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Ian Mason commented on Sydni Moser's group Coffee Break
"This evening the first symphony orchestra concert for months. A pleasant pot pourri of short pieces…"
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Mrs.B commented on Sydni Moser's group Green Gardening
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Chris B commented on Stephen Brodie's group Secularism in the UK and Europe.and the connection between much of the media and the Tory establishment. NEWS
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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (11 December 1918 – 3 August 2008) was a Russian novelist, dramatist and historian. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970, he was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974, returning to Russia in 1994.

*****

Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.

It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes. It may even lie on the surface; but we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions — especially selfish ones.

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

At no time has the world been without war. Not in seven or ten or twenty thousand years. Neither the wisest of leaders, nor the noblest of kings, nor yet the Church — none of them has been able to stop it. And don't succumb to the facile belief that wars will be stopped by hotheaded socialists. Or that rational and just wars can be sorted out from the rest. There will always be thousands of thousands to whom even such a war will be senseless and unjustified. Quite simply, no state can live without war, that is one of the state's essential functions. ... War is the price we pay for living in a state. Before you can abolish war you will have to abolish all states. But that is unthinkable until the propensity to violence and evil is rooted out of human beings. The state was created to protect us from evil. In ordinary life thousands of bad impulses, from a thousand foci of evil, move chaotically, randomly, against the vulnerable. The state is called upon to check these impulses — but it generates others of its own, still more powerful, and this time one-directional. At times it throws them all in a single direction — and that is war.

Mankind has become one, but not steadfastly one as communities or even nations used to be; not united through years of mutual experience, neither through possession of a single eye, affectionately called crooked, nor yet through a common native language, but, surpassing all barriers, through international broadcasting and print. An avalanche of events descends upon us — in one minute half the world hears of their splash. But the yardstick by which to measure those events and to evaluate them in accordance with the laws of unfamiliar parts of the world — this is not and cannot be conveyed via soundwaves and in newspaper columns. For these yardsticks were matured and assimilated over too many years of too specific conditions in individual countries and societies; they cannot be exchanged in mid-air. In the various parts of the world men apply their own hard-earned values to events, and they judge stubbornly, confidently, only according to their own scales of values and never according to any others.

Violence, less and less embarrassed by the limits imposed by centuries of lawfulness, is brazenly and victoriously striding across the whole world, unconcerned that its infertility has been demonstrated and proved many times in history. What is more, it is not simply crude power that triumphs abroad, but its exultant justification. The world is being inundated by the brazen conviction that power can do anything, justice nothing.

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the twentieth century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.

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Replies to This Discussion

I agree with all he put forward and I especially like the 4th paragraph.

Thanks for reading Marianne. I like the last one a lot. : ) 

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