Quote of the Day

There’s no such thing as an original sin.

-Elvis Costello

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College Lonon. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over ten thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

9 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. If one accepts that there is sin then surely each and every sin must have been original once.

  2. A little context?

    I know what you’re doin’.
    I know where you’ve been.
    I know where, but I don’t care,
    ‘Cause there’s no such thing as an original sin.

  3. Theologically, of course, that’s not what ‘original’ means. But Tom Lehrer provided a richer context in ‘Vatican Rag’ (while also misuing the adjective):

    Get in line in that processional
    Step into that small confessional
    There a cat who’s got religion’ll
    Tell you if your sin’s original:
    If it’s not, then play it safer,
    Drink the wine and chew the wafer:
    2 – 4 – 6 – 8
    Time to transubstantiate!

  4. My sins are so unoriginal
    I have all the self loathing of a wolf in sheep’s clothing
    In this carnival of carnivores
    Heaven help me
    —Billy Bragg, “Accident Waiting to Happen”

    Of course, it’s clear that Bragg messed up what he intended to say: “sheep in *wolf’s* clothing.”

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