Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reason

"I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect." -- Oscar Wilde


From Roger Ebert's Journal at the Chicago Sun Times, concerning Christopher Hitchens:

... The man can write. He has lived a life. He has seen for himself, making it a point to travel regularly to dangerous and wretched nations. He has been a man of political passion ... He takes his positions after a great deal of thought and he makes his reasons clear.

... shows himself as a man temperamentally driven to test his own opinions. He reasons instead of proselytizing. He exists as that most daring of writers, a freelance intellectual. He's a good speaker, can be funny, ... is passably good-looking, and is at no pains to be a charmer. He's popular because he's smart. He says nothing merely to be politic, although in some situations he may keep his meaning coiled well within.

We would all be lucky to be described in such a manner and to live in such a manner as to be deserving of the description.

"All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason." -- Immanuel Kant


2 comments:

wunelle said...

To borrow a phrase, Amen.

I love reading all the foaming impotence from those who have to hate him because they can't accept what he has to say.

I posted a bit of a video a few days ago of his debate with David Berlinski, and even in his "enfeebled" state he basically wiped the floor with the guy. And he did it with astounding erudition and simple reason.

Here's hoping that he, like Stephen Hawking, hangs on to continue to do great things despite the odds.

dbackdad said...

Yeah, I watched that video. Good stuff. That's the thing about Hitchens ... I may not always agree with him. But I always believe that he has thoroughly thought about whatever he has an opinion on. I can't say the same for the majority of people I meet.

I can respect anyone that comes about their beliefs honestly, not just because of tradition, habit, or social pressure.