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← What do you say to your faith-based neighbors?

Functional Atheist's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Functional Atheist

Comment 13 by Ignorant Amos :

Comment 2 by mjr

You can't reason a man out of a position he didn't reason himself into*.

The quote is actually...."It is impossible to reason someone out of something that he did not reason himself into in the first place."...and it's a load of pish.

A terrible quote from Jonathan Swift the Protestant minister and Master of Divinity? Great!...Tell me this, how many people do you know that reasoned themselves into religion?


Swift had early set his sights on the Church, and in 1694 took his orders and was ordained Anglican priest, obtaining the small prebend of Kilroot in Northern Ireland where he remained for about a year. Which is about a mile from where I'm sitting and which the locals are particularly proud of, mind you, Andrew Jackson's homestead can be found in the same area and he was a bad ass too.

And should we sneer at Isaac Newton because of his unfortunate fascination with alchemy? Swift was imperfect, as we all are, but your condemnation goes too far. A Modest Proposal stands up centuries later as a brilliantly dark and pithy--and funny and humanistic--document. Context matters, and so does longevity, and given the context of his times and the impressive durability of his finest writing, Swift fares far better than most.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 21:01:12 UTC | #925712