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Es gibt aber neben den blinden Lobpreisen der Heimat eine ganz andere und schwere Pflicht, nämlich sich auszubilden zum erkennenden Menschen, dem die Wahrheit und die Verwandtschaft mit allem Geistigen über alles geht und der aus dieser Erkenntnis auch seine Bürgerpflicht würde ermitteln können, wenn sie ihm nicht schon mit seinem Temperament eingeboren ist. Vollends im Reiche des Gedankens gehen alle Schlagbäume billig in die Höhe.
We will blindly sing the praise of our home country, but another and more burdensome duty weighs upon each of us, namely to raise ourselves up and educate ourselves as comprehending human beings for whom truth and the bonds of the world of the spirit are transcendent, and further to ascertain from that knowledge our true duty as citizens, if we were not born with an instinctive sense of that duty already. In the realm of thought it is only fitting that all frontier posts be swept away.
–Jacob Burckhardt, Weltgeschichtliche Betrachtungen p. 11 (1905)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
No Comment — March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm
On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers
No Comment — November 4, 2013, 5:17 pm
An expert panel concludes that the Pentagon and the CIA ordered physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath
No Comment — August 12, 2013, 7:55 am
How will the Obama Administration handle Edward Snowden’s case in the long term?
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith