Sunday, 5 April 2020

THE FATHER LOVE OF GOD

'At the heart of the madness of the gospel is an almost unbelievable mystery that speaks to a deep human hunger only intensified by a generation of broken homes: to be seen and known and loved by a father. Maybe navigating the tragedy and heartbreak of this fallen world is realizing this hunger might not be met by the ones we expect or hope will come looking for us, but then meeting a Father who adopts you, who chooses you, who sees you a long way off and comes running and says "I've been waiting for you."' 
James KA Smith, On the Road with Saint Augustine, p.201. 

Saturday, 4 April 2020

OPPOSITES UNDERSTAND

'...opposites often instinctively understand each other...'
William Maxwell, 'My Father's Friends' in Billy Dyer and Other Stories, p.80. 

THE CHALLENGE OF COMPLIMENTING SOMEONE FOR SOMETHING FUNDAMENTAL

'Obviously I have not got through a long life without praising people - their houses, their gardens, their wives, their children, their political opinions, quite often their writing. But though I have liked a lot of people and loved a few, I have never been much good as telling them so, or telling them why. The more my admiration goes out to a man or woman personally, and not to some performance or accomplishment, the harder it is for me to express. The closer I come to fundamental values and beliefs, the closer I come to reticence. It is a more naked act for me to tell someone I am impressed by his principles and his integrity than to say I like his book or his necktie.' 
Wallace Stegner, 'A Letter to Wendell Berry' in Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs, p.207. 

WHAT EXPERIENCE DO WRITERS NEED?

'We hear a great deal of lamentation these days about writers having all taken themselves to the colleges and universities where they live decorously instead of going out and getting firsthand information about life. The fact is that anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days. If you can't make something out of a little experience, you probably won't be able to make it out of a lot. The writer's business is to contemplate experience, not to be merged in it.' 
Flannery O'Connor, 'The Nature and Aim of Fiction' in Mystery and Manners, p.84. 

THE LIMITS OF FICTION

'It's always wrong of course to say that you can't do this or that in fiction. You can do anything you can get away with, but nobody has ever got away with much.' 
Flannery O'Connor, 'The Nature and Aim of Fiction' in Mystery and Manners, p.76. 

SYMBOLISM

'Now the word symbol scares a good many people off, just as the word art does. They seem to feel that a symbol is some mysterious thing put in arbitrarily by the writer to frighten the common reader - sort of a literary Masonic grip that is only for the initiated. They seem to think that it is a way of saying something that you aren't actually saying, and so if they can be got to read a reputedly symbolic work at all, they approach it as if it were a problem in algebra. Find x. And when they do find or think they find this abstraction, x, then they go off with an elaborate sense of satisfaction and the notion that they have "understood" the story. Many students confuse the process of understanding a thing with understanding it.' 
Flannery O'Connor, 'The Nature and Aim of Fiction' in Mystery and Manners, p.71. 

WHAT MAKES WRITING ENGAGING?

'A lady who writes, and whom I admire very much, wrote me that she had learned from Flaubert that it takes at least three activated sensuous strokes to make on object real; and she believes that this is connected with us having five senses. If you're deprived of any of them, you're in a bad way, but if you're deprived of more than two at once, you almost aren't present.' 
Flannery O Connor, 'The Nature and Aim of Fiction' in Mystery & Manners, p.69. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF INHABITING A STORY

'To be without a story is to live without any type of script that might help us know who we are and what we're about. We flail and meander. We frantically try on roles and identities to see if they fit. To be character-ized by a story is to have a name, a backstory, a project - all of which serve as rails to run on, something stable and given that we count on. We can be known because there's someone to know.' 
James KA Smith, On the Road with Saint Augustine, p.163. 

Saturday, 28 March 2020

HOMESICK FOR THE FUTURE

'Nowhere was my sense of belonging as complete or unambiguous as it was in my childhood home, but if I saw that sense of belonging as something exclusive to the ironstone house, then I would never really leave, never grow up, never look for my place in the world. Somehow I had to turn my nostalgia inside-out, so that my love for the house, for the sense of belonging I experienced there, instilled not a constant desire to go back but a desire to find that sense of belonging, that security and happiness, in some other place, with some other person, or in some other mode of being. The yearning had to be forward-looking. You had to be homesick for somewhere you had not yet seen, nostalgic for things that had not yet happened.' 
William Fiennes, The Snow Geese, p.203. 

