Scattering beautiful, jubilant grains of sand on the slippery slope and in the cogs of the (normalization) machine

Sand from Hawaii photographed by Dr Gary Greenberg (magnification x300)
This morning I gave an address in which I felt I had to respond in some fashion to the events of last week connected to Trump's meeting with NATO and his wrecking-ball of a visit to the UK. It drew heavily upon an earlier post on this blog. If you want to read that you can find it at this link. Regular readers of this blog will know that the full text of my address usually appears here but, due to I don't know what (simple carelessness I imagine), the digital copy of it seems to have been deleted by me. Oh well, it's hardly the loss of a great masterpiece. But, should you be minded to read it I paste below a link to a pdf scan of my own hard copy complete with (my nearly illegible) corrections.

And here are the readings that accompanied the address:

John 8: 1-11 (trans. by David Bentley Hart)

[. . .] Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. And at daybreak he appeared again in the Temple, and all the people came to him, and sitting down he gave them instruction. And the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who been caught in adultery and, making her stand before everyone in the open, say to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of committing adultery; Now, in the Law, Moses enjoined us to stone such a person; so what do you say?” (And they said this to test him, so that they might have some accusation to bring against him.) Jesus, however, bending down, wrote upon the ground with his finger. But, when they continued to question him, he stood up straight and said to them, “Let whosoever among you is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.” And again, bending down, he wrote on the ground. And, hearing this, they departed one by one, beginning with the older of them, and he was left alone with the woman before him. And Jesus, standing up straight, said to her, “Madam, where are they? Does no one condemn you?” And she said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, from now on sin no longer.

From “A Hedonist Manifesto: The Power to Exist” by Michel Onfray (Columbia University Press, 2015, pp. 48-49):

[E]thics is less a matter of theory than of practice. The cardinal rule of the game could be called jubilant utilitarianism. Action — including thoughts, promises, and deeds — animates the dynamic. Platonic friendship does not exist, only its incarnations. Proofs of friendship bring people together, and expressions of enmity push people apart. The same goes for what we call the salt of existence: love, affection, tenderness, sweetness, thoughtfulness, delicateness, forbearance, magnanimity, politeness, amenity, kindness, civility, attentiveness, attention, courtesy, clemency, devotedness, and all the words carrying a connotation of goodness. These virtues forge connections; their failure loosens those bonds; and their total breach leads to severed relations.


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