Friday, February 11, 2011

Schopenhauer's Smile

The recent uproar over Bristol Palin's planned "lecture" on abstinence brought to mind a whole range of thoughts, (not all of them philosophical) but upper most, the inevitable failure of any abstinence only program.  Aurthur Schopenhauer would have pointed this out over two-hundred years ago, but they listened only a little better then.

In his great opus, The World as Will and Representation, as well as many of his delightful essays, Schopenhauer outlined a philosophy of utter despair in which the world is ruled by a blind and all-powerful Will.  Most human beings witness the futility of life he contended, but the Will is too strong, the Will to self-preservation and, above all---procreation.

Whenever I hear a Christian praise the efficacy of abstinence, of the strength of will that their faith provides, I think of the greater Will of nature, and of old Schopenhauer quietly smiling in his grave.

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