Re: Rationalism v. Superstition

From: Olga Bourlin (
Date: Fri Jul 13 2001 - 00:14:23 MDT

From: "J. R. Molloy" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2001 10:09 PM
Subject: Re: Rationalism v. Superstition

> From: Olga Bourlin
> >Was Bertie intolerant?
> "The world at the present day stands in need of two kinds of things. On
> one hand, organization - political organization for the elimination of
> economic organization to enable men to work productively, especially in
> countries that have been devastated by war, educational organization to
> generate a sane internationalism. On the other hand it needs certain moral
> qualities the qualities which have been advocated by moralists for many
> but hitherto with little success. The qualities most needed are charity
> TOLERANCE, not some form of fanatical faith such as is offered to us by
> various rampant isms. I think these two aims, the organizational and the
> ethical, are closely interwoven; given either the other would soon follow.
> But, in effect, if the world is to move in the right direction it will
have to
> move simultaneously in both respects. There will have to be a gradual
> lessening of the evil passions which are the natural aftermath of war, and
> gradual increase of the organizations by means of which mankind can bring
> other mutual help. There will have to be a realization at once
> and moral that we are all one family, and that the happiness of no one
> of this family can be built securely upon the ruin of another. At the
> time, moral defects stand in the way of clear thinking, and muddled
> encourages moral defects. Perhaps, though I scarcely dare to hope it, the
> hydrogen bomb will terrify mankind into sanity and tolerance. If this
> happen we shall have reason to bless its inventors."
> --Bertie, _Unpopular Essays_, 1951 p.165
> [emphasis added]

That was a rhetorical question, of course. But from what I've read, Bertie
was not very respectful or tolerant of woo woo (superstition in all its
guises), and that was to his credit.

I respect anyone's right to woo woo, too, but I think it's koo koo ...


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