Thursday, October 16, 2008

The "Perilous and Exciting" Bit of Difference

Today with five rousingly glorious paragraphs, we complete our study of "The Paradoxes of Christianity", chapter six of GKC's centennial Orthodoxy. There's too much to say, so I will forgo the preface and jump right in - should you wish for peril and excitement...

((click here to continue))

Recall that last week we examined what I called GKC's "The Of And" - the strange idea of having both your ice cream and your cake. There's a lot more to say, and this point is really the whole thrust, the ultimate paradox. In a sense, it is the essence of paradox, for it is the nearest one can come to the impossibility of having two opposites simultaneous. No wonder it's perilous and exciting!
So it is also, of course, with the contradictory charges of the anti-Christians about submission and slaughter. It is true that the Church told some men to fight and others not to fight; and it is true that those who fought were like thunderbolts and those who did not fight were like statues. All this simply means that the Church preferred to use its Supermen and to use its Tolstoyans. There must be some good in the life of battle, for so many good men have enjoyed being soldiers. There must be some good in the idea of non-resistance, for so many good men seem to enjoy being Quakers. All that the Church did (so far as that goes) was to prevent either of these good things from ousting the other. They existed side by side. The Tolstoyans, having all the scruples of monks, simply became monks. The Quakers became a club instead of becoming a sect. Monks said all that Tolstoy says; they poured out lucid lamentations about the cruelty of battles and the vanity of revenge. But the Tolstoyans are not quite right enough to run the whole world; and in the ages of faith they were not allowed to run it. The world did not lose the last charge of Sir James Douglas or the banner of Joan the Maid. And sometimes this pure gentleness and this pure fierceness met and justified their juncture; the paradox of all the prophets was fulfilled, and, in the soul of St. Louis, the lion lay down with the lamb. But remember that this text is too lightly interpreted. It is constantly assured, especially in our Tolstoyan tendencies, that when the lion lies down with the lamb the lion becomes lamb-like. But that is brutal annexation and imperialism on the part of the lamb. That is simply the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb. The real problem is - Can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity? That is the problem the Church attempted; that is the miracle she achieved.
First, we have a few terms to handle.

Tolstoyans - these were a kind of super-Quaker, a follower of Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), the Russian novelist and philosopher: "Tolstoy is not content with pitying humanity for its pains: such as poverty and prisons. He also pities humanity for its pleasures, such as music and patriotism. He weeps at the thought of hatred; but in "The Kreutzer Sonata" he weeps almost as much at the thought of love. He and all the humanitarians pity the joys of men." [GKC ILN Oct 3 1908 CW28:190]

Supermen - this is not Kal-El of Krypton, but the mythical nonsense invented by Nietzsche on Darwinian foundations and brought to its height in Nazi Germany. Again I must point out that my own sharp barbs are nothing compared to GKC's - and I shall quote something on it, something which again points out GKC's Scholastic fairness and wisdom:
Now when that pathetic and poisoned Puritan whose name was Nietzsche started his idea of a Superman, it was quite consistent with his idea of the universe. His notion was insane, but it was not unreasonable. His notion was this: that, just as a brutal and bewildering anarchy of animals had somehow brought man forth - a superior to the ape - so a brutal and bewildering anarchy of men might bring forth some inconceivable being who should be better still. An Anarchist like Nietzsche has a right to talk of "the Superman" without knowing what it means, just as I have a right to talk about the Winner of next year's Derby without knowing what horse will win it. In a chaotic struggle, the Superman simply means whatever creature finds itself on top of man. The creature may have five legs. He may have nine heads or none. You may, if you like, imagine some unthinkable huge hybrid evolved out of biological chaos; and you can call such a creature by a grand, unmeaning name. This, I suppose, is what Nietzsche did. He said: "Throw all creatures, nice and nasty, eye of newt and toe of frog, hand of ape and wing of angel, into the cauldron of anarchy; and whatever monster comes to the top like scum, I will call the Superman." This is a contemptible position, but not an incomprehensible one.
[GKC ILN Dec 19 1908 CW28:236]
I spend so much space on this because it is important to grasp, not what GKC means when he talks about Superman, but what GKC means when he talks, and how it is possible to fight an idea without fighting the person who voiced that idea.

