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Glaubst du denn: von Mund zu Ohr
Sei ein redlicher Gewinst?
Überliefrung, o du Tor,
Ist auch wohl ein Hirngespinst!
Nun geht erst das Urteil an;
Dich vermag aus Glaubensketten
Der Verstand allein zu retten,
Dem du schon Verzicht getan.
Do you believe that you can turn an honest profit
By passing word from mouth to ear?
Tradition, you fool,
Is indeed a delusion!
You must exercise discernment;
Only reason can salvage you from
This captivity of belief,
Reason which you have already renounced.
–Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Wanderers Gemüthsruhe from the Buch des Unmuths: Rendsch Nameh in West-östlicher Divan (1814) in: Sämtliche Werke, vol. 11.1.2, p. 54 (K. Richter ed. 1998)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Estimated total calories members of Congress burned giving Bush’s 2002 State of the Union standing ovations:
A fertility scientist named Panayiotis Zavos announced that he had created human-cow embryos that were theoretically viable, but denied that he planned to allow such a hybrid to be implanted in a woman’s womb. “We are not trying to create monsters,” he said.
A statistician determined that the five most common first names among New York City taxi drivers are Md, Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammad, and Mohamed.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”