Dueling Proverbs

Dueling Proverbs June 15, 2012

Actions speak louder than words.
The pen is mightier than the sword.

Many hands make light work.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Haste makes waste.
He who hesitates is lost.

And my personal favorite:
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. (Proverbs 26:4)
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. (Proverbs 26:5)

What the last proverb demonstrates is not the hoary New Atheist chestnut “The Bible is full of contradictions!” but rather the more subtle fact that New Atheists are typically flat-footed literalists with a chronic inability to pick up on the subtle social and affective cues normal people can read, and therefore often have a profound inability to perceive what a literary artist is doing. Consequently, New Atheists seize on passages like this, imagine they are 3000 years smarter than the author, and miss the fact that the writer was not a moron who never noticed the “contradiction”, but a skilled artist who very deliberately paired these statements to highlight a paradox.

Any other paired proverbs you can think of?

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