"I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper, and Flippancy."

  • Joy - "What that real cause is we do not know."
    • "Besides, the phenomenon is of itself disgusting and a direct insult to the realism, dignity, and austerity of Hell."


  • Fun - "Fun is closely related to Joy..."
    • "It can sometimes be used, of course, to divert humans from something else which the Enemy would like them to be feeling or doing: but in itself it has wholly undesirable tendencies; it promotes charity, courage, contentment, and many other evils."


  • Joke Proper - "...it is invaluable as a means of destroying shame."
    • "Mere cowardice is shameful; cowardice boasted of with humorous exaggerations and grotesque gestures can be passed off as funny."
    • Indecent Humor - "There are some to whom 'no passion is as serious as lust...'"
      • Make less serious - "The first sort joke about sex because it gives rise to many incongruities:"
      • "the second cultivate incongruities because they afford a pretext for talking about sex."



  • Flippancy - "But flippancy is the best of all."
    • "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."
    • "It is a thousand miles away from joy: it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practice it."