Thursday, 21 November 2013

Gibbering idiocy

Following on from my last post, this quote from G.K.Chesterton about false logic was brought to my attention. The merciless logic of the enlightenment, can be seen intruding into the presentation of the teaching of the Church in so many areas in our own day.

"Consider that simple sentence [i.e., that artificial birth control is essential because houses are scarce], and you will see what is the matter with the modern mind.  I do not mean the growth of immorality; I mean the genesis of gibbering idiocy.  There are ten little boys whom you wish to provide with top hats; and you find that there are only eight top hats.  To a simple mind it would seem not impossible to make two more hats; to find out whose business it is to make hats, and induce him to make hats; to agitate against the absurd delay in delivering hats; to punish anybody who has promised hats and failed to provide hats.  The modern mind is that which says that if we only cut off the heads of two of the little boys, they will not want hats; and then the hats will exactly go round.  The suggestion that heads are rather more important than hats is dismissed as a piece of mystical metaphysics.  The assertion that hats were made for heads, and not heads for hats savours of antiquated dogma.  The musty text that says the body is more than raiment; the popular prejudice which would prefer the lives of boys to the mathematical arrangement of hats - all these things are alike to be ignored.  The logic of enlightenment is merciless; and we duly summon the headsman to disguise the deficiencies of the hatter.  For it makes very little difference to the logic of the thing, that we are talking of houses and not hats...  The fundamental fallacy remains the same; that we are beginning at the wrong end, because we have never troubled to consider  at what end to begin."

 - Quoted from America, October 29, 1921, p. 31.)

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