Tuesday, October 16, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

John Money

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"...neither tolerance nor intolerance is grounded in science and reason, but they are themselves acts of faith grounded in social custom and the politics of expediency and power."
--
Homosexuality: Bipotenitality, Terminology, and History

 
John Money

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I never lived, that I remember, what you call a common natural day. All my days are touched by the supernatural, for I feel the pressure of hidden causes, and the presence, sometimes the communion, of unseen powers. It needs not that I should ask the clairvoyant whether "a spirit-world projects into ours." As to the specific evidence, I would not tarnish my mind by hasty reception. The mind is not, I know, a highway, but a temple, and its doors should not be carelessly left open. Yet it were sin, if indolence or coldness excluded what had a claim to enter; and I doubt whether, in the eyes of pure intelligence, an ill-grounded hasty rejection be not a greater sign of weakness than an ill-grounded and hasty faith.

 
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Whatever their limitations, Freud and Marx developed complex and subtle theories of human nature grounded in their observation of individual and social behavior. The crackpot rationalism of free-market economics merely relies on an abstract model of how people "must" behave.

 
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I think it is a rule that men in business should not be taught other things. Any one will be almost sure to make money who has no other idea in his head. A college education, or intense study of abstract truth, will not enable a man to drive a bargain ... The best politicians are not those who are deeply grounded in mathematical or in ethical science. Rules stand in the way of expediency. Many a man has been hindered from pushing his fortune in the world by an early cultivation of his moral sense.

 
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She is either thick or criminally disingenuous [...] Her only policy, her only raison dí?tre, is a particularly vacuous feminism dating from a sixth-form common room in about 1973. Were this a serious commitment and grounded in reality, one might respect her for it and even agree. But it never is grounded in reality. It is the perpetual shrieking of an idiot.

 
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John Desmond Bernal (1901-1971) was undoubtedly the most important of the "Western" scientists who, during the twentieth century, accepted the Marxist view of social development. He did more than "accept" it: he tried to sketch the whole history of science from a Marxist viewpoint; he wrote a number of articles explicitly expounding his view of the relation of Marxism to science; and from his student days he played an active role in Communist politics. He has been criticised: during his lifetime, for too readily accepting official Soviet policy, whether relating to society or to science; since his death, for having been too ready to hope that his vision of the use of science for human ends could be implemented by capitalist societies; and at all times, for an allegedly simplistic faith in science as the salvation of mankind.

 
John Desmond Bernal
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