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Not So Deep Thoughts
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Philip "really liked" this Thought of the Day from Andrew Sullivan's site:


There are no simple congruities in life or history. The cult of happiness erroneously assumes them. It is possible to soften the incongruities of life endlessly by the scientific conquest of nature's caprices, and the social and political triumph over historic injustice. But all such strategies cannot finally overcome the fragmentary character of human existence. The final wisdom of life requires, not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it...

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; there we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; there we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our own standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

- Reinhold Niebuhr, Irony of American History.


This is a beautiful case of obscuring meaning by using abstract, flowery language. Some of these sentences aren't even worth trying to parse. Those that are are fatuous, e.g. "Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime". What the hell is this guy smoking? And what, exactly, is he advocating?

Sometimes Sullivan posts some interesting stuff, but this little gem made my eyes bleed.


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