Tolstoy on science, religion, and politics #
From What is religion and of what does its essence consits? and The law of love and the law of violence in A Confession and Other Religious Writings, translated by Jane Kentish
- [W]hat is referred to as science is a collection of incidental, totally disconnected items of knowledge which are often completely useless, and not only fail to present the indisputable truth but very often present the most crude delusions, displayed as the truth today and refuted tomorrow ...
- The truths of the religion common to everyone today are so very simple, intelligible and close to the hearts of all men. It would seem that parents, rulers, and teachers only need to instil in children these clear and simple truths, common to people of all religions, the metaphysical essence of which is that the spirit of God is in man, and the practical law of which is that man must behave towards others as he would wish others to behave towards him, rather than the outdated and absurd teachings on the Trinity, the Virgin Mother, the Redemption, Indras, Trimurti and Buddhas and Mohammeds flying in the sky, and this in itself would alter the whole of mankind's life.
- When among one hundred men, one rules over ninety-nine, it is unjust, it is a despotism; when ten rule over ninety, it is equally unjust, it is an oligarchy; but when fifty-one rule over forty-nine (and this is only theoretical, for in reality it is always ten or eleven of these fifty-one), it is entirely just, it is freedom!
/misc | Apr 14, 2011
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