of men and wokeness

we live in very strange times. or maybe it only happens on the internet. with all the wokeness doing the rounds, group identity, victimhood olympics and cancel culture one always finds themselves walking on glass shells when they are asked to mention who is their favourite anything. you start asking yourself whether you can still listen to R Kelly’s storm is over or do you cancel him; can you read Mencken on religion or will we cancel him because of his racism or cancel Nietzsche for his whip statement? It’s all tricky.

For some reason that I still yet don’t know, many of the works I admire greatly were written by people who are now dead. And for some reason they are mostly male. And with the woke brigade on their cancelling march, they too, might soon be cancelled.

Why am i writing all this? Well, I don’t know but i wanted to share this short essay i found yesterday written by Bertrand Russell before some woke person decides we must cancel him, especially now that people are being cancelled left right and centre.

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy — ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness — that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss.

I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem
too good for human life, this is what — at last — I have found.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart.
Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.

What I have lived for by Bertrand Russell.

Have a cancel free Sunday.

Questions of Zapata

I thought we can revisit these questions from old and see what new answers theists have come up with.

And then a quote.

Theologians can persuade themselves of anything….. Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything just give him time to rationalise it.

Job, A comedy of Justice by Robert Heinlein

Some theological aside

I am reading this interesting novel titled job, a comedy of justice. You can see it on the goodreads sidebar of this blog. In some place he writes

Many people seem to believe that the ten commandments forbid lying. Not at all. The prohibition is against bearing false witness against your neighbour- a specific, limited, and despicable sort of lie. But there is no biblical rule forbidding simple untruth. Many theologians believe that no human social organization could stand up under the strain of absolute honesty. If you think their misgivings are unfounded, try telling your friends the ungarnished truth about what you think of their offspring- if you dare risk it.

Job, A comedy of justice

On grand cathedrals,mosques and temples

Wole Soyinka writes and I agree with him that

(..)all we can be certain of ( because it is clearly provable) is that the proliferation of grandiose cathedrals, basilicas, temples, mosques, shrines, and other places of worship throughout the global landscape has not perceptibly improved the living conditions or moral sensibilities of the large part of humanity

The open sore of a continent by Wole Soyinka

Jose Marti quotes

A true man does not seek the path where advantage lies, but rather the path where duty lies, and this is the only practical man, whose dream of today will be the law of tomorrow, because he who has looked back on the upheavals of history and has seen civilizations going up in flames, crying out in bloody struggle, throughout the centuries, knows that, without a single exception, the future lies on the side of duty

Jose Marti, Cuban revolutionary and poet

On vice and virtue

On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isn’t the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill.

Albert Camus, The Plague

Quotes about war

The man from Mars who saw how men suffered in the last war and how frantically they are preparing for the next war, which they know will be worse, would come to the conclusion that he was looking at the denizens of a lunatic asylum.

Norman Thomas, 1935

And I think he would be forgiven if he came from his grave today and saw how countries are building their armies in the name of self defence. The next war, when it happens( it’s a question of when not if), will be a great war and I don’t know who will be left to write about it.

On religion

by Kurt Vonnegut

Palm Sunday is a collection of some interesting essays by Kurt Vonnegut that I would recommend to any one as summer, winter or whatever season reading. They are full of humour and every once in a while something to make you think. One of the essays is titled religion and I want to just share some passages that I found to be quite good.

His uncle Clemens, he tells us wrote

whoever entertains liberal views and chooses a consort that is captured by superstition risks his happiness

and I think this is true for both men and women.

The portion I liked best is this farewell from the same uncle addressed to friends and opponents & to next of kin present to deliver his body to the earth

Do not mourn! I have now arrived at the end of the course of life, as you will eventually arrive at your. I am at rest and nothing will ever disturb my deep slumber.

I am disturbed by no worries, no grief, no fear, no wishes, no passions, no pains, no reproaches from others. All is infinitely well with me.

I departed from life with loving, affectionate feelings for mankind; and I admonish you: Be aware of this truth that the people on this earth could be joyous, if only they would live rationally, and if they would contribute mutually to each others’ welfare.

This world is not a vale of sorrows if you will recognize discriminatingly what is truly excellent in it; and if you will avail yourself of it for mutual happiness ad well being. Therefore, let us explain as possible, and particularly at the departure from life, that we base our faith on firm foundations, on Truth for putting into action our ideas which do not depend on fables and ideas which science has long ago proven as false.

We also wish knowledge, goodness, sympathy, mercy, wisdom, justice and truthfulness. We also strive for and venerate all of those attributes from which the fantasy of man has created a God. We also strive for the virtues of temperance, industriousness, friendship, and peace. We believe in pure ideas based on truth and justice.

Therefore, however, we do not believe, cannot believe, that a thinking being existed for millions and millions of years, and eventually and finally out of nothing – through a word- created this world, or rather this earth with its firmament, its sun and moon and stars.

We cannot believe that this being formed a human being from clay and breathed into it an immortal soul, and then allowed this human being to procreate millions, and then delivered them all into unspeakable misery, wretchedness and pain for all eternity. Nor can we believe that the descendants of one or two human beings will inevitably become sinners; nor do we believe that through the criminal executions of an innocent one may we be redeemed.

Quoting Bertrand Russell famous declaration that in case he met god, he would say to him, “Sir, you did not give us enough information” that he would, “All the same, Sir, I’m not persuaded that we did the best we could with the information we had. Toward the end there, anyway, we had tons of information.”

On the White House prayer breakfasts (and now we have our own version of national prayer days) he writes the

lethal ingredient in those breakfasts wasn’t prayer. It was a virulent new strain of hypocrisy which did everyone in.

And I agree with him when he writes

I don’t think anybody ever dreaded hell as much as most of us dread the contempt of our fellow men.

To end this already long post, I will add one last thing, about community. He says if you are going to be a leader with a mission to help us find an amazing future, then you should consider helping us find an intelligent and imaginative way back to some of the more humane and comforting institutions of the past. Say extended families for example. He argues the nuclear family doesn’t provide nearly enough companionship.

So, my friends, go and be lonesome no more.

Happy weekend everyone.


and while we are still here, I hope no one who reads this blog also believes in this