PSALM 23

'...only a few months before I had copied the last verse of the psalm into a notebook: 'But thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.' It had occurred to me how often the the authors of scripture depict God as a house or shelter in which one might dwell, as if faith were itself a home, affording all the protection, comfort, stediness and sense of belonging that home implies - as if the need for God were homesickness in paraphrase.' 
William Fiennes, The Snow Geese, p.104. 

Friday, 27 March 2020

A GAMBLING 'CURATE'

'...he looked like a sheep with a secret sorrow.'
PG Wodehouse, The Inimitable Jeeves in Life with Jeeves, p.31. 

THE FUTILITY OF IDOLATRY

'...the problem with idolatry is that it is an exercise in futility, a penchant that ends in profound dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Idolatry, we might say doesn't "work" - which is why it creates restless hearts. In idolatry we are enjoying what we're supposed to be using. We are treating as ultimate what is only penultimate; we are heaping infinite, immortal expectations on created things that will pass away; we are settling on some aspect of the creation rather than being referred through to its Creator.' 
James KA Smith, On the Road with Saint Augustine, p.82. 

THE IDENTITY QUESTION

'The crucial question is not, Who I am? but, Whose am I?'
David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.310. 

HOW TO BE REMEMBERED

'The uncommitted person is the unremembered person. A person who does not commit to some loyalty outside the self leaves no deep mark on the world.' 
David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.299. 

THE SECRET OF LIFE

'The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of every day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.' 
Henry Moore in David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.295. 

PROTRACTED LONELINESS

'Protracted loneliness causes you to shut down socially, and to be more suspicious of any social contact. You become hyper vigilant. You start to be more likely to take offense where none was intended, and to be afraid of strangers. You start to be afraid of the very thing you need the most.' 
Johann Hari in David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.269. 

Sunday, 22 March 2020

A BEAUTIFUL PRAYER

'Guard Thou my soul,
strengthen my body,
elevate my senses,
direct my course,
order my habits,
shape my character,
bless my actions,
fulfill my prayers,
inspire holy thoughts,
pardon the past,
correct the present,
prevent the future.'
Lancelot Andrewes, Private Devotions - Seventh Day: Intercessions (Edited by Alexander Whyte), p.25. 

GOOD COMMUNICATION

'She heard a quiet sniffle of laughter and a moment's silence, the way Lank held space for you in case you wanted to continue, without crowding the words that might need a minute to form.' 
Anne Lamott, Imperfect Birds, p.156. 

Sunday, 15 March 2020

PERFECTIONISM MEETS HUMANKIND

'There's no room for perfectionism when you're dealing with something as broken as real human beings, only bemused affection.' 
David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.183. 

THE PICKLE THAT IS MARRIAGE

'The only way to thrive in marriage is to become a better person - more patient, wise, compassionate, persevering, communicative, and humble. When we make a commitment, we put ourselves into a pickle we have to be selfless to get out of.' 
David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.174. 

INTIMACY

'Intimacy happens when somebody shares something emotionally meaningful, and the other person receives it and shares back.' 
David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.151. 

MARRIAGE AS SURVEILLANCE

'...to be married is to volunteer for the most thorough surveillance program known to humankind. The person who is married is watched, more or less all the time. Worse, the awareness that you are being watched compels you to watch yourself. This new self-consciousness introduces you to yourself, to all the stupid things you do, from leaving the cupboards open, to the way you are silent and grumpy in the morning, to the way you avoid any difficult conversation or play passive aggressive when you are feeling hurt, as if life were some elaborate game of victimhood in which if you make your spouse feel guilty for hurting you you will get a slice of cherry cake at the end.' 
David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.145. 

WRITING

'Writing is really about structure and traffic management. If you don't have the structure right, nothing else will happen.'
David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.127.  

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

OLD AGE

'Old age isn't a battle; old age is a massacre.'
Philip Roth, Everyman, p.156. 

