Authors: Nigel B. Cook
“If a man reads or hears a criticism of anything in which he has an interest, watch ... if he shows concern with any question except ‘is it true?’ he thereby reveals that his own attitude is unscientific. Likewise if ... he judges an idea not on its merits but with reference to the author of it; if he criticizes it as ‘heresy’; if he argues that authority must be right because it is authority ... The path of truth is paved with critical doubt, and lighted by the spirit of objective enquiry... the majority of people have resented what seems in retrospect to have been purely matter of fact ... nothing has aided the persistence of falsehood, and the evils resulting from it, more than the unwillingness of good people to admit the truth ... the tendency continues to be shocked by natural comment, and to hold certain things too ‘sacred’ to think about. ... How rarely does one meet anyone whose first reaction to anything is to ask: ‘is it true?’ Yet, unless that is a man’s natural reaction, it shows that truth is not uppermost in his mind, and unless it is, true progress is unlikely.” - Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart, Why Don’t We Learn from History?, PEN Books, 1944; revised edition, Allen and Unwin, 1972.
Comments: 6 Pages.
[v1] 2015-11-08 07:46:27
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