Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quotes from The Thanatos Syndrome

p.85: [A doctor thinking about the epidemic of happy people in his area] "Happy is better than unhappy, right? But -- But what? They're somehow -- diminished."

p.89: "It is not for me to say whether one should try to be happy -- though it always struck me as an odd pursuit, like trying to be blue-eyed ... "

p.339: "I realize that I do not have many thoughts about Canada. Reading Stedmann, who mentions the heroic role the Canadians played in World War I, I realize a curious fact about the Canadians: When you hear the word Canada or Canadians, nothing much comes to mind -- unlike hearing the words Frenchman or Englishman or Chinese or Spaniard -- or Yankee. I realize this is an advantage. The Canadian is still free, has not yet been ossified by his word."

p. 364: "Even if the truths of religion could be proved to you one, two, three, it wouldn't make much difference, would it? One hundred percent of astronomers have discovered that the universe was created from nothing. The explanation is obvious but it does not avail. Who can handle it? It does not signify. It is boring to think of. Ninety-seven percent of astronomers are still atheists. Do you blame them? They are also boring. The only more boring thing would be if all ninety-seven percent all converted, right? It follows that there must be some other force at work, right?"

p. 365: "Do you know why this century has seen such terrible events happen? The Turks killing two million Armenians, the Holocaust, Hitler killing most of the Jews in Europe, Stalin killing fifteen million Ukranians, nuclear destruction unleashed, the final war apparently inevitable? It is because God agreed to let the Great Prince Satan to have his way with men for a hundred years -- this hundred years, this twentieth century. And he has. How did he do it? No great evil scenes, no demons -- he's too smart for that. All he had to do was leave us alone. We did it. Reason warred with faith. Science triumphed. The upshot? One hundred million dead. ... Because almost everyone has lost hope. Christians speak of the end time. Jews of the hopelessness of the mounting Arab terror. Even unbelievers, atheists, humanists, TV anchormen have lost hope ... Do you think that there is a secret desire for it? But you must not lose hope ... Because if you keep hope and have a loving heart and do not secretly hope for the death of others, the Great Prince Satan will not succeed in destroying the world. In a few years this dread century will be over. Perhaps the world will end in fire and the Lord will come -- it is not for us to say. But it is for us to say, she said, whether hope and faith will come back into the world."

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