Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chesterton on "The Dignity of Man"

Frankly, I had to read this passage a few times before I "got" it, but it certainly has some good food for thought.

Unless a thing is dignified, it cannot be undignified. Why is it funny that a man should sit down suddenly in the street? There is only one possible or intelligent reason: that man is the image of God. It is not funny that anything else should fall down; only that a man should fall down. No one sees anything funny in a tree falling down. No one sees a delicate absurdity in a stone falling down. No man stops in the road and roars with laughter at the sight of the snow coming down. The fall of thunderbolts is treated with some gravity. The fall of roofs and high buildings is taken seriously. It is only when a man tumbles down that we laugh. Why do we laugh? Because it is a grave religious matter: it is the Fall of Man. Only man can be absurd: for only man can be dignified.


GretchenJoanna said...

This quote always does make me wonder...he must be at least partly right. But if we truly understand The Fall, then wouldn't it lessen the humor for us?

the Ink Slinger said...

That is great food for thought! Thanks for sharing!

I'm currently going through Orthodoxy... *phew* let's just say it's an incredibly deep book. I'll definitely be reading it again...