It has generally been assumed that of two opposing systems of philosophy, e.g., realism and idealism, one only can be true and one must be false; and so philosophers have been hopelessly divided on the question, which is the true one.
Conservatism clings to what has been established, fearing that, once we begin to question the beliefs that we have inherited, all the values of life will be destroyed.
Cruel persecutions and intolerance are not accidents, but grow out of the very essence of religion, namely, its absolute claims.
Liberalism, on the other hand, regards life as an adventure in which we must take risks in new situations, in which there is no guarantee that the new will always be the good or the true, in which progress is a precarious achievement rather than inevitability.
If religion cannot restrain evil, it cannot claim effective power for good.
Liberalism is an attitude rather than a set of dogmas - an attitude that insists upon questioning all plausible and self-evident propositions, seeking not to reject them but to find out what evidence there is to support them rather than their possible alternatives.
In thus pointing out certain respects in which philosophy resembles literature more than science, I do not mean, of course, to imply that it would be well for philosophy if it ceased to aim at scientific rigor.
The method of exposition which philosophers have adopted leads many to suppose that they are simply inquiries, that they have no interest in the conclusions at which they arrive, and that their primary concern is to follow their premises to their logical conclusions.
Lastly, literature and philosophy both allow past idols to be resurrected with a frequency which would be truly distressing to a sober scientist.
To be sure, the vast majority of people who are untrained can accept the results of science only on authority.
Law is a formless mass of isolated decisions.
Liberalism regards life as an adventure in which we must take risks in new situation, in which there is no guarantee that the new will always be the good or the true, in which progress is a precarious achievement rather than inevitability.
If a philosophic theory is once ruled out of court, no one can tell when it will appear again.
Let philosophy resolutely aim to be as scientific as possible, but let her not forget her strong kinship with literature.
The picture which the philosopher draws of the world is surely not one in which every stroke is necessitated by pure logic.
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