Monday, 9 March 2020

HOW GRACE BEGINS

'To desire the aid of grace is the beginning of grace.'
Augustine of Hippo in James KA Smith, On the Road with Saint Augustine, p.67. 

TRUE FREEDOM MEANS DEPENDENCE

'...the irony: my freedom of choice brings me to the point where I need someone else to give me a will that is actually free. And not merely free to choose - since that's what got me here in the first place - be free to choose the good. If freedom is going to be more than mere freedom from, if freedom is the power of freedom for, then I have to trade autonomy for a different kind of dependence. Coming to end of myself is the realization that I'm dependent on someone other than myself if I'm going to be truly free.' 
James KA Smith, On the Road with Saint Augustine, p.66. 

WHEN YOUR FREEDOM TO BE THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BE IS LIMITED BY YOURSELF

'It is a terrible and terrifying thing to know what you want to be and then realize you're the only one standing in your way - to want with every fiber of your soul to be someone different, to escape the "you" you've made of yourself, only to fall back into the self you hate, over and over again and over again. After the thrill of independence and experiments in self-actualization, drinking your so called "potential for Being" to the dregs, when the exhaustion starts to set in and then eventually morphs into a kind of self-disgust, you can reach a point where you know you want a different life but are enchained to the one you've made.'  
James KA Smith, On the Road with Saint Augustine, p.64. 

CONVERSION DEFINED

'Conversion is not an arrival at our final destination; its the acquisition of a compass.'
James KA Smith, On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts, p.50. 

Sunday, 1 March 2020

BEWARE THE WORDS OF THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW YOU

'The people who are exposed only to your public ministry persona, your books or Internet blogs, and your voice when it is in a conference or on a dvd are functionally incapable of giving you an accurate view of yourself. You must take their congratulatory words as well meant but lacking accuracy and therefore spiritual helpfulness.'  
Paul David Tripp in Emma Ineson, Ambition, p.112. 

Saturday, 29 February 2020

THE WEAKNESS OF STATS

'Hearts are rarely strangely warmed by statistics.'
Emma Ineson, Ambition: What Jesus said about power, success and counting stuff, p.55. 

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

'Lucky is the man who does not secretly believe that every possibility is open to him,'
Walker Percy in David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.98. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE?

'Let the young soul survey its own life with a view to the following question: 'What have you truly loved thus far? What has ever uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time?' Assemble these revered objects in a row before you and perhaps they will reveal a law by their nature and their order: the fundamental law of your very self.' 
Friedrich Nietzsche in David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.98. 

Friday, 28 February 2020

BEAUTIFUL PLACES

'Some of our most wonderful memories are beautiful places where we felt immediately at home.'
John O'Donohue in David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.96. 

WHAT OUR HEARTS DESIRE

'The ultimate heart's desire - the love behind all other loves - is the desire to lose yourself in something or someone. Think about it: Almost every movie you've ever seen is about somebody experiencing this intense sense of merging with something, giving themselves away to something - a mission, a cause, a family, a nation, or a beloved.'
David Brooks,  The Second Mountain, p.45.

WHAT WILL YOUR MORAL LEGACY?

'We all grew up in one moral ecology or another. We all create microcultures around us by the way we live our lives and the vibes we send out to those around us, One of the greatest legacies a person can leave is a moral ecology - a system of belief and behavior that lives on after they die.'
David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.4.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

WRITING AS THERAPY

'Those of who are writers work out our stuff in public, even under the guise of pretending to write about someone else. In other words, we try to teach what it is that we really need to learn.' 
David Brooks, The Second Mountain, p.xx.  

WHY LOVE NEEDS COMMITMENT

'A commitment is falling in love with something and then building a structure of behavior around it for those moments when love falters.' 
David Brooks, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life, p.xviii.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

SERVICE LEADS TO JOY

'Have you ever noticed that people who are self-focused and narcissistic are usually really unhappy, if not depressed? Sadly, I know this from experience. But have you also noticed that people who are generally others-focused and more selfless are usually very happy? That's not a coincidence. It's the way of Jesus in action. When we're down, one of the best things we can do is serve somebody else. It's the backdoor to joy. And it's always unlocked.' 
John Mark Comer, Garden City, p.279. 

