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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Regarding the Tsunami
    #3649972 - 01/19/05 08:38 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I don't think this poem has ever been so relevant since the Lisbon disaster. Many of you should be familiar with this poem. It is Poem on the Lisbon Disaster (1756); 'Theist' from Philosophical Dictionary (1764) written by Voltaire.

Please take the time to read it, especially if you ground cause of the tsunami in divinity.

(Note: This is a literal translation from the French. For an earlier poetic translation by Joseph McCabe (Watts and Co., London, 1911) click here http://courses.essex.ac.uk/cs/cs101/VOLT/Lisbon2.htm )

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Oh unhappy mortals! Oh wretched earth!
Oh dreadful gathering of so many dead!
The eternal sport of fruitless griefs!
Mistaken philosophers who cry: "All is well",
Approach, look upon these frightful ruins,
This debris, these shreds, these unhappy ashes,
These scattered limbs beneath these broken marbles;
A hundred thousand wretches swallowed by the earth,
Bleeding, torn, with hearts still beating,
Buried beneath their roofs, ended without help
Their lamentable days in the horrors of their suffering!
Are you going to say in the face of the semi-formed cries
Of their expiring voices, in the face of the spectacle
Of their smoldering remains: "It is the effect of necessary laws
That require this choice of a God that is free and good"?
Will you say, on seeing this pile of victims:
"God is avenged, their death is the price of their crimes"?
What crime, what fault have these children committed
Broken and bleeding on their mother's breast?

....

It is pride, you say, seditious pride
Which pretends that in our fallen state we can be better.
Go, interrogate the banks of the Tagus,
Dig in the debris of this bloody ravage;
Ask the dying, in this moment of terror,
If it is pride that cries: "Oh heaven, help me!
Oh heaven, have pity on poor humanity!"
"All is well, you say, and all is necessary."
What! The whole universe, without this hellish gulf,
Without a Lisbon swallowed up, would have been even worse?

....

I respect God, but I love the universe.
When man dares complain of a scourge so dreadful,
It is not pride that speaks, alas, but his very soul.

Will the sad dwellers on these desolated reaches,
In the horror of their sufferings, will they be consoled
If someone said to them: "Fall, die quietly;
For the happiness of the world your refuges have been destroyed;
Other hands will build your burnt out palaces,
Other people will be born within your shattered walls;
The North will enrich itself from your fated losses;
All your misfortunes are a good within the general law;
God will see you with the same eye as he sees the vile worms
Of which you will be the prey in the depths of your tombs"?
What dreadful language to address the unfortunate!
Cruel! Do not now add outrage to all my grief.

No, do not present again to my agitated heart
Those immutable laws of necessity,
That chain of bodies, spirits and worlds.
Oh dreams of savants! Oh chimerical profundities!
God holds the chain in his hand; he is not enchained;
Everything is determined by his beneficent choice:
He is free, he is just, he is not implacable.
Why then do we suffer under a righteous master?
Here is the fatal knot that has to be untied.

....

But how can one conceive a God, goodness itself,
Who lavishes blessings on the children he loves,
And yet pours wrongs upon them by the handful?
What eye can penetrate his deep designs?
From a Being all perfect, evil cannot be born;
It cannot come from anyone else, for God alone is master.
Yet it exists. O sad truth!
Oh astonishing mixture of contrarieties!
A God comes to console our afflicted race;
He visits earth and nothing has changed!
An arrogant sophist tells us that he cannot do it;
"He could do it, says another, and just didn't want to:
He did want to, without doubt"; and, while they argue,
Subterranean lightening swallows Lisbon,
And scatters the debris of thirty cities
From the bloody shores of the Tagus to the sea of Cadiz.

