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Old 20.03.2010, 17:04   #1
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Default Religion

March 18, 2010
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OLD-TIME RELIGION
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What does the average Armenian know or understand about the reasons why we are divided? I suspect most Armenians follow the old-time religion routine: if it's good enough for my father, it's good enough for me. It follows the son of a Tashnak will be a Tashnak, the son of a Ramgavar will be a Ramgavar, and so on. It also follows, our divisions are based not on facts or values but on habit and tradition. Which may explain why even our revolutionaries are right-wing conservatives. As a result, instead of renewal we have stagnation, instead if progress paralysis, and instead of dialogue two monologues that never cross.
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To join a group means to surrender a fraction of one's individuality and uniqueness.
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In a group it is not always the best that rises to the top but the most cunning and ruthless.
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Even the most absurd slogan will make sense if it flatters our ego.
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Sometimes I am accused of repeating myself. If you agree with a slogan, you don't mind to have it repeated countless times. But if you disagree with an idea, being exposed to it even once, it will be a source of annoyance, irritation, and hostility.
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Who is more guilty? The leader or his dupe (who assesses himself as smart)?
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The 11th Commandment in the Armenian Decalogue: “Thou shalt not be a dupe.”
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March 19, 2010
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OPIUM
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Marx said religion is “the opium of the people.”
The word assassin comes from the Arabic “hashish” (opium).
Voltaire: “Since it was a religious war, there were no survivors.”
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As a nonbeliever I respect equally both believers and nonbelievers– both Sartre and Schweitzer (who were cousins).
Sartre, the atheist, writes in his memoirs: “I depend on people who depend on God.”
A contradiction?
Walt Whitman: “So what if I contradict myself? I contain multitudes.”
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Nationalism is defined as an ideology by nationalists, and as pathology by those who have studied its history.
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Some are too big to fail, and some are too insignificant to register on the consciousness of the world. You may now guess to which category we belong.
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Incompetence and intolerance of dissent is a lethal combination that might as well be a death warrant.
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What makes life bearable is the idea of death.
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Whitman: “Nothing can happen more beautiful than death.”
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Optimism? Nothing wrong with it, provided you are prepared to be disappointed.
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Why do I write in short sentences and paragraphs?
The short answer is, fear.
Fear of boring my readers.
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March 20, 2010
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ON PATERNALISM
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Our genocide is not only a symptom of man's humanity to man but also of our own misplaced and naïve trust in an alien power structure that we were led to believe to be paternalistic because that is how it had (mis)represented itself to us for 600 years. One reason we don't emphasize this aspect of our past is that paternalism continues to be our favorite mode of perceiving our own leadership.
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Xenophobia blinds us to the virtues of our adversaries to the same degree that it blinds us to our own vices.
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In our traumatized partisan environment you are safe only if you parrot the partisan line. But if you dare to think and speak for yourself – that is to say, to give expression to your own thoughts. convictions, and experiences – then prepared yourself to be verbally abused by dupes who know and understand even less than their “educators” -- meaning, those who brainwashed them.
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Oliver Goldsmith: “The laws govern the poor, and the rich govern the law.”
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