On Seeking Truth and the Life of the Mind

“The mind, in discovering truth, acts in the same manner as it acts through the eye in discovering objects; when once any object has been seen, it is impossible to put the mind back to the same condition it was in before it saw it.”
-Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Once we venture out onto the precipice of truth, there is no going back, for it is the journey that encompasses a lifetime.

On Going to War for the Wrong Reasons, Fear, and Giving Up Our Character

“Character is to us, in our present circumstances, of more importance than interest.”
-Thomas Paine, the American Crisis

If our reasons for going to war are to protect and extend freedom and the ideals of our own founding, then it is in our interest to preserve the character of our nation.

Radical attempts to alter that character in the name of “national interest”, whether through executive fiat or public apathy, it is all but ceding victory – winning the battle but losing the war.

A war for oil is one of interest. A war for the ideal of human freedom is one of character. Lest we get confused which is which.

On Differing Beliefs, Intolerance, and What it Proves

“If I do not believe as you believe, it proves that you do not believe as I believe, and this is all that it proves.”

Despite all wars, hatreds, antagonisms, intolerance and abuse engendered to cure the “non-believers”, such action only serves to weaken the belief for which it is purported to serve.

On the Pot Calling the Kettle Black

“Why do men continue to practise on themselves the absurdities they despise in others?”
-Thomas Paine

Or perhaps “me thinks thou doth protest too much”.

There are many ways to look at the same idea.

Often, what we despise the most in others is what we despise the most in ourselves.