[lit-ideas] Reason and Politics

  • From: Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 10:21:47 -0300

Walter Okshevsky wrote:

Suppose someone were to aver: 'There is no true freedom of religion in a
democracy if there is no freedom to burn heretics and apostates as required
by our religion.' What would the proper response be to such a claim?"

Responding to another problem of reason, and surely as good a defence of
liberal democracy as has been made, someone once wrote:

"Unfortunately for speculation (but perhaps fortunately for the practical
vocation) of humanity, reason sees itself, in the midst of its greatest
expectations, so entangled in a crowd of arguments and counterarguments that
it is not feasible, on account either of its honor or even of its security,
for reason to withdraw and look upon the quarrel with indifference, as mere
shadow boxing, still less for it simply to command peace, interested as it
is in the object of the dispute; so nothing is left except to reflect on the
origin of this disunity of reason with itself, on whether a mere
misunderstanding might perhaps be responsible for it, after the elucidation
of which perhaps both sides will give up their proud claims, but in place of
which reason would begin a rule of lasting tranquility over understanding
and sense."


Phil Enns
Glen Haven, NS

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