Sir James Douglas (1286-1330) who assisted Robert the Bruce of Scotland and carried his embalmed heart to the Holy Land for burial, but was slain in battle with the Moors.
Joan the Maid - also called the Maid of Orleans - St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431) who fought in battle to lift the siege of Orleans, defeat the English at Patay and escort the dauphin to Rheims where he was crowned Charles VII of France.
St. Louis IX (1214-1270) was king of France; he led the seventh Crusade.

And then that bit about the lion and the lamb - oh boy, talk about complications! The lion and the lamb. Everybody knows this is from the Bible... sure. But, like so many Chesterton quotes, even some appearing in books about (though not by) Chesterton, it's not in the Bible at all. It is in fact an almost exact parallel of the error found in the famous words credited to GKC about "if a man stops believing in God, he'll believe in anything." (For the details see here; please bear in mind that the Quotemeister's conclusion is backed up by the power of AMBER!) Or, perhaps, the easily misquoted one about angels flying. For the "lion and lamb" is derived from this:
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them.
which is Isaias 11:6. Even so, "everyone" knows it's from the Bible. Yes. But do not miss the point GKC is making: the point about uniting extremes, about "The Of And" which we heard a lot about last week! But there's still more to come:
This is what I have called guessing the hidden eccentricities of life. This is knowing that a man's heart is to the left and not in the middle. This is knowing not only that the earth is round, but knowing exactly where it is flat. Christian doctrine detected the oddities of life. It not only discovered the law, but it foresaw the exceptions. Those underrate Christianity who say that it discovered mercy; any one might discover mercy. In fact every one did. But to discover a plan for being merciful and also severe - that was to anticipate a strange need of human nature. For no one wants to be forgiven for a big sin as if it were a little one. Any one might say that we should be neither quite miserable nor quite happy. But to find out how far one may be quite miserable without making it impossible to be quite happy - that was a discovery in psychology. Any one might say, "Neither swagger nor grovel"; and it would have been a limit. But to say, "Here you can swagger and there you can grovel" - that was an emancipation.
Yes, we heard that last week. It is truly the mystery of distinguo = "I distinguish, tell apart": no, not for some sheer delight in curiosity, but for the simple practicality of life: "Does this act matter? Is it good or bad? How can I know?" This is indeed a masterpiece of psychology, well worth pondering, and you ought to record this in your notes:

"Here you can swagger and there you can grovel" - that was an emancipation.

Yes, indeed; it is another instance of "The Of And". It permits the blackest glooms of Good Friday, and most brilliant glory of Easter Sunday. Speaking of those colour extremes, there was a famous quote I wanted to mention last time which I learned when I was poking among the Greek roots in the New Testament:
Having more things to write unto you, I would not by paper and ink: for I hope that I shall be with you and speak face to face, that your joy may be full.
[1 John 1:12, emphasis added]
In Greek, the word for "ink" is melanos which also means "black" - it is the root for the biological term "melanine" which is the skin-colour compound. The analogy fails rather short since you are most likely reading this on a CRT or LCD screen, but you've seen enough books in your life to understand the point. Incidentally, print is also quite correct in heraldry: if like St. John you print with paper and ink this simple plus-sign:
you can also blazon it as "argent a cross sable". You see it is black and white.

