Quote of the Day

And it refers to principles. Now, anyone can go ahead and sneer at principles as "extremist" or "unrealistic" or "utopian" or anything else, but the fact is that authentic principles -- fundamental or general truths on which abstracted truths stand or fall -- are indispensibly necessary requirements for the conduct of human life. You sneer at them at risk of your own existence. And in the very same way that the principle of gravity can instantly slice through a hugely complicated chain of applied abstractions and kill everyone aboard a falling airliner, the principles at contest in this battle have their reach, too. They extend over years and decades, lifetimes and generations, but they will have their way.

That's because principles are not merely agreeable or disagreeable cocktail-party entertainments. They are necessary intellectual devices by which we grasp facts of reality and use them to stay alive into the future.

-Billy Beck

Share this

I agree with Mr. Beck:

I agree with Mr. Beck: "authentic principles are indispensably necessary requirements for the conduct of human life". Giving up the adherence to principles is a sure recipe for failing.

On the other hand, to paraphrase Yeshayahu Leibowitz (who did not give up), principles are precious to the extent that their realization is difficult and easily frustrated. The problem is not only holding to principles, but acting in accordance with them. It is very difficult to forego other prized ends out of consideration for these principles. In other words, the costs are high and the benefits are uncertain.