Analecto

29 de junho de 2018

Erasmo’s “Praise of Madness”.

Filed under: Livros, Saúde e bem-estar — Tags:, , — Yure @ 14:15

The Praise of Madness was written by Erasmus of Rotterdam. Below, some paraphrases of his text.

  1. Intellectuals have fun too!
  2. The book is a parody of the ridiculous behaviors of mankind.
  3. Madness can kill sorrow.
  4. “Sophist” was not necessarily a pejorative term.
  5. Self-praise can be as sincere or even more sincere than the praise that others direct to you.
  6. Spontaneous compliments are more sincere than those that are prepared in advance.
  7. To define is to limit an idea in words, so that it can be worked out by reasoning.
  8. It is not possible to limit madness because it extends to all mankind.
  9. Definitions are abstractions, they do not correspond 100% to the things they define and often do not describe them well.
  10. The fool admires everything that is foreign, as if things that come from another country were necessarely better.
  11. Stupid people love madness.
  12. Madness is accompanied by selfishness, by lazyness, by forgetfulness, by voluptuousness, by delight, by recklessness, by laughter, by sleep and by adulation.
  13. Madness gives life indiscriminately, for many children are conceived in their parents’ stupidity.
  14. Erasmus’s criticism of the Stoics: there is no person in the world who has not committed foolishness or who does not give in to passion.
  15. If everyone were philosophers, perhaps no one had children: if you “reason dutifully”, as philosophers are supposed to do all the time, what’s the point of having children today?
  16. Another criticism against the Stoics: they condemn pleasure, but do not resist to it.
  17. If it were not for voluptuousness, life would be very sad.
  18. Children are unlimited, unpredictable and happy.
  19. Old people resemble children in many ways.
  20. The child who speaks and acts like an adult is less attractive.
  21. The old man is happier than the child, because he is more moderate.
  22. The old man and the child are so alike that they attract each other.
  23. The defects of small children reappear in old age.
  24. Life without wisdom, that is, that of a cheerful fool, is a crazy life.
  25. Too much study and philosophy makes you age faster.
  26. Wisdom angers the foolish.
  27. Madness keeps Cupid chubby.
  28. Madness makes a person derive pleasure from things that would otherwise be unpalatable, which explains why all women are beautiful in the eyes of a drunk man.
  29. Feminine aesthetics have the purpose of exercising control.
  30. Dinner with friends degenerates if the friends are not having fun.
  31. Boredom is born with us.
  32. Friendship can be crazy, too.
  33. It is not possible to be friends with a perfect person.
  34. The helpers of madness (adulation, voluptuousness and others presented above) support marriage.
  35. Marriages would be less frequent if the lovers investigated the past of each other.
  36. Peaceful cucks have long-lasting marriages.
  37. It is not possible to love your neighbor without loving yourself first.
  38. Be yourself.
  39. Self-love makes us happy with what we are, what we do and what we have.
  40. War is crazy, it has nothing to do with philosophy.
  41. Only people who are desperate or in debt fight in a war when reason says “don’t go”.
  42. The philosopher, in his pursuit for great truths, neglects immediate and practical life.
  43. The philosopher is lame in public affairs.
  44. Adulation breathes life into the popular beast.
  45. No city has adopted the laws envisioned by Plato or Aristotle.
  46. The effort expended in the study often does not pay off.
  47. The foolish obtains, by lack of shame and fear, results as good as the wise.
  48. Life is a comedy: everyone is an actor.
  49. In the midst of fools, the sage is regarded as the craziest.
  50. The difference between the wise and the fool is in the guides: the fool is guided by passion and the wise is guided by reasoning.
  51. The perfect Stoic has never existed and is an unattainable goal for humans.
  52. The Stoic would have no friends if he could really purge himself of any feeling or emotion.
  53. Life can be so bad, cruel and inhuman that wise men may choose to die, even if they can choose between dying and living forever.
  54. Words only hurt those who are sensitive to them.
  55. The normal state of the human being is ignorance.
  56. The highest sciences are those that bring less fame and wealth.
  57. The sciences that bring more profit are those that distance themselves from good common sense.
  58. The foolish is happy with the human condition, but the wise ones want to go beyond it and, in their attempt, become frustrated.
  59. The wise person has more concerns.
  60. The truth is in the wine and in the children .
  61. The scholar is more prone to hypocrisy.
  62. The establishment is an enemy of philosophy, because philosophy speaks openly against a corrupt and egocentric government.
  63. But when someone who is thought to be crazy, yet friendly, tells a harsh truth, she is received with laughter as a joke, and then, perhaps, taken seriously.
  64. The professional sage has no life.
  65. There are two types of madness: positive madness is constructive and negative madness is destructive.
  66. Having a mental disorder does not necessarily prevent you from being a good person.
  67. Likewise, healing a mental disorder can bring even greater ills to the person, especially if the disorder is a condition for individual fulfillment.
  68. Many important personalities in our history were likely disordered, but their disturbances did not prevent them from achieving their great achievements and perhaps these madmen would not have done what they did if they were normal.
