The Who2 Blog

Joel Osteen and Arthur Schopenhauer: A Friendly Conversation

A photo of a grinning Joel Osteen next to a grimly smiling Arthur Schopenhaeur

Kerry Howley imagines a chat between feel-good preacher and the feel-glum philosopher:

OSTEEN: Arthur, I don’t know if there is anything weighing you down… but this is the perfect time to say, “God, I’m gonna turn it all over to you. Not gonna start the week out discouraged.” Shake it off. Reboot that computer! Start seeing yourself as winning, coming out on top. See your business as flourishing. See your children as enjoying the good things of God.
SCHOPENHAUER: Children are innocent prisoners, condemned, not to death, but to life, and as yet all unconscious of what their sentence means.
OSTEEN: Well, guess what, Arthur! Our life is a gift from God, and the appropriate response to His gift is joy.
SCHOPENHAUER: Human existence, far from bearing the character of a gift, has entirely the character of a debt that has been contracted. The calling in of this debt appears in the form of the pressing wants, tormenting desires, and endless misery established through this existence.


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