Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Milosz flips the script

“Religion, opium for the people. To those suffering pain, humiliation, illness, and serfdom, it promised a reward in an afterlife. And now we are witnessing a transformation. A true opium for the people is a belief in nothingness after death—the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murders we are not going to be judged.”

Czesław Miłosz
Winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize for literature


thekid said...

boy, I'll say that's a flip of the script. Attention getting.

Gordon Hackman said...

Yes, trying to dismiss other people's beliefs by offering psychological explanations for them is a double edged sword. The quote succinctly and brilliantly drives home the point that there is at least an equally likely "escapist" psychological motive for unbelief as there is for belief. Or, to put it another way: What's good for the goose is good for the gander.