Sunday, July 11, 2004


Keith Burgess Jackson has a recent post on misuse of the word "kudos". I posted on that too -- on Oct 3, 2003. I said: ""kudos" is only a borrowing in English. It is the ancient Greek word for "fame". Interesting factoid: According to my Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, "kudos" does not occur in the Greek New Testament. Early Christians obviously did not think much of the Greek obsession with fame and renown."

And that is no coincidence. Christ saw this life primarily as a preparation for the afterlife -- the "kingdom of heaven", as he so often put it (e.g. Matthew 5:20). Greeks however mostly saw this life as all there was and so their purpose was to gain immortality in the form of "kudos" -- having people notice and remember them admiringly. That is one reason why I sometimes refer to leftists as pursuing kudos -- because being looked up to and cheered is what they hunger for and aim for above all. Strictly speaking, however, it is an insult to the Greeks to describe what Leftists seek as "kudos". The Greeks wanted lasting renown -- not the eternal present that Leftists like John Kerry live in. If something will get him a cheer today Kerry will say it -- then say more or less the opposite tomorrow to a different audience in order to get a cheer from them too. Leftists are in general amoral and have only temporary postures that they adopt for convenience. There is no lasting renown in that. But for irreligious people -- which Leftists usually are -- I suppose that even a bastardized form of kudos makes some sense as your goal in life. I see other goals as healthier, however -- such as raising a happy family.


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