For those authors and personages herein about whom a brief paragraph is written concerning who they are/were and when they lived, please bear in mind that it is impossible to do justice to any person in a paragraph, and sometimes, not even in an entire tome. I have striven to relay that which is most pertinent about their life in principle and practice within a tiny space. The villainy of villains and the goodness of the saints may not be perfectly balanced, but in my defense, goodness and badness can never be balanced, nor should we try. Let us condemn the condemnable and praise the praiseworthy. Lifting up and casting down as is merited. This means that unless they are particularly relevant to their life, I have ignored curricula vitae, posts (honorific or otherwise), job titles, etc., and instead focused on what I could glean that was most important about each: what they believed to be true about God and man and how those beliefs were made manifest in their lives. Everything else is ancillary. I have also deigned to utter my opinion about a person from time to time. Facts only exist without opinion in a vacuum or within a vacuous mind. At the very least, they exist so that one may form reasonable opinions. A heifer grazing in a field has no opinions about anything. To be 'above' opinion is to be below a bovine. I am here speaking about and to those faux intellectuals and frauds who bandy about facts as a Pyrrhonist does. Of course, if one has neither investigated nor reflected upon a matter, it is perfectly acceptable, preferable, and advisable to simply state: 'I have no opinion about or on such and such as I have not looked into it.'
Robert H. Bork
From a speech given at the University of Michigan in 1979
The court tends to assume that there is not a problem if willing adults indulge a taste for pornography in a theater whose outside advertising does not offend the squeamish. The assumption is wrong….The attitudes, taste, and moral values inculcated do not stay behind in the theater. A change in moral environment—in social attitudes toward sex, marriage, duties toward children, and the like—may as surely be felt as harm as the possibility of physical violence.
G. K. Chesterton
All Things Considered - French and English, 1915
When I was in Paris a short time ago, I went with an English friend of mine to an extremely brilliant and rapid succession of French plays, each occupying about twenty minutes. They were all astonishingly effective; but there was one of them which was so effective that my friend and I fought about it outside, and had almost to be separated by the police. It was intended to indicate how men really behaved in a wreck or naval disaster, how they break down, how they scream, how they fight each other without object and in a mere hatred of everything. And then there was added, with all that horrible irony which Voltaire began, a scene in which a great statesman made a speech over their bodies, saying that they were all heroes and had died in a fraternal embrace. My friend and I came out of this theatre, and as he had lived long in Paris, he said, like a Frenchman: "What admirable artistic arrangement! Is it not exquisite?" "No," I replied, assuming as far as possible the traditional attitude of John Bull in the pictures in Punch - "No, it is not exquisite. Perhaps it is unmeaning; if it is unmeaning I do not mind. But if it has a meaning I know what the meaning is; it is that under all their pageant of chivalry men are not only beasts, but even hunted beasts. I do not know much of humanity, especially when humanity talks in French. But I know when a thing is meant to uplift the human soul, and when it is meant to depress it. I know that Cyrano de Bergerac (where the actors talked even quicker) was meant to encourage man. And I know that this was meant to discourage him."
Thomas Henry Huxley
Consider the great historical fact that for three centuries the Book has been woven into the life of all that is best and noblest in English history; that it has become the national epic of Britain, and is familiar to noble and simple, from John o'Groat's to Land's End; that it is written in the noblest and purest English, and abounds in exquisite beauties of a merely literary form, and finally that it forbids the veriest hind who never left his village to be ignorant of the existence of other countries and other civilizations, and of a great past stretching back to the furthest limits of the oldest nations of the world. By the study of what other book could children be so much humanized, and made to feel that each figure in that vast historical processions fills, like themselves, but a momentary space in the interval between the Eternities; and earns the blessings or the curses of all time, according to its effort to do good and hate evil?
