Sunday, October 22, 2006

We Never Learn, Do We?

This is such a powerful argument against dogmatism as I have seen. A reader at Andrew Sullivan states:
Your comments about the necessity to recognize doubt reminded me of the most profound moment I ever witnessed on television, namely, the final episode of a series called "The Ascent of Man", which aired in the early 70's. You may of course be well versed in this already, and forgive me if you do, but briefly, the narrator (Dr. Jacob Bronowski) contrasted the certainty of Nazism with the contemporaneous Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Standing in a swamp behind one of the Nazi death camps, Dr. Bronowski bent forward, and ran his hands through the muck of this swamp that contained the bodily remains of some of his family, while trying to explain the consequences of ideological certainty. I cannot think or tell of this without tears, and yet we seem never to learn these lessons.
We still haven't learned.

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