Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Life is tragic ...

Bored and looking a for blog post topic, I came upon this site that randomly spews out famous philospher and writer quotes. The result - the following quote:

"Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have." -- James Baldwin

I don't know James Baldwin well, but it seems like a pretty good quote. He seems to be saying that we all waste a lot of time with things that don't ultimately add to the enjoyment of our lives. Those things being religion, racism, war, nationalism, materialism, etc. We're born and we die ... those are the absolutes. The other things are just filler. We'd be better served by trying to enjoy that time we do have.

Having lived as a black and a homosexual in at time where either one of those things would have left one ostracized, Baldwin certainly could speak from experience on how society dwells on things that are not really important.

The fight to pass Prop 8 in California and 102 in Arizona by the Mormon church seems to hit upon two of the time wasters - "steeples" and "taboos". Are those people who have given to their time and money to take something away from someone else really going to have better lives? Or will they be there in their final days, lamenting the "fact of death"?


wunelle said...

Amen to that. We should seriously mount a push to get the church's tax exempt status revoked; they certainly meddled plenty in politics in this case (and in the election generally).

What a carefully-evolved way to fill a person's life with hatred and bigotry and fear and vehemently try to convince everyone that it's really love and inclusion and peace.

dbackdad said...

It seems like an awful lot of work and waste of time in preparation for a an after-life that probably doesn't exist. And by the time you get there, it's too late. I'd rather make myself and others happy right now.