anagnori

Tolerance by Richard Rowe

In history, philosophy on August 4, 2015 at 20:19

From: Tolerance by Richard Rowe, The Philosopher, http://www.the-philosopher.co.uk

It is always difficult to analyse the intellectual and moral tendencies of oneís own time. What seems all important at the moment of its happening may prove, when viewed in the truer perspective of history, to have been an ephemeral incident: while on the other hand the beginnings of some movement, destined to revolutionize the world of thought, may have been so slight or subtle as to have escaped contemporary attention altogether.

Probably no period has been without its idealists who beheld visions of a Golden Age yet to be attained. Probably no period has been without its mournful forth-tellers of doom who could see in impending change nothing but catastrophe. Probably no period has been entirely bereft of the ‘sanctified common sense’ which avoids extremes and tries ‘to see life steadily and see it whole.’

We need to be reminded that if the past is indeed strewn with the wreckage wrought by man’s selfishness and lack of imagination, we have no guarantee that the children’s children of the wreckers will be capable of any greater appreciation of values. By the same token we should take heart of grace and refrain from the sprinkling of ashes and the putting on of sackcloth when some cherished phase of ‘the old order changeth giving place to new.’ Cosmos has been evolved from chaos. But there were doubtless periods in the transition so picturesque that any change in the kaleidoscope seemed as if it must inevitably be a change for the worse. Yet changes came, and unsuspected beauties were revealed.

Such is the gospel of the idealists. But it is also true that cosmos has sometimes degenerated into chaos. It is futile to rush with a fire brand through the priceless architecture of an ancient civilization chanting ‘Excelsior’ as each tower topples and each temple is destroy The mere efflux of time is not synonymous with progress: alteration is not necessarily repair; change may as easily connote decay as its opposite.

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Reposted according to copyright notice from: The Philosopher

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