10
   

Men will never be free until . . .

 
 
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 04:55 am
As Denis Deiderot proclaimed:
Quote:
Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest

Discuss
 
George
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 05:49 am
@neologist,
"Mankind shall not be free until

the last king is strangled in the entrails of the last priest. "

Denis Diderot

Discuss
0 Replies
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 05:51 am

[quote="reasoning logic"]Have you stepped into the shoes of an atheist or agnostic lately?[/quote]I find a lot of common ground with atheists and agnostics, especially when it comes to the excesses of the church. They and I would agree (I think) with Diderot's assertion. “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 05:53 am
@George,
It used to be my signature line.
There seems to be several translations . . .
I hadn't noticed until now.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 05:54 am
neologist wrote:

I'll go with ros on this.

We could start with a roll call of the preachers.

or, as Denis Diderot wrote:
Mankind will never truly be free until the last king has been strangled with the entrails of the last priest.


http://able2know.org/topic/121243-2#post-3369871
George
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 05:56 am
neologist wrote:

So they got their king, and sure enough . . .
We have come to this . . .
“Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

― Denis Diderot

http://able2know.org/topic/183558-1#post-5279571
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 05:57 am
@George,
You search faster than I can remember
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 06:00 am
Our lives are not ruled by kings and priests. The allegation is specious.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 06:04 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
Our lives are not ruled by kings and priests. The allegation is specious.
His allegation seems to have legs other than the ones I like to give it.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 06:07 am
What does that mean when you say it in English?
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 06:14 am
@Setanta,
Should I have said I'm not the only one who finds the idea fascinating?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 07:36 am
If that's all you mean, what you're saying is as meaningless as the platitude you're peddling here. Folly is constant in human affairs.

Before examining your particular platitude, let's look at another to see just how meaningless platitudes can be. A quotation is attributed to Edmund Burke: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. (The attribution is spurious, but that doesn't matter because it has been repeated with minor variations literally for centuries.) But does the allegation really say anything worthwhile?

Who gets to define evil? (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could as readily define opposition to his government as evil.) Who identifies the good men who must act? (In the previous example, Ahmadinejad could refer to the Persian Revolutionary Guard, identified by dozens of governments as a terrorist organization.) How does one determine if evil triumphs? Not getting what we want? Why should we assume that good men can prevent the triumph of evil?

You may call that quibbling, but really, it's not. People were (mis-) quoting Burke left, right and center in the run up to the invasion of Iraq, for example. It sounded good and it reassured the less critical among our polity. Yet no weapons of mass destruction were found, no evidence of programs to produce weapons of mass destruction, and no evidence of a link between Iraq and the September 11th terrorists. Damn, it sure sounded good, though, didn't it?

So now, let's examine your platitude. What is meant by free? Who gets to determine what the condition of freedom is? How are we to distinguish between freedom and license? Can "men" (i'm willing to stipulate men and women here--it's no fault of mine that Diderot was sexist in a sexist age) be trusted to act responsibly in a state of "freedom." If one takes "king" to mean government, would it really be the balance of wisdom to dispense with government? What would then restrain the eternally demonstrated propensity by many to exercise a will to power, cruelty, sadism, venality, cupidity, greed and lust?

In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes examines the need for association and government among men. This is how he describes life in the state of nature:

"In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently, not culture of the earth, no navigation, nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Hobbes isn't just spitting out a platitude here, either. That was his statement after examining the concept of a summum bonum (greatest good) and rejecting it. He does identify a summum malum, a greatest evil, which is the fear of violent death. The statement i've quoted above comes after a long examination of human nature, the necessity to restrain men, and the benefits of association and government. Without suggesting that Hobbes' work is the be all and end all of the examination of society and the need for government, he makes a compelling case for self-restraint, as well as government and imposed restraint.

So if you strangle the king, having murdered the priest, who is to argue that you must not strangle people, and who is to stop you from going next door and strangling that son of a bitch you never liked anyway?

It's a platitude, Neo, and it's a meaningless platitude.
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 07:38 am
@neologist,
Free from what?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 07:47 am
But here, Boss . . . i don't want to p*ss in your Wheaties and go away. Here's something to console you (of which i suspect you've also heard), the last stanza of Richard Lovelace's poem, "To Althea, from Prison" . . .

Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for a hermitage.
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,
Enjoy such liberty.
revelette
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 07:50 am
@Setanta,
Wish I had went to college. Nice poem.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 07:55 am
@neologist,
Neologist, Your quote is basically advocating a violent rebellion and an act of brutality toward civilians.

I don't like it.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 07:55 am
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

As Denis Deiderot proclaimed:
Quote:
Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest

Discuss

It sounds like a nice panacea for those who hate priests and kings.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 08:05 am
@neologist,
Freedom will never be free...
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 08:57 am
Gosh. Before we go further, let me say I don't believe in violence of any sort. I find Diderot's statement interesting because of its focus on the ages long pernicious cooperation between clergy and politicians.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 09:01 am
Moral preceptors don't have to be priests, nor governments royal to see their best interests in mutual support. Take, for example, the Republican Party and the so-called "Moral Majority."
 

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