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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Monday, February 03, 2003

In a perfect socialist transport-system, there would be no accidents

At a Communist writers' Congress, after hours of speeches about the brave new world in construction, André Malraux asked impatiently: 'And what about the man who is run over by a tram-car?' He met blank stares and did not insist. But there is a voice inside all of us which does insist. We have been cut off from the belief in personal survival, in the immortality of a self which we love and hate more intimately than anything else, and the scar of that amputation has never healed. To be killed on a barricade or to die as a martyr of science provides some compensation; but what about that man who is run over by the tram-car, or the child who is drowned?

Gothic man had an answer to this question. The apparently accidental was part of a higher design. Fate was not blind; storms, volcanoes, floods and plagues all conformed to a subtle pattern; you were looked after in higher quarters. Cannibals, Eskimos, Hindus and Christians all have an answer to this question of all questions which, however repressed, pooh-poohed, shamefully hidden, still remains the last decisive regulator of our actions. But the only answer which Malraux, after a painful silence, received was: 'In a perfect socialist transport-system, there would be no accidents.

Arthur Koestler "Anatomy of a Myth" in The Yogi and the Commissar. Jonathan Cape, 1945 p.126

From an atheistic/rationalistic/naturalistic perspective what can one really say to the the family of the man who is run over by a tram-car, or the child who drowns...?

11:13:00 pm