The Philosopher and the Conservative

“One cannot be a philosopher without believing in the power of reason.  But one cannot be a conservative without doubting its power to order our affairs and ameliorate our condition.

Equally, one cannot be a philosopher without doubting — doubt being the engine of inquiry — and one cannot be a conservative without believing, that is, without accepting as true much that one cannot prove.

To live well we must somehow tread a razor’s edge between unexamined belief and beliefless examination.”

And for the thinker in the pew: substitute ‘serious thinker’ for philosopher and ‘believer’ for conservative.


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