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The question asked of Alyosha in The Brothers Karamazov is impossible to answer. The premise requires the construction of some alternate universe in which happiness carries some distorted meaning. It is understood that the question is merely a hypothetical one, but even hypothetical questions must have some basis in reality, and the universe as it is currently understood cannot support any less of a definition of happiness.
How could happiness include the willful dislocation of one’s thoughts of peace and tranquility, from the direct connection to a torturous and malignant act? It would require the citizens of such a realm to go about their daily lives with the knowledge of an atrocity deeply imbedded, but continually rebuffed.
Happiness requires a knowledge of pain, not a refutation of it. The awareness of living in a world where both entities exist is a key component of happiness. Therefore, a cursory look in the direction of someone else’s pain is not the act of a truly happy person. Futhermore, the awareness that the “happy” world in which you live was bought at the price of an unwilling participant in a torturous act could never dispell the lingering feeling of the existence of its opposite.
It is impossible to conceive of a society that is peaceful and tranquil, in which all men are happy, where the citizens of such destiny are aware of the torture of an innocent, and that this act is the one event which brought about the current beneficence. It is equally impossible for such a society to exist if the populace were ignorant of the act, therefore, the question may be hypothetical, but it is also thoroughly bogus.
In contrast, Christianity proposes that a world of happiness can be built on the suffering of one willing individual, and that such a society as this can greatly benefit from knowledge of the act. Furthermore, ignorance of the event’s direct influence on the world of happiness constructed by it benefits that world not at all.p>Think about that the next time you hear of a city council’s decision to abandon the public display of a Nativity scene at Christmastime. br> — Brendan R. Merrick br> Budd Lake, NJ /p> p> Article by Hunter Baker — Bill Pryor is Catholic, not evangelical. br> — Vance Troutman /p> p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online