Another Bertrand Russell Quote by underground

Yes, more Russell. I did say I would have more of old Bertrand, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon. But I had too. Whilst reading Ian Wishart’s response to a comment I made on a blog, I actually felt pity for him. Immediately I could relate to a passage I had read from Bertrand Russell’s An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish

“…If, like most of mankind, you have passionate convictions on many such matters, there are ways in which you can make yourself aware of your own bias. If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. If some one maintains that two and two are five, or that Iceland is on the equator, you feel pity rather than anger, unless you know so little of arithmetic or geography that his opinion shakes your own contrary conviction. The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.”

In fact I encourage people to read the full essay, it is a truly thought provoking piece of writing.

When I used to read Wishart’s Investigate magazine, I used to feel rage. How could a person actually believe this stuff? Why would anyone buy this filth? It was not so much that I was angry that this man had views strongly opposed to my own, it was that it encouraged others to feel the same. I was furious that this trash’s hateful pseudo-journalistic articles would incite attacks against the communities the magazine rallies against, homosexuals and Muslims in particular. I do feel the same anger, but mainly now I feel pity for the guy. He actually believes what he says! And I suppose he believes that he has some sort of truth that the world should know, but the world won’t listen. He is the boy who cried wolf. Sure, his books will sell, but it will be the same old people, and he will never be taken seriously the general public.

But then I suppose Hitler started with a small following…

No, I’m not serious. But why are these investigative journalists always so bias? Would their work not be more credible, and they would not be open to accusation, if they attack those in power on all sides of the political spectrum?

Alright, I said I wouldn’t mention Wish-hard again, but couldn’t help it this time!


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