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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

reading over the holidays

I've been reading The Rebel by Camus and I intend to read The Fall pretty soon. I'm not really far enough along to know what I think about it yet but his difference between a rebel and a revolutionary is interesting to me so we'll see how it goes.

Bob lent me his copy of Niel Stephenson's Anathem so I'll start reading that. Hopefully it'll pull me in.

Sarah and I might read a bio of Thomas Jefferson together. You gotta love Jeffersonian pluralism--
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. If it be said, his testimony in a court of justice cannot be relied on, reject it then, and be the stigma on him. Constraint may make him worse by making him a hypocrite, but it will never make him a truer man. It may fix him obstinately in his errors, but will not cure them. Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free enquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free enquiry been indulged, at the aera of the reformation, the corruptions of Christianity could not have been purged away. If it be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged. Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.

Notes on the State of Virginia

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