Acquired Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 508 quotes )
What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge--he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil--he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor--he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire--he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy--all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is desired to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was--that robot of the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love--he was not man.
At the end of a life spent in the pursuit of knowledge Faust has to confess: "I now see that we can nothing know."That is the answer to a sum, it is the outcome of a long experience. But as Kierkegaard observed, it is quite a different thing when a freshman comes up to the university and uses the same sentiment to justify his indolence. As the answer to a sum it is perfectly true, but as the initial data it is a piece of self-deception. For acquired knowledge cannot be divorced from the existence in which it is acquired. The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ. Such a man knows that the call to discipleship is a gift of grace, and that the call is inseparable from the grace. But those who try to use this grace as a dispensation from following Christ are simply deceiving themselves.
The coldest most rational scientific madness is also the most intolerable. But when a man has acquired a certain ability to subsist, even rather scantily, in a certain niche with the help of a few grimaces, he must either keep at it or resign himself to dying the death of a guinea pig. Habits are acquired more quickly than courage, especially the habit of filling one's stomach.