Archive for the ‘self-deception’ Category

82 percent of American drivers rated themselves among the top 30 percent in terms of safety

January 26, 2010

In 2007…82 percent of American drivers rated themselves among the top 30 percent in terms of safety. The survey does not reveal what the car insurance companies thought…

David F. Wells, The Courage to be Protestant, IVP, 2008, p.140

An inaccurate self-estimation is a fair indicator of self-deception at work.

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Soren Kierkegaard tells a parable of a community of ducks waddling off to duck church to hear the duck preacher

January 12, 2010

Soren Kierkegaard tells a parable of a community of ducks waddling off to duck church to hear the duck preacher. The duck preacher spoke eloquently of how God had given the ducks wings with which to fly. With these wings there was nowhere the ducks could not go, there was no God-given task the ducks could not accomplish. With those wings they could soar into the presence of God. Shouts of “Amen” were quacked throughout the duck congregation. At the conclusion of the service, the ducks left, commenting on what a wonderful message they had heard — and waddled back home.

source

Be not merely hearers of the word but doers.

Without the true knowledge of the law, the corruption of nature lies hid

January 12, 2010

Without the true knowledge of the law, the corruption of nature lies hid…Men are ready to soothe up themselves…being ignorant of the Law of God…they bless themselves and think they are well…The Law of God…shows men their sins, and it makes men see and feel themselves as dead men.

Edward Elton, 1648, quoted in Michael A. Robinson, God Does Exist!, Author House 2006, p.160

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul

October 13, 2009

Invictus

In the fell clutch of Circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeons of Chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

W.E. Henley

quoted by Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh at his execution.

This is unrepentant self-will. But such a ‘captain’ of one’s own soul will find that his liberty to chart his own course, is an illusion – both in this life and in the place where the ‘punishments (of) the scroll’ are endlessly meted out. The ‘fear’ he did not feel in life will be felt in death – and a fear without hope of ending.

Since it has pleased Providence to place me in this station, I shall do my utmost to fulfill my duty towards my country

October 11, 2009

Since it has pleased Providence to place me in this station, I shall do my utmost to fulfill my duty towards my country; I am very young and perhaps in many, though not in all things, inexperienced, but I am sure that very few have more real good-will and more real desire to do what is fit and right than I have.

Queen Victoria, journal entry, Tuesday, 20th June 1837, on her accession to the throne.

One of the most dangerous of beliefs is that you yourself have ‘more real good-will and more real desire to do what is fit and right’ than almost anyone else.

philosophy very often turns out to be the finding of bad reasons for whatever ideological prejudices self-interest has engendered

September 24, 2009

Metaphysics is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct (F.H. Bradley)

But men’s philosophy very often turns out to be the finding of bad reasons for whatever ideological prejudices self-interest has engendered in their minds; men’s reasons so often turn out to be rationalizations, and not ‘reasons’ at all. “The heart is deceitful above all things and is desperately sick” (Jer. 17.9)…man’s endless capacity and predilection for self-deception.

Alan Richardson, Christian Apologetics, 1955, p.76

Cain – Man Divided

August 31, 2009

In Cain there appears for the first time that perennial conflict in the soul of fallen man, the conflict between the passionate claims to be left alone, the assertion of independence, and the no less terror of being left alone, the obscure foreboding of the hell to which independence leads The first produces the indignant question, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ The second, the bitter complaint, ‘Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth, and from thy face I shall be hid.’

Oliver Quick, The Gospel of the New World, 1944, p.40

The heart of darkness

August 29, 2009

In the aftermath of the Omagh bombing (15.8.98) in which 28 people died and over 200 were injured, the Daily Mirror front page (17.8.98) had pictures  of the victims with this caption:

Those cowards responsible have lost their right to be members of the human race and so too those who try to justify their actions.’

But the perpetrators, despite their despicable actions,  are still human beings. And this fact makes their evil all the more shocking. By removing them from (our) human race we distance ourselves from the evil that lies within each heart Рour own included. By denying them their humanity, we wish to insulate ourselves from the awful truth that we too have hearts of darkness.

Distractions

August 6, 2009

Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries. Yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries. For above all, it is that which keeps us from thinking about ourselves and so leads us imperceptibly to our destruction.

I have often felt that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his own room…(the human condition)…is one of inconsistency, of boredom, and of anxiety.

Men spend their time chasing a ball or a hare. Such is the very sport of kings.

Pascal

Distraction and Busyness

August 6, 2009

Asked why he worked so hard (producing on average a film a year), Woody Allen replied:¬† “It’s a distraction. It keeps my mind off grim subjects.”