September 14, 2003


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Intellect can light up only a small area of the universe. For my part, I should subscribe to the familiar paradox that the more we know, the more we are conscious of our ignorance -- the further the intellect has traveled, the smaller it seems relatively to the distance still to be traveled... The intellect does, indeed, take us part of the way; we have no other mode of conveyance; and, in taking us as far as it does, it justifies us in taking the rest on trust... In following the religious account of the universe beyond the point at which it leaves reason behind, and trusting to it as an explanation of the many things that pass our understanding, we are accepting on faith conclusions which are not demonstrated by reason. In other words, we are acting as if a hypothesis were true, which, at the moment, at which we act upon it, is still a hypothesis and not a truth. Nevertheless, it is, I suggest, knowledge, the knowledge which we possess already and which reason has won for us, that makes it reasonable to do so.
--C. E. M. Joad (1891-1953), The Recovery of Belief (1952)

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2003 7:56 AM
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