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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
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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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.”