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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
Industry estimate of the life span of the average umbrella (in years):
Cancer researchers in California confirmed that dogs can sniff out cancer patients with roughly the same accuracy as screening tests.
A deaf dog belonging to a deaf owner was shot and killed in Alabama, and an Indiana dog’s skin troubles were found to be caused by an allergy to humans. “It’s just not his fault,” said the owner of Lucky Dog Retreat.
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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.”