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The Word Nerds Discussion Forum Index » Literature » So sure are they that they are on the side of the angels
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So sure are they that they are on the side of the angels
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:10 am Reply with quote
Susan
 
Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 11


Can you tell me the origin of this expression? Is it usually used as "on the side of the angels" with a positive connotation or is it usually used to describe people so blinded by the assumption that they are on the "good" side that they become immune to critiquing their own beliefs?

I was enchanted by the words and how succinctly they express an idea when used in the latter way. I didn't have a very broad education and often miss references that end up proving my ignorance...and I find it embarrassing.

Edit...I found what looks like the origin of the expression...and it has to do with the Origin of the Species..."Is man an ape or an angel? Now I am on the side of the angels.
?Benjamin Disraeli, 1864 "

I still want to know if its commonly used to call attention to the trait of assuming oneself right by definition....


I have VERY much enjoyed your podcasts and you have filled in a few potholes like the above for me. I hope you get this and I know the answer!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:42 am Reply with quote
Eileen Ann
 
Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 42


Interesting expression. I would say that it could be used in both a positive or a negative sense, depending on the context.

Disraeli's "I am on the side of the angels" relates, perhaps to the theory of evolution and divinity. If we are 'just' evolved from the apes (for which there is still no defnitive proof, in fact the contrary) then what relationship have we to the Divine?

I like this saying:
Remember that you are a spiritual being in a temporary human condition, not a human being in a temporary spiritual condition.

And, by the way, you have no need to be "embarrassed" - you show great strength and intelligence for seeking. Education means to bring out what is already there. Much of today's institutional "education" is, in my view, more training to pass exams. The once acknowledge philosophy of education being an end in itself seems to have left the shores of the UK to be replaced by "training". We can train for skills but education is about life-long seeking and learning and, perhaps, understanding.
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So sure are they that they are on the side of the angels
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