Chesterton returns to this great gift of "The Of And" over and over again throughout his writing, and it is so powerful it answers the silly whines we are still hearing about the conflict of science and religion:
Those who complain that theologians draw fine distinctions could hardly find a better example of their own folly. In fact, a fine distinction can be a flat contradiction. It was notably so in this case. St. Thomas was willing to allow the one truth to be approached by two paths, precisely because he was sure there was only one truth. Because the Faith was the one truth, nothing discovered in nature could ultimately contradict the Faith. Because the Faith was the one truth, nothing really deduced from the Faith could ultimately contradict the facts. It was in truth a curiously daring confidence in the reality of his religion; and though some may linger to dispute it, it has been justified. The scientific facts, which were supposed to contradict the Faith in the nineteenth century, are nearly all of them regarded as unscientific fictions in the twentieth century. Even the materialists have fled from materialism; and those who lectured us about determinism in psychology are already talking about indeterminism in matter. But whether his confidence was right or wrong, it was specially and supremely a confidence that there is one truth which cannot contradict itself.
[GKC St. Thomas Aquinas CW2:474-5]
Or this:
...the dogmas are not dull. Even what are called the fine doctrinal distinctions are not dull. They are like the finest operations of surgery; separating nerve from nerve, but giving life. It is easy enough to flatten out everything for miles round with dynamite, if our only object is to give death. But just as the physiologist is dealing with living tissues, so the theologian is dealing with living ideas; and if he draws a line between them it is naturally a very fine line.
[GKC The Thing CW3:303]
You may well ask: do such distinctions make a bit of difference? And Chesterton said, yes it does, almost as if he knew that to change smallest part of a letter (which in computers is one eighth, or a "bit") might change everything. We shall hear more on that shortly. But first, he wants to give us some more examples of how this combination of extremes can work:
This was the big fact about Christian ethics; the discovery of the new balance. Paganism had been like a pillar of marble, upright because proportioned with symmetry. Christianity was like a huge and ragged and romantic rock, which, though it sways on its pedestal at a touch, yet, because its exaggerated excrescences exactly balance each other, is enthroned there for a thousand years. In a Gothic cathedral the columns were all different, but they were all necessary. Every support seemed an accidental and fantastic support; every buttress was a flying buttress. So in Christendom apparent accidents balanced. Becket wore a hair shirt under his gold and crimson, and there is much to be said for the combination; for Becket got the benefit of the hair shirt while the people in the street got the benefit of the crimson and gold. It is at least better than the manner of the modern millionaire, who has the black and the drab outwardly for others, and the gold next his heart. But the balance was not always in one man's body as in Becket's; the balance was often distributed over the whole body of Christendom. Because a man prayed and fasted on the Northern snows, flowers could be flung at his festival in the Southern cities; and because fanatics drank water on the sands of Syria, men could still drink cider in the orchards of England. This is what makes Christendom at once so much more perplexing and so much more interesting than the Pagan empire; just as Amiens Cathedral is not better but more interesting than the Parthenon. If any one wants a modern proof of all this, let him consider the curious fact that, under Christianity, Europe (while remaining a unity) has broken up into individual nations. Patriotism is a perfect example of this deliberate balancing of one emphasis against another emphasis. The instinct of the Pagan empire would have said, "You shall all be Roman citizens, and grow alike; let the German grow less slow and reverent; the Frenchmen less experimental and swift." But the instinct of Christian Europe says, "Let the German remain slow and reverent, that the Frenchman may the more safely be swift and experimental. We will make an equipoise out of these excesses. The absurdity called Germany shall correct the insanity called France."
There is a curious term used here, which makes me wonder what he had been reading: "in Christendom apparent accidents balanced." Does he mean "accident" as the Scholastics - a property such as size or colour? Very curious. No, I don't think he is suggesting some architectural novelty in saying "every buttress is a flying buttress" - a buttress is simply a supporting member of a building, and a flying buttress is a tricky arrangement (it looks like a little bridge way up in the air) to support the weight of the roof of a large building. I am no building architect to give a fair comment about this, but I am an architect of software and also (in a minor way) of fiction, and GKC speaks truly about those matters - "all different, and all necessary". It would be curious to know how GKC's view of Europe has played out with coming of the European Union, but I must also let the political topic for others to address. Rather I would focus on GKC's point of the other European union - the one brought into being by St. Paul's dream when the man cried "Come over to Macedonia and help us!" [Acts 16:9] Remember too that one of the greatest of all Europeans was born in what we now call Italy but "...travelled a great deal; he was not only well known in Paris and the German universities, but he almost certainly visited England; probably he went to Oxford and London; and it has been said that we may be treading in the footsteps of him and his Dominican companions, whenever we go down by the river to the railway-station that still bears the name of Black-friars." [GKC St. Thomas Aquinas CW2:444] Yes - and he died in France, too. It is something to delight in - and sets the simple ancient phrase "Roman Catholic" against the odd neo-pagan "unity in diversity" which is of course right out of the pagan empire.

