G. K. Chesterton Quotes for Orthodxy

Nothing more strangely indicates an enormous and silent evil of modern society that the extraordinary use which is made nowadays of the word “orthodox.” In former days the heretic was proud of not being a heretic. It was the kingdoms of the world and the police and the judges who were heretics. He was orthodox. He had no pride in having rebelled against them;t they had rebelled against him.

The word “heresy” not only means no longer being wrong; it practically means being clear-headed and courageous. The word “orthodoxy” not only no longer means being right; it practically means being wrong.

… people care less for whether they are philosophically right. For obviously a man ought to confess himself crazy before he confesses himself heretical. The Bohemian, with a red tie, ought to pique himself on his orthodoxy. The dynamiter, laying a bomb, ought to feel that, whatever else he is, at least he is orthodox.

We are more and more to discuss details in art, politics, literature. A man’s opinion on tramcars matters; his opinion on Botticelli matters; his opinion on all things does not matter. He may turn over and explore a million objects, but he must not find that strange object, the universe; for if he does he will have a religion, and be lost. Everything matters — except everything.

At any innocent tea-table we may easily hear a many say, “Life is not worth living.” We regard it as we regard the statement that it is a fine day; nobody things that it can possibly have any serious effect on the man or on the world. And yet if that utterance were really believed, the world would stand on its head. Murderers would be given medals for saying men from life; firemen would be denounced for keeping men from death; poisons would be used as medicines; doctors would be called in when people were well; the Royal Humane Society would be rooted out like a horde of assassins. Yet we never speculate as to whether the conversational pessimist will strengthen or disorganize society; for we are convinced that theories do not matter.

The modern idea is that cosmic truth is so unimportant that it cannot matter what any one says. The former freed inquiry as men loose a noble hound; the latter frees inquiry as men fling back into the sea a fish unfit for eating.

Emancipation has only locked the saint in the same tower of silence as the heresiarch.

In the fifteenth century men cross-examined an tormented a man because he preached some immoral attitude; in the nineteenth century we feted and flattered Oscar Wilde because he preached such an attitude, and then broke his heart in penal servitude because he carried it out. It may be a question which of the two methods was the more cruel; there can be no kind of question which was the more ludicrous.

The age of the inquisition has not at least the disgrace of having produced a society which made an idol of the very same man for preaching the very same things which it mad him a convict for practising.

And just as this repudiation of big words and big visions has brought forth a race of small men in politics, so it has brought forth a race of small men in the arts. Our modern politicians claim the colossal license of Caesar and the Superman, claim that they are too practical to be pure and too patriotic to be moral; but the upshot of it all is that a mediocrity is Chancellor of the Exchequer. Our new artistic philosophers call for the same moral license, for a freedom to wreck heaven and earth with they energy; but the upshot of it all is that a mediocrity is Poet Laureate. I do not say that there are no stronger men than these; but will any one say that there are any men stronger than those men of old who were dominated by their philosophy and steeped in their religion? Whether bondage be better that freedom may be discussed. But that their bondage came to more than our freedom it will be difficult for any one to deny.

Blasphemy is an artistic effect, because blasphemy depends upon a philosophical conviction. Blasphemy depends upon belief and is fading with it. If any one doubts this, let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor.


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On Atheists and Objectivity

An atheist is very often a curious character for he removes all possibility of a subjective ideal, in that he worships only the objective and apparent, and an ideal is just too wishy washy for him to waste any time on. Is it any wonder then that clothes, cars, buildings, and art conceived by the atheist are so often very dull and pointless, as if they had no purpose at all except to be. The atheist must do something because he is afraid of doing and being nothing, which is the ultimate goal of his life, oblivion is what awaits us all he proudly proclaims. Much of what he is and produces merits it. It is a man overly concerned with his own sanity from fear of going insane. Of course what that sanity could be he cannot truly know, because he only knows and studies what is not sane, so everything that is not his current definition of insanity is precisely what he should do.

That the atheist, or the honest one, cannot have an ideal is easy enough to prove. The atheist proclaims he only believes that for which there is objective evidence, since he cannot believe in an ideal because, objectively, it has no objective existence, cannot be measured in a lab, cannot be photographed by an electron microscope, then it cannot be ‘believed’ in. He may accept an ideal, or even follow one, but then he is hard pressed to escape his gross hypocrisy, for if you can create and follow an ideal, and it is good, then what’s the harm in creating and following an ideal that is God.

Of course the atheist doesn’t have to do any of this at all, only he has become trapped by his short sighted refutations of theism, just because there isn’t a personal God, or even a “god” per se in any sense has nothing to do with the supposed ‘objective’ evidence against it, but from its complete silliness. Everything that we know and understand about the world and universe suggests that the idea of a personal God moving every rock, and hearing every prayer is utter nonsense. Mostly because it’s just impractical.

Of course there is no ‘objective’ evidence against the existence of god, that would be silly as well. As it turns out, there is none for god, and none for much of anything. It of course depends a bit on how you define ‘objective’, and here is how I see it: “not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.”

