This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

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

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 14 by Functional Atheist

And should we sneer at Isaac Newton because of his unfortunate fascination with alchemy?

No, but we should sneer at Isaac Newton for his fascination with alchemy, or at least the woo woo parts of the discipline.

Swift was imperfect, as we all are, but your condemnation goes too far.

My condemnation is with the quote, which is patently inaccurate.

A Modest Proposal stands up centuries later as a brilliantly dark and pithy--and funny and humanistic--document.

Indeed....as is the parable of the good Samaritan.

Context matters,....

And in the context of the OP, the Swift quote is bollocks.

..and so does longevity,

That'll be the 'Appeal to Antiquity' fallacy then? We all know about books and longevity.

...and given the context of his times and the impressive durability of his finest writing,

Again, I agree....but the quote I was criticising is not his finest writing because it is inaccurate

Swift fares far better than most.

As an author, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer and poet, I've little to say. I always enjoyed Gulliver's travels. As a cleric, his history was less than respectable. A bit of a lothario with the young ladies and a close involvement with the treasonous Tories of the time is a bit of a blot on his copybook....just my opinion. They reckon Swift went insane, not that that matters.

My point originally, is that the quote doesn't stand...in the context....and as a 17th century Priest, he was peddling bullshit as true. But I accept your points and perhaps the ad hom was unnecessary, I just thought that that particular quote was a bit rich coming from the highly religious Swift, that's all.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 22:24:31 UTC | #925727