Now we come to a paragraph which one of our loyal readers sought information on, and which our esteemed bloggmistress replied to some weeks ago. It gets into an issue which bothers some people, and which I happen to laugh at every time I hear that psalm which starts "The Lord is my shepherd" - that is, the issue of war. So let us hear GKC about it:
Last and most important, it is exactly this which explains what is so inexplicable to all the modern critics of the history of Christianity. I mean the monstrous wars about small points of theology, the earthquakes of emotion about a gesture or a word. It was only a matter of an inch; but an inch is everything when you are balancing. The Church could not afford to swerve a hair's breadth on some things if she was to continue her great and daring experiment of the irregular equilibrium. Once let one idea become less powerful and some other idea would become too powerful. It was no flock of sheep the Christian shepherd was leading, but a herd of bulls and tigers, of terrible ideals and devouring doctrines, each one of them strong enough to turn to a false religion and lay waste the world. Remember that the Church went in specifically for dangerous ideas; she was a lion tamer. The idea of birth through a Holy Spirit, of the death of a divine being, of the forgiveness of sins, or the fulfilment of prophecies, are ideas which, any one can see, need but a touch to turn them into something blasphemous or ferocious. The smallest link was let drop by the artificers of the Mediterranean, and the lion of ancestral pessimism burst his chain in the forgotten forests of the north. Of these theological equalisations I have to speak afterwards. Here it is enough to notice that if some small mistake were made in doctrine, huge blunders might be made in human happiness. A sentence phrased wrong about the nature of symbolism would have broken all the best statues in Europe. A slip in the definitions might stop all the dances; might wither all the Christmas trees or break all the Easter eggs. Doctrines had to be defined within strict limits, even in order that man might enjoy general human liberties. The Church had to be careful, if only that the world might be careless.
Here we see GKC shatter the false calm, peaceful mood induced by the pastoral scene of Psalm 22(23) about the Good Shepherd. You see, this is one of the more militant psalms, but people almost always overlook that the Shepherd is ARMED:
For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me. [Ps 22(23):4, emphasis added]
No real shepherd (and David was one) expects to care for his sheep without weapons! There are wolves, you know. But GKC says this better, and gets into a far more complex issue: "It was no flock of sheep the Christian shepherd was leading, but a herd of bulls and tigers, of terrible ideals and devouring doctrines, each one of them strong enough to turn to a false religion and lay waste the world." You may have to recall the parable of the weeds and the wheat (Mt 13:24-30) to better grasp the larger picture.

Our reader wondered if GKC could be supporting war, and how it might be that the Church would resort to death and destruction for the sake of Easter eggs or Christmas trees. You can read Nancy's answer here; another answer is given by GKC in the first paragraph we have seen today in his comments about submission and slaughter. Here is another view of this important matter - but not what you might expect. GKC is seeing what one finds when an honest man actually examines the Gospels:
For instance, he would not find the ordinary platitudes in favour of peace. He would find several paradoxes in favour of peace. He would find several ideals of non-resistance, which taken as they stand would be rather too pacific for any pacifist. He would be told in one passage to treat a robber not with passive resistance, but rather with positive and enthusiastic encouragement, [Lk 6:29] if the terms be taken literally; heaping up gifts upon the man who had stolen goods. But he would not find a word of all that obvious rhetoric against war which has filled countless books and odes and orations; not a word about the wickedness of war, the wastefulness of war, the appalling scale of the slaughter in war and all the rest of the familiar frenzy; indeed not a word about war at all. There is nothing that throws any particular light on Christ's attitude towards organised warfare, except that he seems to have been rather fond of Roman soldiers. [Mt 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10]
[GKC The Everlasting Man CW2:323]
My annotated edition (not yet available in stores) here notes the cross-link to the Summa on War, which is in II-II Q40 A1. But as important as war is, it is not the real issue. It is the idea that some things really are worth fighting over, and one of them is the truth. And so, it is most important for us to understand the whole sense of distinctions. GKC does not wish for "war for war's sake", but he points out that tiny (apparently insignificant) issues can cause terrible difficulties elsewhere if the precise truth is lacking. I think previously we talked about the idea of eating a doubtful mushroom... it matters very much whether something edible or poisonous when (let us say) your child picks it up and starts to eat it. Likewise, it matters to the Church whether something is true or false, and the precision necessary to know the difference, like the degree of danger in the error, is far greater than any distinctions of mycology (the study of fungi) on edibility.

