Monday, July 6, 2009


My last blog post got me thinking. Consider the following statement:

"I hold my political views to be self-evident, and that all men who disagree with them must be either incredibly stupid - for failing to perceive what is self-evident - or incredibly dishonest and evil - for perceiving what is self-evident and rejecting it."

To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, "not many people, I admit, would formulate a [political ideology] in precisely those terms; but [I suspect] a conception not very different lurks at the back of many minds."

Perhaps a third quote would close the thought: Benjamin Franklin, on encouraging his fellow delegates to sign a Constitution he said he did not approve, said "having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that, the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment of others. ... On the whole, sir, I can not help expressing a wish that every member of the convention who may still have objections to it, would, with me, on this occasion, doubt a little of his own infallibility, and, to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument."

Would that it were easier to doubt our infallibility!

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