The Perfect Life

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

This is one of my favourite quotes by Mark Twain.

Mark Twain is actually the pen-name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

Twain was officially a Presbyterian, a denomination of Reformed Protestantism which has its roots in the ideas of Calvin. However, Twains writings (especially those that were published after his death) contain many strong criticisms of organised religion. One could argue that he was in fact an atheist, but when one takes a look at the totallity of his writings we must conclude that he was a deist. Believing in god, but not the scriptures.

He is famously quoted for writing “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so”. In his autobiography, published a hundred years after his death he wrote: “There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory as it is – in our country particularly and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree – it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime – the invention of Hell.”

Furthermore, Twain was fascinated by the new scientific discoveries of his time. Developing a friendship with Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors to have ever lived.

In many ways Twain’s writings belong to the realm of humanism.

 

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