One famous example is the debate over the "filioque" term in the Nicene Creed - that is, "I believe ... in the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son..." This term is an issue in the nearly millennium-long division between the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Church, and is very sad; I've talked about it with a Greek friend, and have tried to pray daily about this. It does bother me, and I have heard that there are discussions going on over the matter, in hope of finding a healing to the schism.

But there is a much more ancient issue, on a much smaller variation: the famous "single iota of difference" - the homoousion versus homoiousion, which comes a bit earlier in the same Creed: "I believe... in one Lord Jesus Christ... consubstantialem Patri..." I have to leave it in Latin, because I am told that the English that we presently say at Mass is misleading - we say "one in being" but it ought to be "of one substance" or "consubstantial" - and the precise meaning is supremely important. The Greek homoousion means consubstantialem or "of one substance" - BUT homoiousion means "of similar substance"! A big difference in meaning from just one letter of change. This change seems like one of those subtle distinctions that only matter to very academic and not practical people. But it is not. It is very much practical. On it hangs simple things like Easter eggs and Christmas trees and statues, but much larger things as well:
Theological distinctions are fine but not thin. In all the mess of modern thoughtlessness, that still calls itself modern thought, there is perhaps nothing so stupendously stupid as the common saying, "Religion can never depend on minute disputes about doctrine." It is like saying that life can never depend on minute disputes about medicine. The man who is content to say, "We do not want theologians splitting hairs," will doubtless be content to go on and say, "We do not want surgeons splitting filaments more delicate than hairs." It is the fact that many a man would be dead to-day, if his doctors had not debated fine shades about doctoring. It is also the fact that European civilization would be dead to-day, if its doctors of divinity had not debated fine shades about doctrine. Nobody will ever write a History of Europe that will make any sort of sense, until he does justice to the Councils of the Church, those vast and yet subtle collaborations for thrashing out a thousand thoughts to find the true thought of the Church. ... If such a theological distinction is a thread, all Western history has hung on that thread; if it is a fine point, all our past has been balanced on that point. The subtle distinctions have made the simple Christians; all the men who think drink right and drunkenness wrong; all the men who think marriage normal and polygamy abnormal; all the men who think it wrong to hit first and right to hit back; and, as in the present case, all the men who think it right to carve statues and wrong to worship them. These are all, when one comes to think of it, very subtle theological distinctions.
[GKC The Resurrection of Rome CW21:3201]
In short there could not even be a European Union unless there had first been the other union which is Roman Catholicism. (The alternative would not be a union - which has parts - but simply the old Roman Empire, a rather different thing. That's the error seen in the over-federalizing of things in the United States, an error which might be called "anti-subsidiarity".)