Either man is born guilty, and God is punishing his race,
Or this absolute master of being and space,
Without rage, without pity, quietly, indifferently,
Tracks the endless stream of his first decrees;
Or unformed matter, rebellious to is master,
Carries in itself faults as necessary as itself;
Or perhaps God tests us, and this mortal stay
Is no more than a narrow passage to an eternal world.
We suffer here but passing sorrows;
Death is a blessing that finishes all our misery.
But when we emerge from this dreadful passage,
Which of us will pretend to deserve to be happy?

Whatever position one takes, one must suffer, without doubt.
There is nothing that one can know, and nothing that one can dread.
Nature is mute, one questions her in vain;
There is need of a God who speaks to human kind.
It pertains to him alone to explain his works,
To console the weak and elucidate the wise.
Man, in doubt, in error, abandoned without him
Seeks in vain the reeds that might support him.
Leibniz teaches me not at all by what invisible knots,
In the best ordered of possible universes,
An eternal disorder, a chaos of misfortunes,
Mingles with our empty pleasures such real distress,
Nor why the innocent, the same as the guilty,
Suffer equally inevitable pain.
I can no longer conceive how everything is well:
I am like a doctor; alas! I know nothing.

....

What then can the widest stretch of spirit do?
Nothing: the book of fate is closed to our sight.
Man, a stranger to himself, is unknown to man.
What am I, where am I, where am I going, from where do I come?
Tormented atoms on a mound of mud,
Which death swallows, and with which destiny plays,
But thinking atoms, atoms whose eyes,
Guided by thought, have measured the skies;
To the heart of the infinite we hurl our being,
Without being able for a moment to see ourselves or know ourselves.
This world, this theatre of pride and error,
Is full of unfortunates who speak of happiness.
Everyone complains, everyone groans in search for well being:
No-one wants to die, no-one wants to be reborn.
Sometimes, in our days dedicated to grief,
We staunch our tears with the hand of pleasure;
But the pleasure flees, and passes like a shadow;
Our disappointments, our regrets, our losses, are without number.
The past is for us nothing but a sad memory;
The present is terrible if there is no future,
If the night of the tomb destroys the being that thinks.
One day all will be well, here is our hope;
Everything is fine today, here is the illusion.
The wise are mistaken, and only God is right.
Humble in my sighing, submissive in my suffering,
I do not raise myself against Providence.
In a tone less lugubrious one saw me in former times
Sing the seductive laws of sweet pleasures:
Other times, other fashions: taught by age,
Sharing the weakness of straying humans,
Searching to illuminate myself in a thick night,
I only know how to suffer, and not complain.

Once a caliph, in his last hour,
Uttered as his only prayer to the God he adored:
"I bring you, Oh sole King, sole unlimited Being,
All that you do not have in your immensity,
Faults, regrets, ills and ignorance."
But he might have added further -- hope.


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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: spud]
    #3650271 - 01/19/05 09:29 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

What was I thinking...a quality thread in OTD.


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InvisibleChairman Meow
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Registered: 04/06/04
Posts: 39,658
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: spud]
    #3650276 - 01/19/05 09:30 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

maybe post it in the art, music and lit forum.


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OfflineRandolph_Carter
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Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 29,281
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Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: spud]
    #3650278 - 01/19/05 09:31 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

No, it's just that that poem blows.

And i ground cause of tsunami on more earthly events.


--------------------
"..all those molecules thrashing their kinky little tails, hot for destiny and the street."  Gibson


Nuke baby seals for Jesus!

(This has been a +1 production.)


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InvisibleChairman Meow
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Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: Randolph_Carter]
    #3650291 - 01/19/05 09:32 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

voltaire is awesome.


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InvisibleRavus
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Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 7,991
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Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: spud]
    #3650293 - 01/19/05 09:33 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

The world is overpopulated anyway, a few tsunamis directed to well populated areas isn't necessarily a bad thing.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: Randolph_Carter]
    #3650299 - 01/19/05 09:34 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Randolph Carter said:
No, it's just that that poem blows.




