Saturday, June 21, 2008

Groundhog Day's Blog



Let the "enlightened elites" strive to change the situation of the child, the illiterate, the primitive crushed beneath his superstitions; that is one of their most urgent tasks; but in this very effort they must respect a freedom which, like theirs, is absolute.

They are always opposed, for example, to the extension of universal suffrage by adducing the incompetence of the masses, of women, of the natives in the colonies; but this forgetting that man always has to decide by himself in the darkness, that he must want beyond what he knows. If infinite knowledge were necessary (even supposing that it were conceivable), then the colonial administrator himself would not have the right to freedom; he is much further from perfect knowledge than the most backward savage is from him.

5 comments:

Darrin Stephens said...

Je suis confuse...

Day said...

*applies De Beauvoir to attitudes in missionary activities*

Darrin Stephens said...

Ah...

ok =)

rman1iscool said...

The missionaries never consider themselves in the dark. They have always been enlightened, and based upon the principles of that enlightenment call themselves enlightened.

Take for example some Bible passages:

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Isa 44:20 He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?" (on people who believe in other gods)

Now, the idea is that if you accept the bible as true, then the bible is true because it says it is true. Perfectly self-referential in that matter, so they are right because they have claimed to be right.

Day said...

yes. it's always confused me a little that believing things you don't believe seems to be considered a virtue in many faith-oriented contexts.

I do think that with the right attitude--respecting a freedom which, like their own, is absolute--missionaries could/can do a great deal of good in the world.

A lot of people need something to be a part of, and there are worse dogmas than, for instance, "stop drinking and treat your family decently. . ." you get the idea, I hope.