But what larger things are included in this Clash of the Iota? One of them is the idea, the "self-evident truth" phrased in the American Declaration of Independence as "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator". It is perhaps flippant to say that the Arian word-with-the-iota ultimately leads to the Darwin/Marx/Nazi/Communist view expressed in Animal Farm that some animals are "more equal" than others - but it is quite logical. It's just shorter to say "similar". Yes, that's how bad one little bit of difference can be. Just in case you are wondering, the point about the homoousion was settled in 325 by the first Council of Nicea which gave us that creed (that's why that word is in the Nicene Creed!) And the point about the statues was settled at the second council of Nicea in 787 - which, as odd as it sounds, is tied to the first issue - since if Jesus was indeed true God and true Man, He in Himself was a visible image of God, and hence even the physical world was now exalted:
The Body was no longer what it was when Plato and Porphyry and the old mystics had left it for dead. It had hung upon a gibbet. It had risen from a tomb. It was no longer possible for the soul to despise the senses, which had been the organs of something that was more than man. Plato might despise the flesh; but God had not despised it. The senses had truly become sanctified; as they are blessed one by one at a Catholic baptism. "Seeing is believing" was no longer the platitude of a mere idiot, or common individual, as in Plato's world; it was mixed up with real conditions of real belief. Those revolving mirrors that send messages to the brain of man, that light that breaks upon the brain, these had truly revealed to God himself the path to Bethany or the light on the high rock of Jerusalem. These ears that resound with common noises had reported also to the secret knowledge of God the noise of the crowd that strewed palms and the crowd that cried for Crucifixion. After the Incarnation had become the idea that is central in our civilisation, it was inevitable that there should be a return to materialism, in the sense of the serious value of matter and the making of the body.
[GKC St. Thomas Aquinas CW2:493]
But as interesting as that is, we do not have time to explore it further just now, as we have finally reached the last paragraph, and the culmination of the argument:
This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. The Church in its early days went fierce and fast with any warhorse; yet it is utterly unhistoric to say that she merely went mad along one idea, like a vulgar fanaticism. She swerved to left and right, so exactly as to avoid enormous obstacles. She left on one hand the huge bulk of Arianism, buttressed by all the worldly powers to make Christianity too worldly. The next instant she was swerving to avoid an orientalism, which would have made it too unworldly. The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable. It would have been easier to have accepted the earthly power of the Arians. It would have been easy, in the Calvinistic seventeenth century, to fall into the bottomless pit of predestination. It is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one's own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob. To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the historic path of Christendom - that would indeed have been simple. It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.
And here, I shall leave you. Please read this chapter again, if you have time, and review the advance we have made, and if you have issues or questions, please ask, and we shall try to respond.


  1. Interesting that Chesterton compares the mideaval monks to Tolstoy. Tolstoy was, at one time (maybe not when Orthodoxy was written) a fan of Schopenhauer...
    Anyway, does Chesterton actually believe that if an earthly kingdom in Christendom decided to accept, say, the wrong side of the distinction between one Greek word in the Creed beginning with H as opposed to the other, correct, word, that the rest of Christendom could go on a military crusade against them before their error actually started to do any non-doctrinal harm to anyone?

  2. I think the point was rather a "contrast" - though of course a comparison is a contrast and vice versa. But GKC is showing a good aspect of Tolstoy. You may have noted that I try to point out that GKC, following the Scholastics, looks for truth wherever he can find it. You may note Benedict XVI's quoting of Nietzsche, paralleling GKC quoting Shaw or Aquinas quoting Aristotle. But there are plenty of searing words of GKC against the Dark ones; he knows where they're bad - but like Santa he also knows where they've been good.

    Note, too, GKC points out that "...the Tolstoyans are not quite right enough to run the whole world; and in the ages of faith they [that is, the monks] were not allowed to run it." That I think is quite clear. You might recall also this from earlier in our text: " generation could prevent the very existence of the next generation, by all entering a monastery..." [CW1:236] Monks were not so stupid as to think everyone should be a monk! But they were wise enough to know that anyone might become a monk. Moreover the monks were exemplifying something which was if anything much more Tolstoyan than even Tolstoy ever achieved. Monks always make me think of minestrone, which is a worn-down word that means "the Big Service" - it was the big thick soup-stew that they made daily and served to the poor. I wonder if Tolstoy ever made soup and served it?

    Now, your other matter about the crusade - you might read about St. Athanasius, which is the story of when your hypothetical event became reality - just about everyone accepted the Arian view - but not him. One short version is in The 33 Doctors of the Church; GKC mentions the conflict in several places. And it is not surprising to GKC that men would take up arms for the truth: "If human history and human variety teach us anything at all, it is supremely probable that there are men who would be stabbed in battle or burnt at the stake rather than admit that three angles of a triangle could be together greater than two right angles." ["A Defence of Bores" in Lunacy and Letters]

    I hope this helps.

    --Dr. Thursday


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