George Orwell, the most fearless of commentators, was right to point out that public opinion is no more innately wise than humans are innately kind. People can behave foolishly, recklessly, self-destructively in the aggregate just as they can individually.
“Public opinion is no more innately wise than humans are innately kind”
Nehru’s exposition of secularism did not mean an absence of religion, but putting religion on a different plane from that of normal political and social life.
The ‘mere applications of science and technology will not be a sufficient condition’,
he wrote, adding that what is needed is
‘the scientific approach, the adventurous and yet critical temper of science, the search for truth and new knowledge, the refusal to accept anything without testing and trial, the capacity to change previous conclusions in the face of new evidence, the reliance on observed fact and not on pre-conceived theory, the hard discipline of the mind — all this is necessary, not merely for the application of science but for life itself and the solution of its many problems.’
Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know.
One rainy night, Baba Amte, the son of a wealthy Indian landowner, encountered a dying leper. Baba overcame his initial disgust and fear of catching the disease and shielded the leper from the rain.
Bostrom begins Superintelligence with a fable about sparrows who think it would be great to train an owl to help them build their nests and care for their young.
“Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.”
Let’s find another name for cult of the leader, tyranny of nationalism, use of state power to suffocate opposition.
But surely your critics are mistaken. How can the contemporary moment be declared an Emergency?
No activity can be successfully pursued by an individual who is preoccupied … since the mind when distracted absorbs nothing deeply, but rejects everything which is, so to speak, crammed into it.