From a letter to Nathaniel Burwell dated March 14, 1818
A great obstacle to good education is the inordinate passion prevalent for novels, and the time lost in that reading which should be instructively employed. When this poison infects the mind, it destroys its tone and revolts it against wholesome reading. Reason and fact, plain and unadorned, are rejected. Nothing can engage attention unless dressed in all the figments of fancy, and nothing so bedecked comes amiss. The result is a bloated imagination, sickly judgement, and disgust towards all the real businesses of life. This mass of trash, however, is not without some distinction; some few modeling their narratives although fictitious, on the incidents of real life, have been able to make them interesting and useful vehicles of a sound morality… For a like reason, too, much poetry should not be indulged. Some is useful for forming style and taste. Pope, Dryden, Thompson, Shakespeare, and of the French, Moliere, Racine, the Corneilles, may be read with pleasure and improvement.
C. S. Lewis
Democratic Education, 1944
Equality (outside mathematics) is a purely social conception. It applies to man as a political and economic animal. It has no place in the world of the mind. Beauty is not democratic; she reveals herself more to the few than to the many, more to the persistent and disciplined seekers than to the careless. Virtue is not democratic; she is achieved by those who pursue her more hotly than most men. Truth is not democratic; she demands special talents and special industry in those to whom she gives her favours.
Mere Christianity, Chapter 5: Sexual Morality
Finally, though I have had to speak at some length about sex, I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that the centre of Christian morality is not here. If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronising and spoiling sport, and back-biting; the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither.
Mere Christianity, Chapter 7: Let's Pretend
Some of you may feel that this is very unlike your own experience. You may say "I've never had the sense of being helped by an invisible Christ, but I often have been helped by other human beings." That is rather like the woman in the first war who said that if there were a bread shortage it would not bother her house because they always ate toast. If there is no bread there will be no toast.
Henry Fairfield Osborn
American paleontologist and museum administrator who lived from 1857 – 1935. He greatly influenced the art of museum display and the education of paleontologists in the United States and Great Britain. "In his day he was second only to Albert Einstein as the most popular and well-known scientist in America."1(Brian Regal, Henry Fairfield Osborn Race and the Search for the Origins of Man, [Surry, United Kingdom: Ashgate, 2018], xii)
Reminiscenses of Huxley
Thus Richard Owen, when the mantle of Cuvier fell on his shoulders, could not rid his mind of supernaturalism and of constant divine interference in the natural order of things; he could not fully accept our modern view that the natural order of things is entirely without divine interference. Owen inherited another cloak which was equally archaic and cumbersome, namely, of German transcendental anatomy, the chief exponent of which was Lorenzo Oken.
Reminiscenses of Huxley
Now that we enjoy absolute freedom, if not license, of thought, now that men of all shades of scientific, religious, and philosophic belief may express their opinions without fear or favor, it is very difficult to imagine the state of things which prevailed all over western Europe during what we now perceive to be the dark intellectual ages of the close of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth. No one was free either to say what he believe or even to record freely what he observed without incurring a certain amount of social disfavor.
Preface to The Passing of the Great Race by Madison Grant, 1923
...race has played a far larger part than either language or nationality in moulding the destinies of men; race implies heredity and heredity implies all the moral, social and intellectual characteristics and traits which are the springs of politics and government...Thus conservation of that race which has given us the true spirit of Americanism is not a matter either of racial pride or of racial prejudice; it is a matter of love of country, of a true sentiment which is based upon knowledge and the lessons of history rather than upon the sentimentalism which is fostered by ignorance.
1820 – 1893
Article in the Independent ca. 18702Exact date is unknown, but given that Huxley's Lay Sermons was published in 1870, 1870 is a reasonable estimate.
There are those who hold the name of Professor Huxley as synonymous with irreverence and atheism. Plato's was so held, and Galileo's, and Descartes's, and Newton's, and Faraday's. There can be no greater mistake. No man has greater reverence for the Bible than Huxley. No one more acquaintance with the text of Scripture. He believes there is definite government of the universe; that pleasures and pains are distributed in accordance with law; and that the certain proportion of evil woven up in the life even of worms will help the man who thinks to bear his own share with courage.