BURGALESIANA

SOMEONE SAID: "THE DEAD WRITERS ARE REMOTE FROM US BECAUSE WE KNOW SO MUCH MORE THAN THEY DID." PRECISELY, AND THEY ARE THAT WHICH WE KNOW.

Life without prejudice, were it ever to be tried, would soon reveal itself to be a life without principle. For prejudices, as we have seen earlier, are often built-in principles. They are the extract which the mind has made of experience. Try to imagine a man setting out for the day without a single prejudice. Let us suppose that he has ‘confessed’ his prejudices in the manner of confessing sins and has decided to start next morning with a fresh mind as the sinner would start with a new soul. The analogy is false. Inevitably he would be in a state of paralysis. He could not get up in the morning, or choose his necktie, or make his way to the office, or conduct his business affairs, or, to come right down to the essence of the thing, even maintain his identity. What he does in actuality is arise at his arbitrary 7:15, select the necktie which he is prejudiced in favour of, set off relatively happy with his head full of unreasoned judgements, conduct a successful day’s business and return home the same man he was, with perhaps a mite or two added to his store of wisdom.

(Richard Weaver, Life Without Prejudice,” Modern Age, Vol. I, No. 1, Summer 1957).

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