The passage is an excerpt from intentions by Oscar Wilde. In this passage, he is writing about consciousness. Do you agree or disagree with him and why?

“ It is worse than a delusion.  If we lived long enough to see the results of our actions it may be that those who call themselves good would be sickened with a dull remorse, and those whom the world calls evil stirred by a noble joy.  Each little thing that we do passes into the great machine of life which may grind our virtues to powder and make them worthless, or transform our sins into elements of a new civilisation, more marvellous and more splendid than any that has gone before.  But men are the slaves of words.  They rage against Materialism, as they call it, forgetting that there has been no material improvement that has not spiritualised the world, and that there have been few, if any, spiritual awakenings that have not wasted the world’s faculties in barren hopes, and fruitless aspirations, and empty or trammelling creeds.  What is termed Sin is an essential element of progress.  Without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colourless.  By its curiosity Sin increases the experience of the race.  Through its intensified assertion of individualism, it saves us from monotony of type.  In its rejection of the current[…]”


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

27 thoughts on “Discuss

  1. renudepride says:

    Oscar Wilde is an all-time favourite of mine although this observation is completely new to me. After three readings – I’m due to lecture again – I think I agree with his assessment! Nice work, my Kenyan brother and Pope! 😉 Naked hugs!


    • makagutu says:

      I think this observation reminds me of the saying or anecdote that no man is wholly good nor no man wholly bad. It also reminds me of a quote from Nietzsche on Jesus where he says that had he, Jesus, lived long, he would changed his mind.
      There is a lot to unpack from the quotation. Sometimes those who are called terrorists if they win become liberators and sometimes liberators turn out to be terrorists.
      He calls for a bit of humility in our declarations.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. rautakyy says:

    Not bad. When Soviet Union fell great many expected Russia to turn out into wealthy liberal democracy. When the old Russian Empire fell, great many expected the Soviet Union to become into a democratic liberal “workers paradise”. Both expectations kind of partly came through, but also failed miserably, despite the good intentions and hard work put into them.

    We can not see all the results of our actions and inaction and indeed, many do not even bother, rather they judge themselves and their deeds righteous by defaults of intuition, values, ideology and dogma. It is easier, especially if one has never been taught otherwise. This lack of vision, that ultimately ails us all – even if we were a divine entity who thought there could be no secrets from us – as we all suffer from the fact, that we can not know what we do not know, it does not release us from our responsibility to try to do the right thing in our best understanding of it.


    • makagutu says:

      It must be you, in your latest installment who asked whether democracy failed Russia or is it the other way round, an interesting question in deed.
      Your second paragraph reminds me of the butterfly effect and I think it has been used as theodicy by some people.


  3. As long as man and nature behave like adversaries conflicts are inevitable and will demand creative solutions to be overcome, as man and nature cannot be expected to behave “unnaturally”.


  4. Arnold says:

    Disagree. I agree that ‘Sin asserts the freedom of individualism,’ yet where does that lead? what about the person? Wilde’s is an individual’s interpretation, worthless to you and me.


  5. Arnold says:

    To me Sin is outright independence of God, consciously doing without him. And is the source of humanity’s offenses, including “multiple genocides and death dealing bikinis..” 😉


    • basenjibrian2 says:

      by genocides I meant the flood. Throw in Sodom and Gomorrah. and natural disasters. and funnest of all, the concept of Hell for those who cannot believe.

      None of these are caused directly by the pesky, bloody minded naked apes that He, being omniscient, realized would be the way we are at the beginning of time. This, the failure, the sun, the horror, was Gods . From the very beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Then this is not sin. To do away with god is not an offence


    • rautakyy says:

      If sin is, just a nother creation of the alledged “All Father”, who supposedly created absolutely everything, simply to make things interresting – for what other excuse to create it could there be – does that mean, that the afterlife in them Heavens is either sinfull, or totally boring? If it was possible to create an existance without sin or suffering, then why bother, unless to create sin and suffering?

      If people had stopped having sin when Jesus came, his sacrifice would have become a totally futile act of pain and suffering. So, sin my brothers and revell in your sin, knowing that it gives purpose to the sacrifice Jesus made to himself on behalf of some fairly randomly determined individuals mainly chosen by their cultural heritage and gullibility to have faith to be saved from the eternal punishment we are alledgedly all deserving of and can not even help ourselves from being so, because of the choises some ancestors may have made and ultimately because that is the way we were created.

      Liked by 1 person

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