Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chesterton on Optimism and Pessimism

cross and resurrectionSH / Note: As we all strain to respect the tension between (humanly speaking) optimism and a fully balanced realism, not always with success by any means, the following essay I found to be particularly precious. In the Cross and resurrection of Jesus we find the tension resolved. This one is worth printing out and reading carefully.

Chesterton: When I was a boy there were two curious men running about who were called the optimist and the pessimist. I constantly used the words myself, but I cheerfully confess that I never had any very special idea of what they meant. The only thing which might be considered evident was that they could not mean what they said; for the ordinary verbal explanation was that the optimist thought this world as good as it could be, while the pessimist thought it as bad as it could be. Both these statements being obviously raving nonsense, one had to cast about for other explanations. An optimist could not mean a man who thought everything right and nothing wrong. For that is meaningless; it is like calling everything right and nothing left. Upon the whole, I came to the conclusion that the optimist thought everything good except the pessimist, and that the pessimist thought everything bad, except himself.

It would be unfair to omit altogether from the list the mysterious but suggestive definition said to have been given by a little girl, "An optimist is a man who looks after your eyes, and a pessimist is a man who looks after your feet." I am not sure that this is not the best definition of all. There is even a sort of allegorical truth in it. For there might, perhaps, be a profitable distinction drawn between that more dreary thinker who thinks merely of our contact with the earth from moment to moment, and that happier thinker who considers rather our primary power of vision and of choice of road...Read More

--->Peter Hitchens reasons out loud on abortion...

--->Karzai: Blackwater
behind terrorism

--->Islamists Accuse Egypt's Christians of… Radical Islam. In the last month various fundamentalist groups held ten demonstrations [in Egypt], each after coming out of mosques following Friday prayers, against the 86-year-old ailing Coptic Pontiff, in which he was accused of being a US agent, an abductor and torturer of female Muslim converts from Christianity, of stockpiling weapons in monasteries and churches to carry out war against Muslims, and of plans to divide Egypt to create a Coptic State...

--->Revisited: Cardinal Biffi: Curb Muslim Immigration Give preference to Christian immigrants...

Recently the Pope, while encouraging great compassion and help for the migrant poor, also said "States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host country, respecting its laws and its national identity...

--->Mr President we've lost control of FIFTY nuclear warheads: Obama told how his arsenal was hit by 45-minute computer glitch...

--->Countries Slam Attempts to Create New "Right" to Sexual Education at UN...

--->The Manhattan Declaration and A Global Movement On The Rise...It was President Obama's description of religious freedom as a "right to worship" privately as opposed to freedom of religion that particularly worried the authors...

--->International Cooperation and Charity vs. Centralization and A Compulsory Global Ethic...

--->Former President George W. Bush in his new book says that after being pressured by Nancy Reagan on stem cell research, "I did feel a responsibility to voice my pro-life convictions and lead the country toward what Pope John Paul II called a culture of life." In the book, Bush describes an emotional July 2001 meeting with the Pope at the pontiff's summer residence. Savaged by Parkinson's, the Pope saw the promise of science, but implored Bush to support life in all its forms. ...Read more (JPII opposed the "preemptive" war against Iraq)

--->Yikes. Bedbugs Try to Take Over the World, Spotted at UN...

--->Pope troubled by "excessive zeal" over copyright protection. "On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care," Pope Benedict says in an Encyclical Letter quoted by the delegation at the 48th World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly last month. The report said copyright holdings have become the bedrock of profits for an array of business interests, multinational corporations like those in the movie and music industry in particular and there has been an increasing push to protect them at all costs, even to the detriment of society and culture...Read more

--->Paul Craig Roberts: American Job Loss Is Permanent...In a recent poll a Philadelphia marketing and research firm, Twentysomething, found that 85% of recent college graduates planned to move back home with parents. ...The claim that jobs offshoring by US corporations increases domestic employment in the US is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated...

--->BBC: Obama will not ban home repossessions 'fraud'

--->DN: "Free Speech for People". Coalition Calls for Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United Decision Allowing Unlimited Corporate Spending on Elections...

--->Abortionist Nicola Riley Too Dangerous To Practice, Says Maryland Board...

NCR's Cat out of the bag

--->Revisited: The Quiet Place...

--->NCR, John Allen, Joan Chittister, Mary Daly and the gospel truth...

--->Revisited: 2001 review of John Allen's book 'Cardinal Ratzinger The Vatican's Enforcer of the Faith' Continuum, New York, London, 2000...

--->The Grinch Peter Singer, meanwhile, Says Full Moral Status Not Earned by Babies "Until After 2 Years"...

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