26.3 Sins of the Fathers


Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) American writer
Promised Land (1974)

Nothing worse than a monster who thinks he’s right with God.
Brett Matthews (contemp.) American television screenwriter, author
Firefly, 1×13 “Heart of Gold” (4 Aug 2003)

Sorrow be damned & all your plans. Fuck the faithful, fuck the committed, the dedicated, the true believers; fuck all the sure & certain people prepared to maim & kill whoever got in their way; fuck every cause that ended in murder & a child crying.
Iain Banks (1954-2013) Scottish author
Against a Dark Background (1993)

From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.
Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992) Austrian-born economist and philosopher
The Road to Serfdom, ch. 4 (1944)

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
“Ideas That Have Harmed Mankind,” Unpopular Essays (1950)

Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.
Sir Laurens Jan van der Post (1906-1996) Afrikaner author, conservationist, statesman, humanitarian [a.k.a. Laurens van der Post]
The Lost World of the Kalahari, ch. 3 (1958)

From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.
Denis Diderot (1713-1784) French editor, philosopher
Essai sur le Mérite de la Vertu [Essay on Merit and Virtue] (1745)

Among life’s perpetually charming questions is whether the truly evil do more harm than the self-righteous and wrong.
Jon Margolis (b. 1940) American journalist, author

Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.
George Santayana (1863-1952) Spanish-American poet and philosopher [Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás]
The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress, vol. 1, Introduction (1905-06)

The worst human conflicts are conflicts between righteous men who are too self-righteous to know how evil they are. They are conflicts between nations and cultures who do not recognize how partial and relative is every value of human devotion. It is the human effort to make our partial values absolute which is always the final sin in human life; and it always results in the most bloody of human conflicts.
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) American theologian and clergyman
Doom and Dawn [with George S. Eddy] (1936)

author: *** Dave H.
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