Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Devils of Loudon

When an orator, by the mere magic of words and a golden voice, persuades his audience of the rightness of a bad cause, we are very properly shocked. We ought to feel the same dismay whenever we find the same irrelevant tricks being used to persuade people of the rightness of a good cause.
The belief engendered may be desirable, but the grounds for it are intrinsically wrong, and those who use the devices of oratory for instilling even right beliefs are guilty of pandering to the least creditable elements in human nature. By exerting their disasterous gift of the gab, they deepen the quasi-hypnotic trance in which most human beings live and which it is the aim and purpose of all true philosophy, all genuinely spiritual religion, to deliver them.

- Aldous Huxley, ‘The Devils of Loudon’, 1952

No comments: