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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
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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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.”