Correspondence Between Demons (4)

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“But flippancy is the best of all. Only a clever human can make a real joke about virtue, or indeed about anything else; any of them can be trained to talk as if virtue were funny. Among flippant people the Joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. If prolonged, the habit of Flippancy builds up around a man the finest armour-plating against the Enemy that I know…It is a thousand miles from joy: it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practise it.”

-Screwtape, Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

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