movement, movement

Despite Charges Of Pessimism

Posted in culture, philosophy, quotes, religion by amoslanka on October 15, 2008

I think I could often be taken as either a pessimist or a cynic, or both. I think it stems from my refusal to accept mass culture as inherently true. Perhaps most of these charges come from within, but nevertheless I feel them, and it is as often as I find quotes from Mr. Chesterton that I am once again encouraged in whatever you may wish to call my critical views of culture. Whatever it is, it is not pessimism.

Religion is always insisting on the shortness of human life. But it does not insist on the shortness of human life as the pessimists insist on it. Pessimism insists on the shortness of human life in order to show that life is valueless. Religion insists on the shortness of human life in order to show that life is frightfully valuable — is almost horribly valuable. Pessimism says that life is so short that it gives nobody a chance; religion says that life is so short that it gives everybody his final chance. In the first case the word brevity means futility; in the second case, opportunity.

– GK Chesterton

(my emphasis)

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3 Responses

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  1. jess said, on October 16, 2008 at 9:25 am

    i have never heard that quote by him… oh i love chesterton. i need to read more of him.

  2. amoslanka said, on October 16, 2008 at 9:29 am

    @jess — yeah, I believe this quote is not from any of his major writings, but rather from an introduction he wrote for another author. cant remember which one though.

  3. wiredtoinspire said, on October 18, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I like this quote a lot–I’ve read a good bit of Chesterton. Did you read Manalive? –it’s fiction so somewhat different than some of the others, but really rather brilliant.


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