11 April 2008

Better and Happier

"Men, like dogs and cats, fawn upon you while you leave them on the ground: if you lift them up they bite and scratch; and if you shew them their own features in the glass, they would fly at your throat and tear your eyes out. This between ourselves: for we must not indulge in unfavorable views of mankind. By doing so, we make bad men believe that they are no worse than others, and we teach the good that they are good in vain. Philosophers have taken this side of the question to shew their ingenuity: but sound philosophers are not ingenious. If philosophy can render us no better and no happier, away with it! there are things that can; and let us take them."
~ Walter Savage Landor, Imaginary Conversations of Literary Men and Statesmen (1829), "Barrow and Newton"

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