Considering that most atheists who have dropped out of religion do it based on their feelings of their respective church’s ideas on heaven and hell, the former being torment by tedium and the latter torment by tormentiness, then we are hard pressed to take them at their word. Many atheists, rightly so, seem positively relieved when they consider that the burden of heaven and hell isn’t necessary to bear.


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Deconstructing Harry Potter

Harry Potter is probably one of the most well known fictional characters in history. I don’t say that lightly, and perhaps it’s just an accident of the times, or perhaps it’s because he really is awesome.

I struggle with saying this: I hate Harry Potter.

I think he is quite simply the stupidest person in all of fiction.

I love the Harry Potter books, I have read them many times. I love all of the characters. All of them except Harry. Harry is the perfect example of the non-hero. He never really does anything worthwhile of his own accord. He is constantly in situations where he wins by default, because he is the protagonist, and because he is destined to win, but never because of any innate talent. In fact, the only talent he has is the ability to ride a broom. That is: he’s a jock.

All of Harry Potter’s popularity, success, and his very life comes from those things done by others for which he benefits. He benefits from his mother’s sacrifice, his father’s and Dumbledore’s ingenuity, Hermiones fastidious studying and so on. Harry Potter is the most active passive hero ever.

Throughout the book series we learn about his father, who is a genius and a jock. I mean he figures out how to map Hogwarts, how to transfigure himself, and apparently makes enough money to keep Harry knee deep in chocolate frogs for at least 7 years of school.

We learn about Snape, and via his potions textbook, how clever he was. We learn about Dumbledore, who was a genius even at school.

Even Voldemort is portrayed as brilliant beyond compare. Has anyone stopped to wonder how much he would have had to study to come by the idea of a Horcruxe, and been able to pull it off, as a teenager?

Ollivander was right, Voldemort did terrible things, but they were still great. And here is Harry Potter, aside from some natural ability(one he doesn’t earn through any work of his own) at flying, has absolutely no comparable level of brilliance. He is not mentally clever, he is not particularly good at magic, except for the disarming spell and the patronus charm(arguably the only two spells he really knows, the second one being next to useless for anything other than scaring off Dementors).

So why is Harry Potter so popular? Perhaps it is exactly because he is so useless, so stupid, so clumsy and talentless. Writers have a tendency to want to write about awesome people and to make them the stars. It seems to me that J.K. Rowling either knew, or happened upon the idea that, readers don’t like reading about awesome people. What they want is to read about a stupid person who makes all the mistakes that they wouldn’t. The reader needs and wants a place in the story, and if Harry Potter were so awesome, they couldn’t get rid of him to insert themselves there.

Harry Potter is a giant vacuum into which we can fit ourselves into the story and dream up alternatives to his clumsy handling of the whole thing. That is why HP FanFic is so popular, and why as a general rule, older stories hardly inspire as much as HP did. Everyone who reads HP, or at least most people, finish the book an think: Wow, I could do better than that moron. If I were Harry, I would do …

Harry Potter is a choose your own adventure, it’s about the world building, and the characters you would want to meet. Harry is just the place holder, he makes it through the adventures so they can continue, but in reality Voldemort could have, and should have, made quick work of him at the end of book one. Actually, one of the traps probably would have, if it hadn’t been for Ron and Hermione.

And there’s the thing. Hermione is awesome(if a bit of a Canon Sue). Snape, McGonagall, Dumbledore, Flitwick, Malfoy, Fred and George. These are all people you’d like to meet, or people you can imagine being fascinating. But not Harry.

No one wants to be Aragorn, or Frodo. But everyone wants to be Harry Potter, because we feel he doesn’t deserve what he gets, he never makes use of it, he never achieves anything, it’s all achieved for him. Was J.K. Rowling a genius because of this? Perhaps. I wonder if the Harry Potter books would have been as awesome if Harry Potter had been less of a tool. I guess we’ll never know. But then, look at Superman, and even the T.V. show Smallville. Wasn’t that what made Smallville so great to watch? To see what a moronic tool Clark was. So that you could sit back and say: Well, if I had Clark’s powers, I would have done …

Is there anyone among Smallville fans who thinks that they wouldn’t have choked the shit out of Lex Luthor by the 3rd or 4th season? The same with Harry Potter. We can understand the path and ending of Book I, and even Book II, but by Book IIIĀ  we have to start wondering what the fuck is Harry doing pissing about all the time. Dude, you’re a fuckin Wizard, at a Wizard School. Learn some shit. His mom dies to save him, Dumbledore dies to save him(kinda), fuck man, even Snape dies because he’s such a dumbass. And in the end, he sacrifices himself to destroy Voldemort them magically comes back to life, only to defeat the greatest dark wizard of all time with: Expelliarmus.

I don’t think in the end it matters whether J.K. Rowling did it on purpose or on accident. I think she created a lot of great characters, and good stories. So I love the Harry Potter books, even if I can’t stand Harry.

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