HEAVEN IS NOT OUR HOME

'...contrary to the popular saying, haven is not our home. Earth is. Not earth as it is now, but Earth as it will be in the future. Our hope isn't for another place, but another time. Yes, as followers of Jesus, we go to heaven when we die, but we don't stay there. If Jesus is a "ticket to heaven," as the preacher says, then he's a round-trip ticket, not a one-way. Because at the resurrection, we come back.'
John Mark Comer, Garden City, p.248. 

Sunday, 9 February 2020

THE PROBLEMS OF BEAUTY & EVIL

'I have to admit that sometimes nature seems more beautiful than is strictly necessary. Outside the window of my home office there is a hackberry tree, visited frequently by a convocation of politic birds: blue jays, yellow-throated vireos, and, loveliest of all, on occasional red cardinal. Although I understand pretty well how bright coloured feathers evolved out of competition for mates, it is almost irresistible to imagine that all this beauty was somehow laid on for our benefit. But the God of birds and trees would have to be also the God of birth-defects and cancer.'
Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory: The Search for the Fundamental Laws of Nature, p.200.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

'We usually ask little kids, What do you want to be when you grow up? I wonder if we're setting them up for failure with that question. Maybe a better question is, Who are you? What do you think God made you to do when you grow up?' 
John Mark Comer, Garden City: Work, Rest and the Art of Being Human, p.73. 

Monday, 3 February 2020

BEAUTY IS ELUSIVE

'The beauty of the natural world is, at best, the echo of a voice, not the voice itself. And if we try to pin it down - literally, in the case of a butterfly-collector - we find that the key thing itself, the elusive beauty which keeps us always looking further, is precisely what you lose when the pin goes in. Beauty is here, but it is not here. It is this - this bird, this song, this sunset - but it is not this.' 
Tom Wright, Simply Christianity, p.38. 

Sunday, 2 February 2020

WHAT MAKES A GOOD STORY?

'Stories matter. They invite participation and move us to action. But not all stories are equally compelling. We judge a story according to its fidelity to reality and to our longings.' 
Paul M Gould, Cultural Apologetics, p.210. 

A GOOD QUESTION

'Is there a story that understand you?'
Paul M Gould, Cultural Apologetic, p.206. 

Friday, 31 January 2020

THE GRIEF OF OLD AGE

'...an old person's sorrow, which so often lies in seeing the failure of those whom we love, rather than in our own personal grief.' 
Martin Boyd, The Cardboard Crown, p.196. 

OUR MUDDLED HEARTS

'...people do a lot of evil that is both unconscious and intentional.'
Martin Boyd, The Cardboard Crown, p.186.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

WHERE OUR DESIRE FOR WHOLENESS COMES FROM

'We all long for unity and wholeness in life. 
We long for unity because we've been created for wholeness by the perfectly united triune God.' 
Paul M Gould, Cultural Apologetics, p.150. 

CULTURAL SINS

'In the flattened world of our disenchanted age, self-expression and the unfettered satisfaction of desires are the highest goods. The chief sins are a failure to be true to oneself (i.e., hypocrisy) and a failure to be tolerant (i.e., judgmentalism). Christians exhibit both sins in spades.'
Paul M Gould , Cultural Apologetics, p.146. 

Monday, 27 January 2020

WHY READ?

'In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.' 
CS Lewis in Paul M Gould, Cultural Apologetics, p.112. 

THE SOURCE OF HUMAN CREATIVITY

'...the best explanation for why we make architecture and jokes, sculptures and gardens, stories and mythical creatures is because we bear the image of God who is the master creator, comedian, and storyteller.' 
Paul M Gould, Cultural Apologetics, p.109. 

BEAUTY'S ROLE IN EVANGELISM

'Beauty is a divine megaphone to rouse a disenchanted world.' 
Paul M Gould, Cultural Apologetics, p.104. 

THE FUNCTION OF ART IN WORSHIP

'Art is not meant to be an object of worship; it is an aid to worship.' 
Paul M Gould, Cultural Apologetics, p.102. 

