grapes of Wrath” – John Steinbeck 

June 14th, 2012 · Comments Off on Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of – “The Grapes of Wrath” – John Steinbeck  · Atheism, Christianity, Humanism, Morality, Philosophy, Religion

I figgered about the Holy Sperit and the Jesus road. I figgered, ‘Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe,’ I figgered, ‘maybe it’s all men an’ all women we love; maybe that’s the Holy Sperit—the human sperit—the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul ever’body’s a part of.’ […]

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There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue – “The Grapes of Wrath” – John Steinbeck 

June 13th, 2012 · Comments Off on There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue – “The Grapes of Wrath” – John Steinbeck  · Atheism, Christianity, Humanism, Morality, Philosophy, Quotes, Religion

There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do. It’s all part of the same thing. And some of the things folks do is nice, and some ain’t nice, but that’s as far as any man got a right to say.’

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People are neither Good nor Bad – “All the King’s Men”, Robert Penn Warren

May 17th, 2012 · Comments Off on People are neither Good nor Bad – “All the King’s Men”, Robert Penn Warren · Complexity, History, Humanism, Morality, Philosophy, Quotes

Jack Burden: “what we students of history always learn is that the human being is a very complicated contraption and that they are not good or bad but are good and bad and the good comes out of bad and the bad out of good, and the devil take the hindmost.”

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Either by the splendour of genius, or the adroitness of corruption – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

May 12th, 2012 · Comments Off on Either by the splendour of genius, or the adroitness of corruption – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr  · Australian Labor Party, Leadership, Morality, Philosophy, Politics, Power

But (The Protagonist of Lost Illusions) is subject to what Balzac calls the ‘pitiless laws of society’. Great expression, that. And here are some of those awful laws, expressed by one of Lucien’s Paris acquaintances: “Do you know how a man makes his way in this world? Either by the splendour of genius, or the […]

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Both you and he will be dead, and your very names will quickly be forgotten – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

May 11th, 2012 · Comments Off on Both you and he will be dead, and your very names will quickly be forgotten – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr  · Campaigning, Humanism, Philosophy, Power, Quotes

(Aurelius’ Meditations) does however, suggest two consolations. First, men are not intentional evildoers. And, second, their ‘enmities, suspicions, animosities and conflicts’ will vanish with the dust and ashes: “That men of a certain type should behave as they do is inevitable. To wish it otherwise were to wish the fig-tree would not yield its juice. […]

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The Melancholy of the Antique World – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

May 10th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Melancholy of the Antique World – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr  · Humanism, Philosophy

Gustave Flaubert, in a letter to a friend, speculated on the ‘melancholy of the antique world’ being more profound than that of our modern world because there was no hope of life beyond the grave. Flaubert went on to say that for the ancients therefore, that: “’Black hole’ was infinity itself; their dreams loom and […]

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The Search for Perfection is a Recipe for Bloodshed – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

May 7th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Search for Perfection is a Recipe for Bloodshed – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr  · Communism, Extremism, Humanism, Ideology, Philosophy, Policy, Politics, Progressive Politics, Quotes, Socialism

(Isaiah) Berlin takes his analysis a step further. He writes that such a “search for perfection does seem to me a recipe for bloodshed, no better even if it is demanded by the sincerest of idealists, the purest of heard… To force people into the neat uniforms demanded by dogmatically believed in schemes is almost […]

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