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Category: Martin Amis

God’s only excuse is he doesn’t exist

“The twentieth century, with its scores of millions of supernumerary dead, has been called the age of ideology.  And the age of ideology, clearly, was a mere hiatus in the age of religion, which shows little sign of expiry.  Since it is no longer permissible to disparage any single faith or creed, let us start disparaging all of them.  To be clear: an ideology is a belief system with an inadequate basis in reality; a religion is a belief system with no basis in reality whatever.  Religious belief is without reason and without dignity, and its record is near-universally dreadful.  It is straightforward—and never mind, for now, about plagues and famines: if God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion.” – Martin Amis, The Second Plane

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Patients to themselves, too

“For most of our lives we are all doctors to ourselves.  Not when we’re old, and everything feels so numb and dead, and decency and disgust forbid enquiry.  And not when we are young, and the body is an unexamined ecstasy.  Just the time in between.  Mark them, in coffee shops, on buses, wincing, wondering, doctors to themselves, medicine men and faith healers, diagnosticians and anesthetists, silent consultants to themselves.” — Martin Amis, Time’s Arrow

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Heh. Heh. Heh heh heh.

“A sense of humour is a serious business; and it isn’t funny, not having one.  Watch the humourless closely: the cocked and furtive way they monitor all conversation, their flashes of panic as irony or exaggeration eludes them, the relief with which they submit to the meaningless babble of unanimous laughter.  The humourless can programme themselves to relish situations of human farce or slapstick – and that’s about it.  They are handicapped in the head, or mentally ‘challenged’, as Americans say (euphemism itself being a denial of humour). The trouble is that the challenge wins, every time, hands down.” – Martin Amis, “No Laughing Matter”