Sunday, 26 January 2020

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATION IN EVANGELISM

'The path of return to God lies through creation itself...Cultural apologetics involves cultivating spiritual perception, recognizing that creation itself offers glimpses of the divine. Even more, creation ushers us into God's presence as we learn to see God in and through all that he lovingly has made.' 
Paul M Gould, Cultural Apologetics: Renewing the Christian Voice, Conscience, and Imagination in a Disenchanted World, p.83.  

Friday, 17 January 2020

BIBLICAL MEDITATION IS BIBLICAL

'Meditation is an exercise so profoundly biblical that it impregnates the pages of the Old Testament from the very beginning.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain, p.156. 

Thursday, 16 January 2020

THE CHALLENGE OF FORGIVING YOURSELF

'"I know that God has forgiven me, but I do not feel it inside." Why? The problem usually lies in the fact that, in spite of God's certain forgiveness these individuals have not forgiven themselves. The sin they have committed has been so great an offence to their self-image, their self-love has been so deeply hurt, that they are incapable of forgiving themselves. This especially occurs in cases where the sin is sexual immorality. If there has been a genuine confession, but the person still feels guilty, we are probably facing a psychological problem. The inability to forgive oneself is an issue more related to our self-image than our faith; the obstacle is not in our relationship with God but in the relationship with ourselves.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain, p.15. 

KNOW YOURSELF WELL TO GET TO KNOW OTHERS WELL

'...the necessary requisite for us to be able to approach others adequately is a healthy concept of personal identity. The development of intimacy in relationships will depend upon the security that  one has in oneself. The more unsure a person is, the more relational conflicts the person will have. The poorer the person's self-image, the greater the difficulty in becoming close to others. Deep down, people who have relational problems with others have not learned to relate well to themselves. They are in conflict with others because of the conflict with themselves.
The result of all of this will be problems in having an intimate relationship with God. They will find it difficult to trust in God because it is difficult for them to trust in themselves.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain, p.105.   

GOD WANTS TO SPEND TIME WITH YOU

'It is difficult for us to understand it, and it even surprises us, but God does want to be with us. The Lord is delighted when his children seek him. God is self-sufficient, he has need of nothing; nonetheless, he takes great pleasure in our relationship with him, in our prayers.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain, p.101. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER TO THE SELF

'Prayer enables us to rebuild the very foundations of our existence, and gives back to a person the true purpose of their life: relationship with God. It provides an authentic self-fulfillment because it restores free and constant dialogue, that intimate fellowship with our Creator. Prayer is the vehicle that allows us to meet our deepest need, our thirst for God.' 
Pablo Martinez, Praying with the Grain: How Your Personality Affects The Way You Pray, p.96. 

Sunday, 12 January 2020

A FACT OF GAY LIFE?

'...all of the successful, happy gay couples I know, the ones who show an enviable depth of emotional commitment have one thing in common, and that is that they look for, and find, sex outside their loving relationship. This is a fact of gay life. I do not think that this vitiates the quality of their commitment in any way whatsoever. It merely suggests what is obvious about gay men - and therefore, of men in general, since gay culture is nothing if not a laboratory in which to see what masculinity does without the restraints imposed by women: that sex for men is, finally, separable from affect.'  
Daniel Mendelsohn, The Elusive Embrace, p.82. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF SEXUAL DIFFERENCE?

'What is it like when two men have sex? In a way, it is like the experience of Tiresias; this is the real reason why gay men are uncanny, why the idea of gay men is disruptive and uncomfortable. All straight man who have engaged in the physical act of love know what it is like to penetrate a partner during intercourse, to be inside the other, all women who have had intercourse know what it is like to be penetrated, to have the other inside oneself. But the gay man, in the very moment that he is either penetrating his partner or being penetrated by him, know exactly what his partner is feeling and experiencing even as he himself has his own experience of exactly the opposite, the complementary act. Sex between men dissolves otherness into sameness, men into de, in a perfect suspension: there is nothing the partner doesn't know about the other. If the emotional aim of intercourse is a total knowing of the other, gay sex may be, in its way, perfect, because in it a total knowledge of the other's experience is, finally, possible. But since the object of that knowledge is already wholly know to each of the parties, the act is also, in a way, redundant. Perhaps it is for this reason that so many of us keep seeking repetition, as if depth were impossible.' 
Daniel Mendelsohn, The Elusive Embrace: Desire and the Riddle of Identity, p.73. 

