Sunday, May 27, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. May 27, 2007. God.

Note: A bold-face statement at the conclusion of a quote is my attempt to express a wordy or convoluted quote in plain English. RayS.

God 231 Diderot: The earth will come into its own only when heaven is destroyed. . Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire. [The earth will be truly independent when we stop believing in heaven.]

God 383 Melville to Hawthorne: “I feel that the Godhead is broken up like the bread at the Supper, and that we are the pieces.” Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times. [We are all pieces of God’s being.]

God 120 But beyond lies the great darkness of the ultimate Dreamer, who dreamed the light and the galaxies. Eiseley, The Star Thrower [God is the ultimate dreamer].

God 453 Heine, the major Jewish writer in German before Kafka, said that God’s name was Aristophanes. Bloom, Western Canon. [Aristophanes seemed to have the wisdom of God.]

God 101 Einstein: My religion...consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds...deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein [Einstein’s reasons for believing in God: the presence of a superior reasoning power, the details of which we are barely able to perceive.]

God 210 Dr. Josef Breuer: “Our bodies are incredibly intricate machines that could only have been produced by a genius…the greatest work of art on earth….” Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud). [Our bodies are God’s greatest work of art on earth.]

God 720 …each man’s god is formed in the likeness of his father. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

God 100 …for God sets us nothing but riddles. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

God 125 “There would have been no civilization if they hadn’t invented God.” Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [Without God there would be no civilization.]

God 212 As for me, I’ve long resolved not to think whether man created God or God man. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [Did God create man or man create God?]

God 213 It’s not that I don’t accept God, you must understand; it’s the world created by Him I don’t and cannot accept. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [I accept God, but I don’t accept the world He created.]

God 265 Every blade of grass, every insect, ant, and golden bee, all so marvelously know their path though they have not intelligence, they bear witness to the mystery of God and continually accomplish it themselves. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [Every blade of grass and insect, without intelligence, knows exactly what it is supposed to do and does it.]

God 499 It’s possible for one who doesn’t believe in God to love mankind, don’t you think so? Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

God 532 A new man’s arising—that I understand…and yet I am sorry to lose god. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [If a new man arises, we will lose God.]

God 535 Only how is he [man] going to be good without God? Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. [Can man be good without God?]

God 211 Lincoln: In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God…God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time…quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party…. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. [Both sides claim to have God on their side; God can’t be for both; perhaps his purpose involves neither.]

God 635 Lincoln: Sometimes it seems necessary that we should be confronted with perils which threaten us with disaster in order that we may not get puffed up and forget Him who has much work for us yet to do. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. [Sometimes we need great perils to threaten us so that we don’t forget God who has much yet for us to do.]

God 71 God is pure energy. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

God 114 F. Bacon: “I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon. [I would rather accept all the fables in all the great religious books than believe that the world is a frame without a mind.]

God 175 Spinoza: …for I believe that a triangle, if it could speak, would…say that God is eminently triangular, and a circle that the divine nature is eminently circular; and thus would every one ascribe his own attributes to God. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza. [Everyone ascribes his own characteristics to God.]

God 225 On the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, in which 30,000 died: [Voltaire] …gave vigorous expression to the old dilemma: either God can prevent evil and he will not; or he wishes to prevent it and he cannot. . Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire. [What is the role of God in evil in the world?]

God 241 Voltaire: “I want my lawyer, my tailor and my wife to believe in God,” says “A” in “A, B, C”; “so, I imagine, I shall be less robbed and deceived.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire. [God is necessary so that I am not robbed and deceived.]

God 365 Spencer: Let religion cease to picture the Absolute as a magnified man; much worse, as a cruel and blood-thirsty and treacherous monster, afflicted with a “love of adulation such as would be despised in a human being.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer. [Don’t picture God with a love of adulation that we would respect in no man.]

God 233 It is difficult to imagine anyone having any real hopes for the human race in the face of the fact that the great majority of men still believe that the universe is run by a gaseous vertebrate of astronomical heft and girth, who is nevertheless interested in the minutest details of the private conduct of even the meanest men. Mencken, Minority Report. [There is no hope for a human race that believes in a spirit of astronomical size that is interested in the smallest details of the private conduct of even the lowest man. ]

God 60 Joyce Cary: God is as real as the trees. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work. [If trees are real, God is real.]

God 341 To let God make us, instead of painfully trying to make ourselves; to follow the path that His love shows us, instead of through conceit or cowardice or mockery choosing another; to trust Him for our strength and fitness as the flowers do, simply giving ourselves back to Him in grateful service…. Jewett, A Country Doctor. [We should stop trying to make ourselves, but rather follow the path that God has laid out for us.]

God 403 St. Augustine described the nature of God as a circle whose center was everywhere, and its circumference nowhere. Emerson, Circles. [God is a circle whose center is everywhere and His circumference nowhere.]

God 387 The Allied commander-in-chief invoked the name of God; the German commander invoked the name of Adolf Hitler. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream. [The Allies invoked God; the German soldier invoked Hitler.]

God and Man 141 It takes a long while for a naturally trustful person to reconcile himself to the idea that after all God will not help him. Mencken, Minority Report. [It takes a long time for us to realize that God will not help us.]

God and man 26 Einstein: “I cannot believe…that God plays dice with the world.” Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein [The world is not a set of dice for God to play with.]

God and man 183 God to man (Adam) after the Creation: As for you, Man, you will be a naked tool all your life…able to see some of Our sorrows and to feel some of Our joys; we are partly sorry for you, Man, but partly hopeful. T. H. White, The Once and Future King. [God said to Adam, you will know some of Our sorrows and joys; I am partly sorry for you and partly hopeful.]

God and science 62 ...the universe, the objective world of reality...can be encompassed in its entire majesty only by a cosmic intellect...can also be represented symbolically by a mathematician, as a four-dimensional space time continuum. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein [The universe can be encompassed only by a cosmic intellect; mathematics can represent it symbolically.]

God and War 394 [Of Meade and Lee]: …praying regularly to the same God while they led their hosts seeking to mangle and eviscerate each other. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. [Praying to God to help us mangle and eviscerate each other.]

God’s creation 183 God to his Creation: Now let the rest of you get along, and love and multiply, for it is time to knock off for the weekend. T. H. White, The Once and Future King. [God said, “Get along with each other; I am going to knock it off for the weekend.”]

Gods xiii The gods themselves…must be capable of evolving, as men have evolved, from a kind of savagery to a higher way of life…an idea that must be completely foreign to those who use the word ‘god’ in the context of the Jewish or Christian tradition. Warner, Euripides. [What is the nature of the gods? Do they evolve? ]

Gods 124 Hippolytus: I wish the race of men had the power to curse the gods. Euripides, Hippolytus. [I wish men could curse the gods as man is cursed by the gods.]

Gods and man 261 Euripides: Again and again he shows up the gods in accordance with the popular conception of them, as lustful, jealous, moved by the meanest motives, utterly inferior to the human beings they bring disaster upon.... E. Hamilton. The Greek Way. [Euripides shows the gods to be lustful, jealous, moved by mean motives and inferior to human beings. ]

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