Wow. I can't believe you just said a piece by Voltaire blows.  :shake:

Quote:

And i ground cause of tsunami on more earthly events.




Kudos, you missed the whole entire point of this thread.

Mods: Could I get this thread moved to Music, Art and Literature?


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OfflineWhiteRabbitt
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Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: spud]
    #3650301 - 01/19/05 09:34 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

you fag


--------------------
You gotta jump and swing up to hit me in the knees.



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InvisibleChairman Meow
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Registered: 04/06/04
Posts: 39,658
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: Ravus]
    #3650304 - 01/19/05 09:35 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

you wouldnt think that if your family died


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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: Ravus]
    #3650309 - 01/19/05 09:37 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
The world is overpopulated anyway, a few tsunamis directed to well populated areas isn't necessarily a bad thing.



Wrong. Over population is now a myth. Keep up with the times.
http://www.juntosociety.com/guest/sperlazzo/bs_opm1010903.html
http://www.ncpa.org/pd/pdint21.html
http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/news/a0034164.cfm
...
www.fuckinggoogleit.com


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InvisibleTheMimeKing
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Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 18,379
Loc: Why, France of course mes...
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: spud]
    #3650325 - 01/19/05 09:41 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Its overpopulated to me

Like, I stood in line at Jewel the other day and it took at least 10 minutes just to get to the register. A tsunami would've prevented that.


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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: TheMimeKing]
    #3650332 - 01/19/05 09:42 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Like, totally.


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InvisibleRavus
Not an EggshellWalker
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Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 7,991
Loc: Cave of the Patriarchs
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: Chairman Meow]
    #3650343 - 01/19/05 09:44 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Yes I would. The death of people I know isn't going to change my observation that the world is overpopulated

Well, perhaps overpopulated isn't the right word. The right word would be, "The people we have right now are majorly fucking it up."

It's overpopulated to me also. Have you noticed the dimming of the sun from all the shit we're burning? The reason the greenhouse effect isn't more pronounced is because we're also dimming the sun by burning fossil fuels and such which slightly balances it out, though it's still fucking everything up. The earth needs about 1/12th of its current human population


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: Ravus]
    #3650349 - 01/19/05 09:47 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

That was perhaps one of the stupidest responses I have ever seen.
"People in civilized countries are fucking up the Earth so it sure is a good thing that tsunamis are killing thousands in third world countries!!!!!"

I don't really care if the world is over populated to you. It isn't to science, and that's all that matters to me.


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InvisibleRavus
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Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 7,991
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Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: spud]
    #3650366 - 01/19/05 09:50 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

That's perhaps one of the close minded responses I've ever read

Did you read my initial response? I said, "a few tsunamis directed to well populated areas" isn't a bad thing. I didn't say I didn't want it to hit the US or Europe or Canada, it'd probably help more if that happened

But logically you're right, tsunamis aren't a very good way of wiping out the majority of the population


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleShroomOmatic
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Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 2,373
Loc: Sailing the Seas of Chees...
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: TheMimeKing]
    #3650367 - 01/19/05 09:51 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

TheMimeKing said:
Its overpopulated to me

Like, I stood in line at Jewel the other day and it took at least 10 minutes just to get to the register. A tsunami would've prevented that.




rofl!


--------------------


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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: Ravus]
    #3650376 - 01/19/05 09:53 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

It is obvious you were referring to the recent tsunami, that was the whole entire point of the thread.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: spud]
    #3650383 - 01/19/05 09:55 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Initially this was in OTD, and I got off topic by saying other tsunamis would be a nice thing, as the thread is mourning the recent one. Getting off topic happens sometimes in a forum for off topic topics


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleShroomOmatic
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Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: Ravus]
    #3650416 - 01/19/05 10:03 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

ya man i know...


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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Re: Regarding the Tsunami [Re: Ravus]
    #3650505 - 01/19/05 10:24 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

The punishment of pollution should never be death.
You are worse than those who destroy the environment.


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