Friday, October 14, 2005

Quotable | Truthseekers

open quoteBelieve those who seek the truth; doubt those who find it. -- Andre Gide (1869-1951), French writer, humanist, and moralist who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947 In the context of this quote ... which folks are prophets, and which are madmen, hmmmm? Perhaps I'm going in a somewhat contrarian direction, but I have to say that the Madman is a truthseeker, while the Prophet is someone who claims to have found it. I am, of course, using Madman* in the same context as society would label such a person. And as far as Prophet is concerned, I believe this relates to a self-styled prophet; someone who claims to expressly know what [insert divinity of choice] wants as well as what you (as in the rest of us) should do about it. You know who I am talking about here: the Pat Robertsons, Jerry Falwells, Dr. James Kennedys, Dr. James Dobsons, and other radical chrisitian clerics of our time. NOTABLE: Gide is one of a few authors whose entire body of work was placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (i.e., Index of Prohibited Books). The term Index is used here "in a restricted sense to signify the exact list or catalogue of books, the reading of which was once forbidden to Catholics by the highest ecclesiastical authority." In other words, at the time of Gide's death, Roman Catholics were forbidden to read his writings. ___________ *Madman is used here in the gender inclusive sense. Perhaps I should have used "mad(wo)man" ... let us remember that there are plenty of seekers who are of the feminine persuasion.

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