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True then, unfortunately truer now . . .

Image, Source: b&w film copy neg.

 

Former President Theodore Roosevelt, a man known for his typically frank-spoken style (a trait no doubt imbued from his Dutch Reformed roots) and who knew bad science as readily as he knew bad theology when he saw it, made bare the malignant social cancers of the modern age.  As the nation goes to select a new chief executive we should all look for the candor and insightfulness of the 26th President as shown below . . .

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“There is superstition in science quite as much as there is superstition in theology, and it is all the more dangerous because those suffering from it are profoundly convinced that they are freeing themselves from all superstition.  No grotesque repulsiveness of medieval superstition, even as it survived into nineteenth-century Spain and Naples, could be much more intolerant, much more destructive of all that is fine in morality, in the spiritual sense, and indeed in civilization itself, than that hard dogmatic materialism of to-day which often not merely calls itself scientific but arrogates to itself the sole right to use the term.  If these pretensions affected only scientific men themselves, it would be a matter of small moment, but unfortunately they tend gradually to affect the whole people, and to establish a very dangerous standard of private and public conduct in the public mind.”  Theodore Roosevelt, “The Search for Truth in a Reverent Spirit,” Outlook, Dec. 2, 1911.

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4 Responses to True then, unfortunately truer now . . .

  1. A fantastic quote.

  2. This fight has been going on a long time.

    Great quote, btw. Thanks for finding it.

  3. [...] ThinkQuote: Science == Faith? Posted in Big Think, Life and its sharp edges, ThinkQuote, blogging momentum by J on February 2nd, 2008 No time to post something substantial*, but time to share a quote, as originally featured in the ever stimulating Uncommon Descent: [...]

  4. The point that should be realized from this topic of inquiry is much like the post on liberalism and science and the question of “why science”-

    If science is used for good- the search for truth for the betterment of individuals and man kind- and it is governed by a deep scrutiny and careful commitment to the facts- then science is being used in its proper roll and light-

    But where personal feelings, ideologies and goals – particularly of powerful groups- outweigh the importance of truth and fact- science becomes not a useful enterprise to humanity but ultimately a corrupt weapon of the elites- a source of authority whereby propaganda gains undue intellectual respect and is placed above reproach-

    This kind of science is nothing more than the praxis of where arrogance and self fulfilling desire meets the political realm of propaganda, distortion and manipulation.

    It is the spirit and discipline with which science is carried out that determines its level of truth and integrity- not the weight of the sum total of its political support and data- strewn together to support a preconceived theory or ideology.

    This is the battle of politics and science and the conflicts of interest between the two that have existed ever since they both met.

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