4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ....Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost...[Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
Thomas Jefferson
ABSTRACT THOUGHTS in a blue room; Nominative, genitive, etative, accusative one, accusative two, ablative, partitive, illative, instructive, abessive, adessive, inessive, essive, allative, translative, comitative. Sixteen cases of the Finnish noun. Odd, some languages get by with only singular and plural. The American Indian languages even failed to distinguish number. Except Sioux, in which there was a plural only for animate objects. The blue room was round and warm and smooth. No way to say warm in French. There was only hot and tepid If there's no word for it, how do you think about it? And, if there isn't the proper form, you don't have the how even if you have the words. Imagine, in Spanish having to assign a sex to every object: dog, table, tree, can-opener. Imagine, in Hungarian, not being able to assign a sex to anything: he, she, it all the same word. Thou art my friend, but you are my king; thus the distinctions of Elizabeth the First's English. But with some oriental languages, which all but dispense with gender and number, you are my friend, you are my parent and YOU are my priest and YOU are my king and YOU are my servant and YOU are my servant whom I am going to fire tomorrow if YOU don't watch it and YOU are my king whose policies I totally disagree with and have sawdust in YOUR head instead of brains, YOUR highness and YOU may be my friend, but I am still gonna smack YOU up side the head if YOU ever say that to me again;And who the hell are you anyway . . .?
Samuel R. Delany
According to H.G. Wells, you either adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative. It is not necessary to change, after all survival is not mandatoryThis generation might seem arrogant to the older generation due to some reasons. The older generation believes an older person or someone of higher authority is always right and being sceptical is an insult, lolOur generation is full of people who are so skeptical, they wanna know why this is this and that is that, they don't just hear and believe, they hear, hear from other sides, look at it critically and express their opinions based on their conviction.This generation is full of people who are somewhat confident cos they study, they observe and due to these, they are equipped with better information and like you know, knowledge is power. You know right from wrong, you know truth from lies.When you are with those in authority and have this knowledge, an ignorant person of higher authority would be scared of you, feel threatened and might resort to maltreating and frustrating you, defaming your character etcThe older generation and the younger generation are usually having misunderstanding because the older generation are being deceived by pride, the younger generation due to their advanced education do not wanna give merit to whom it isn't due. While the older generation postulates that respect is not earned but compulsory for them to be accorded, the younger generation believes respect must be earned. lolThe older generation rules by fiction but the younger generation lives by facts. The older generation uses age to oppress, the younger generation uses their knowledge to defend.The older generation believes they can never be wrong, the younger generation wants fair hearing, demands for it, if denied, they take it by force due to the confidence they've built around themselves.The older generation is unfair to the younger generation, there was once a time they were listened to without doubts and opposition, this is the time for the younger generation to be listened to due to advancement in education and exposure.The younger generation, due to their quest for higher knowledge through research, etc, they have realized the consequences of being ignorant and with their power of conviction, they are not letting the older generation have their autocratic ways affect them.To the younger generation, one should be able to prove whatever he says, no more latent heresies and this is what the older generation don't wanna hear of.The older generation wants to continue enslaving the younger generation but the younger generation is more equipped than the older generation and as such, not letting that happen.Technology advances every day, the younger generation are ever ready to adapt to the changes but the older generation is not ready for that, they wanna remain stagnant and still have the say of the day.Like George Bernard Shaw once said, the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man
OMOSOHWOFA CASEY
And one by one, driven to exhaustion, trapped by fence and horses and bewilderment, under an immaculate sky the mythic creatures died. They died not in mercy, not in the majesty which was their due, but as the least of life, accursed of nature. They died in the dust of insult and the spittle of lead.There was more here than profaned the eye or ear or nose or heart. There was more here than mere destruction. The American soul itself was involved, its anthropology.We are born with buffalo blood upon our hands. In the prehistory of us all, the atavistic beasts appear. They graze the plains of our subconscious, they trample through our sleep and in our dreams we cry out our damnation. We know what we have done, we violent people. We know that no species was created to exterminate another and the sight of their remnant stirs in us the most profound lust, the most undying hatred, the most inexpiable guilt. A living buffalo mocks us. It has no place or purpose. It is a misbegotten child, a monster with which we cannot live and which we cannot live without. Therefore we slay and slay again, for while a single buffalo remains, the sin of our fathers and hence our own, is imperfect. But the slaughter of the buffalo is part of something larger. It is as though the land of Canaan into which we were led was too divine and until we have done it every violence, until we have despoiled and murdered and dirtied every blessing, until we have erased every reminder of our original rape, until we have washed our hands of the blood of every other, we shall be unappeased. It is as though we are too proud to be beholden to Him. We cannot bear the goodness of God.
Glendon Swarthout
The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal - every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open - this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang? Where is the child that would willingly forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved, when he feels his heart, as it were, crushed in the closing of its portal, would accept of consolation that must be bought by forgetfulness? No, the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul. If it has its woes, it has likewise its delights; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection, when the sudden anguish and the convulsive agony over the present ruins of all that we most loved are softened away in pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness - who would root out such a sorrow from the heart? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of gaiety, or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom, yet who would exchange it even for the song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry? No, there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh, the grave! The grave! It buries every error - covers every defect - extinguishes every resentment! From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.
Washington Irving