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Theodore Dalrymple Quotes
Considering the importance of resentment in our lives, and the damage it does, it receives scant attention from psychiatrists and psychologists. Resentment is a great rationalizer: it presents us with selected versions of our own past, so that we do not recognize our own mistakes and avoid the necessity to make painful choices.
So what exactly are the rewards of resentment. It is always a relief to know that the reason we have failed in life is not because we lack the talent, energy, or determination to succeed, but because of a factor that is beyond our control and that has loaded the dice decisively against us.
It is clear to me that people often want incompatible things. They want danger and excitement on the one hand, and safety and security on the other, and often simultaneously. Contradictory desires mean that life can never be wholly satisfying or without frustration.
Many young people now end a discussion with the supposedly definitive and unanswerable statement that such is their opinion, and their opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. The fact is that our opinion on an infinitely large number of questions is not worth having, because everyone is infinitely ignorant.
We all resort to the ad hominem from time to time: in human affairs, it is difficult to avoid it, and probably not desirable. After all, our opponents are human. The proper use of an ad hominem argument, however, still requires evidence to back it up.
All forms of human happiness contain within themselves the seeds of their own decomposition.
Parents are perhaps the most common object of resentment, the people who are most frequently blamed for all our failings and failures alike.
I do not think it possible for anyone to get by in life without prejudice. However, the attempt to do so leads many people to suppose that, in order to decide any moral question, they have to find an indubitable first principle from which they can deduce an answer.
The idea that man is a tabula rasa, or Mao's sheet of blank paper upon which the most beautiful characters can be written, is an old one with disastrous implications. I do not think though that the cults you mention could survive honest thought about human nature.
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Gilbert K. Chesterton
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