  69. To each mad man their madness.
  70. Everyone is a cuck nowadays.
  71. Alchemists look for things that do not exist, but alchemists are able to deceive themselves very convincingly, so that they have no doubts about the lies that tell themselves.
  72. There is also the gamble madness, the storytelling madness, and the superstition madness.
  73. Another manifestation of superstitious madness is the sale of indulgences, as if it were possible to buy forgiveness of sins with money.
  74. The Book of Psalms is no book of spells and automatically reciting verses of it in the wind makes nothing supernatural happen, but the superstitious ones attribute to each psalm a power: bring health, bring money, marital bliss, dream fulfillment, even when text of the psalm does not allude to such things.
  75. To attribute more power to Mary than to Jesus is foolish.
  76. Offering long and expensive treatments instead of fast and cheap, but equally effective, cures is an old practice.
  77. Taking advantage of religious madness, the religious leaders try to propagate false beliefs .
  78. By preaching a different, but softer law, the religious leader maintains control over the believer, even if it means to cause his doom.
  79. Why bother with the details of your own funeral, if you will not even watch it?
  80. Ideas with more followers are the ones that are farther away from common sense.
  81. You can’t raise above madness through philosophy.
  82. The perfect philosopher is not heard by anyone, because he has completely distanced himself from ordinary madness.
  83. Adulation is not opposed to good faith.
  84. Adulation can be used constructively .
  85. It is not possible to sustain human happiness in the facts, because the facts, things as they really are, are hidden from us.
  86. Arguments and certainties are tedious.
  87. Pleasure does not depend only on things that give pleasure, depending also on the willingness to receive them.
  88. Madness is free, but wisdom costs time and effort to attain, that’s why most people are idiots.
  89. The only pagan god that could be worshiped with any property is madness, who is always present and does not require sacrifice or worship, while the other pagan gods require too much to do nothing.
  90. It is better to emulate your divinity than offering sacrifice to it.
  91. Trade, whether of objects or favors, is the most filthy human act.
  92. Human life is a whirlwind of unlawful acts .
  93. There is also the madness of the intellectuals, which leads to quarrels over matters of little importance, and the madness of the teacher, who thinks he is hot for exhausting himself among dumb and irritating children.
  94. The harder arts get more attention, even when they are the most useless.
  95. The melancholy ones torture themselves in their own work, no longer being able to derive pleasure from it, becoming slaves to praise and effort.
  96. The stupid books are the ones that sell the most, because most, who are stupid, consume them.
  97. Also crazy is the happiness of the writer who practiced plagiarism.
  98. Legislation is not as noble a job as the vulgar think.
  99. Political and legal debate is a festival of gratuitous syllogisms.
  100. Mad philosophers never agree with each other, but everyone thinks they are approaching the truth.
  101. The highest questions of theology are precisely those whose answers would not make a difference in the life of the believer.
  102. Perhaps there is no answer to many theological questions, supposing they are really questions in the first place.
  103. The apostles did not discuss theological issues and did not make a science out of God.
  104. The purpose of theological, strongly logical and metaphysical arguments is to convert those who disagree with a certain religion.
  105. Medieval theologians studied theology more than the Holy Bible itself.
  106. How can theologians describe Hell with a frightening amount of detail without ever having been there?
  107. Medieval theologians used to say that the divinity of the Holy Scriptures was above grammar, which in practice is a license to speak and write “wrongly” in order to conceive even more complex arguments, based on ambiguous readings.
  108. Some theologians seek the reverence that should be given to God.
  109. The monastic orders fight for futile reasons, the monks are proud of doing nothing.
  110. It is enough to be called a Christian.
  111. Drunken friars leak confessions.
  112. It seems that there was the practice of leaking confessions during Masses, to the public humiliation of those who attracted the hatred of the friar or the priest.
  113. It was the common practice of rhetorical preachers to begin the discourse with something that had nothing to do with the subject being discussed.
  114. The madness of kings and bishops comes from the weight of their responsibilities: you either go mad observing all the rules or you opportunely evade from rules that are not convenient.
  115. Human war has nothing to do with Jesus.
  116. Human life is governed more by fortune (chance) than by justice.
  117. The true philosopher is the most hated being that exists, for not sharing the love for money, common to all other people.
  118. When you do not have something and that something is necessary, you should look for an equivalent.
  119. Madness has nothing to do with Apollo and has much to do with Bacchus .
  120. Madness is a friend of theology.
  121. The more you are sensible, the more you are sad.
  122. Theology owes much to Aristotle .
  123. The Christian is crazy for the world.
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