George Eliot – “Evangelical Teaching” (1855)

by vyh

What is for them a state of emotion submerging the intellect is with him a formula imprisoning the intellect, depriving it of its proper function–the free search for truth–and making it the mere servant-of-all-work to a foregone conclusion. Minds fettered by this doctrine no longer inquire concerning a proposition whether it is attested by sufficient evidence, but whether it accords with Scripture; they do not search for facts, as such, but for facts that will bear out their doctrine…. It is easy to see that this mental habit blunts not only the perception of truth, but the sense of truthfulness, and that the man whose faith drives him into fallacies treads close upon the precipice of falsehood.

(quoted in The Portable Atheist)

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