There is no impression and nothing in the universe corresponding to truth. You must assume that a truth exists in order to prove that one exists, and you cannot prove that one may not exist. There is no impression and nothing in the universe corresponding to meaning. If there is a meaning of life, your relation to it is either infinite gain or infinite loss, and if there is no meaning of life, there are no gains or losses. Reason relies on a nonrational acceptance of eternally preexistent truth, and meaning determines your relation to that truth. Because the acceptance of reason is nonrational, what is known rationally is determined by your relation to truth and not by reason itself. Christianity embodies this paradox: the immanence of the transcendent. Take the ultimate cause of all existence and make it the only cause of your every action. You have two choices. Extrapolate beyond the fact of life to a meaning of life and bet everything on the chance of one, or “reject that for which there is no evidence” and keep your life. Neither choice is more rational than the other. The difference is risk. Christianity is infinite risk, infinite reward. Nihilism is zero risk, zero reward. I prefer to be a Christian.
Life is a test. Its purpose is not to discover what you always were, but to become it in the act of choosing. The ends never justify the means because the means are the ends. The existence of a universe is doubtful. The obligation to act is not.
The difference between moral and immoral means is that when you try to use moral means for immoral ends, they don’t work.
You should heal the sick, not because they’re well, but because they’re sick. You should feed the poor, not because they’re rich, but because they’re poor. And you should pardon the guilty, not because they’re innocent, but because they’re guilty.
You don’t need to have justice everywhere before you can have justice anywhere. Love is the passion behind the universe. Power is only the perceived advantage of those who have put their faith in the universe rather than in love. Might doesn’t make right, right makes might. Injustice anywhere isn’t a threat to justice everywhere. Justice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere.
We don’t need idealism because the world is already good. We need idealism because it isn’t. The idealists are the only ones in the business of making things better.
People are both unique and sociocentric. In the full realization of our sociocentricity, we value the uniqueness of others and others value our uniqueness. Others are special to us, and we’re special to others. The transcendent is the infinite divine valuation of our uniqueness and the uniqueness of others, or, to phrase it differently, the infinite importance of our uniqueness and the uniqueness of others to the divine: the infinite specialness of the self and all other selves The synthesis of the transcendent and the immanent is the acceptance of the infinite specialness of the self to the divine, and accordant acceptance of the infinite specialness of all others. The resurrection within the soul is the freely willed reaction to the infinite divine valuation of the self by reciprocation of the infinite divine love, which culminates in infinite love for all others.
You’re not good, just, or meritorious. You are special, valuable, and important. Within our own context, the best way of expressing this concept of holy is that it’s the strongest possible word for special. Hallelujah- special is God.
I love Hitler, and I love my roommate, and of the two, it’s harder to love my roommate. Loving Hitler doesn’t cost me anything. Loving my roommate costs me something every day. And that’s why I suspect it will be the more rewarding love.
A lot of liberation theologians have nothing to say to the inheritors of the first world. I’m not one of them. When I read the bible, I find, “Now which of these will love him more?” and “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt. ” The message of God to the guilty is only and always mercy, forgiveness, and redemption. I’m in no position to demand vengeance for other men’s sins. I am the worst sinner.
From one sinner to another, don’t be afraid of risk. We have nothing to lose but the world. We have our souls to gain.
The powers that be understand bomb making, and I do not- they believe that this will protect them from me. But I understand their hearts, and they do not.
What if Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and the rest weren’t good people? What if they were just normal people who realized that no one else was going to do it?
Ideas don’t so much testify to sociological patterns as constitute them. The real question isn’t “how can I preventing my enemies from destroying me?” but rather “what conceptual framework can prevent me from becoming determined to destroy those who I perceive to be my enemies?” The answer to the question “how can I prevent my enemies from destroying me?” has always been “I must destroy them.” Beliefs about the self create a sense of coherence in the face of the uncertainty of our lives, granting us an impression of control. But what if I were to do the opposite? What if I embraced uncertainty with open arms, surrendering my efforts at control in favor of risk-affirmative acts of philosophical expression? Would I not become a man without a self, whose identity markers were open to perpetual reevaluation in spontaneous reaction to changing circumstances, possessing no preference for preexisting psychological structures, and considering all possible identities formless and fleeting? Of what would such a man be capable? And who could stop him?