AN UNSHAKABLE CONVICTION

'...if I were trapped in that cage again nothing would keep me from my goal, however fearful its prospects, however hopeless the odds, I would search the earth for surgeons, I would bribe barbers or abortionists, I would take a knife and do it myself, without fear, without qualms, without a second thought.' 
Jan Morris, Conundrum, p.142. 

AN UNUSUAL HAPPY ENDING

'...I do not for a moment regret the act of change. I could see no other way, and it has made me happy. In this I am one of the lucky few. There are people of many kinds who have set out on the same path, and by and large they are among the unhappiest people on the face of the earth.' 
Jan Morris, Conundrum, p.142. 

THE LIMITS OF CHANGE

'Nobody in the history of human kind has changed from a true man to a true woman, if we class a man or woman purely by physical concepts.' 
Jan Morris, Conundrum, p.90. 

BOOKSHOP ASSISTANTS

'...if there is one thing bookshop assistants decline as a matter of professional principle to take the slightest interest in, it is books.' 
Jan Morris, Conundrum, p.38. 

Friday, 10 January 2020

LIVING THE SIMPLE CHRISTIAN LIFE

'Living Christianly is not complicated, though it is profound (and exceedingly difficult). The simplicity flows from the fact that everything commanded comes down to loving God and neighbor, while everything forbidden can be traced back to the worship of false gods, which places some other god before the Lord.' 
James M Hamilton Jr. Work and our Labor in the Lord, p.74. 

Monday, 6 January 2020

APPRECIATING BEAUTY

'I love all beauteous things,
I seek and adore them;
God hath no better praise,
And man in his hasty days
Is honoured for them.'
Robert Bridges, from 'I love all beauteous things' in A Choice of Bridges's Verse, p.55.

WE NEED A MYSTERIOUS GOD

'About God, how could he give up his secrets and
still be God?'
Mary Oliver, from 'A Little Ado About This and That' in Blue Horses, p.69. 

Sunday, 5 January 2020

A PROBLEM WITH A "VICTIMHOOD CULTURE"

'Victimhood rather than stoicism or heroism has become something eagerly publicized, even sought after, in our culture. To be a victim is in some way to have won, or at least to have got a head start in the great oppression race of life. At the root of this curious development is one of the most important and mistaken judgments of the social justice movements: that oppressed people (or people who can claim to be oppressed) are in some way better than others, that there is some decency, purity, or goodness which comes from being part of such a group. In fact, suffering in and of itself does not make someone a better person. A gay, female, black or trans person may be as dishonest, deceitful and rude as anyone else.'  
Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds, p.252. 

THE LOVE OF CAUTION

'...the end point of trans advocates is irreversible and life-altering. People expressing concern or urging caution in regard to transsexualism may not be "denying the existence of trans people" or claiming that they should be treated as second-class citizens, let alone (the most catastrophizing claim of all) causing trans people to commit suicide. They may simply be urging caution about something which has not remotely been worked out yet - and which is irreversible.' 
Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds, p.203. 

Saturday, 4 January 2020

WHAT ARE OUR BLIND SPOTS?

'Every age before this one has performed or permitted acts that to us are morally stupefying. So unless we have any reason to think we are any more reasonable, morally better or wiser than at any time in the past, it is reasonable to assume there will be some things we are presently doing - possibly while flushed with moral virtue - that our descendant will whistle through through their teeth at, and say "What the hell were they thinking?" It is worth wondering what the blind spots of our age might be. What might we be doing that will be regarded by succeeding generations in the same way we now look down on the slave trade or using Victorian children as chimney sweeps.' 
Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds, p.184. 

THE SELF-INTEREST IN FORGIVING YOUR ANCESTORS

'To view the the past with some degree of forgiveness is among other things an early request to be forgiven - or at least understood - in turn.' 
Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds, p.179. 

FORGIVENESS IN THE AGE OF THE INTERNET

'...is our age able to forgive? Since everybody errs in the course of their life there must be - in any healthy person or society - some capacity to be forgiven. Part of forgiveness is the ability to forget. And yet the internet will never forget. Everything can always be summoned up afresh by new people.' 
Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds, p.176.