KURT VONNEGUT: Agnes Scott Commencement, Sunday, May 15th, 1999

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Hammurabi gave us a code which is honored to his very day by many nations, including my own, and by all heroes in cowboy and gangster films, and by far too many people who feel they have been insulted or injured, however slightly. However accidentally:

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Revenge is not only sweet - it is a must!

What antidote can there be for an idea that popular and poisonous? Revenge provides revenge, which is sure to provide revenge, forming an endless chain of human misery.

Here's the antidote:

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.


Some of you may know that I am a Humanist, not a Christian. But I say of Jesus, as all Humanists do, ''If what he said was good and so much of it is absolutely beautiful, what can it matter if he was God or not?''

If Christ hadn't delivered the Sermon on the Mount, with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn't want to be a human being.

I would just as soon be a rattlesnake.

- Posted from my iPhone

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