Monday, August 01, 2005

The Historian, the Philosopher, and the Theologian

No, this is not the beginning of a bad joke (a la "a minister, a priest and a rabbi"). Rather, I serve up three pithy, sweet nuggets of wisdom by that apostle of common sense, G.K. Chesterton. These nuggets of wisdom are taken from the American Chesterton Society website, which all good and clear-thinking ladies and gentlemen should visit. Here is the link:

The Historian:
The Historian“The whole object of history is to enlarge the experience by imagination. . . to make us realise that humanity could be great and glorious under conditions quite different from and even contrary to our own. It is to teach us that men could achieve most profitable labour without our own division of labour. It is to teach us that men could be industrious without being industrial. It is to make us understand that there might be a world in which there was far less improvement in the transport for visiting various places, [yet] there might still be a very great improvement in the places visited.”
G.K. ChestertonIllustrated London News February 4, 1922

The Philosopher:
“Philosophy is not the concern of those who pass though Divinity and Greats, but of those who pass through birth and death. Nearly all the more awful and abstruse statements can be put in words of one syllable, from ‘A child is born’ to ‘A soul is damned.’ If the ordinary man may not discuss existence, why should he be asked to conduct it?”
G.K. Chesterton“The Philosopher” George Bernard Shaw (1910)

The Theologian:
"You cannot evade the issue of God, whether you talk about pigs or the binomial theory, you are still talking about Him. Now if Christianity be. . . a fragment of metaphysical nonsense invented by a few people, then, of course, defending it will simply mean talking that metaphysical nonsense over and over. But if Christianity should happen to be true - then defending it may mean talking about anything or everything. Things can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is false, but nothing can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is true."
G.K. Chesterton Daily News December 12, 1903

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