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1 Januari 2010

 

GW - ...save for a group, small in number, with many troubles...


-GW-


I was unable to devote myself to the learning of this algebra and the continued concentration upon it, because of obstacles in the vagaries of time which hindered me; for we have been deprived of all the people of knowledge save for a group, small in number, with many troubles, whose concern in life is to snatch the opportunity, when time is asleep, to devote themselves meanwhile to the investigation and perfection of a science; for the majority of people who imitate philosophers confuse the true with the false, and they do nothing but deceive and pretend knowledge, and they do not use what they know of the sciences except for base and material purposes; and if they see a certain person seeking for the right and preferring the truth, doing his best to refute the false and untrue and leaving aside hypocrisy and deceit, they make a fool of him and mock him.
   - Omar Khayyam (Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra)
     ca. 1070 AD


And thus it has been ever since there came to be human beings: So far "save for a group, small in number, with many troubles, whose concern in life is to snatch the opportunity, when time is asleep, to devote themselves meanwhile to the investigation and perfection of a science" the majority of men (and women) have not been interested in truth or in science, except perhaps as an incidental means to further their own interests.

This is true for ordinary men and for educated men alike, for at most 1 in a 100 is fit to be educated in a real science in a good university, and at most 1 in a 100 of those will do anything worthwile with that education.

As to the others, that is 9999 in 10000, indeed they have mostly and usually done nothing "but deceive and pretend knowledge, and they do not use what they know of the sciences except for base and material purposes; and if they see a certain person seeking for the right and preferring the truth, doing his best to refute the false and untrue and leaving aside hypocrisy and deceit, they make a fool of him and mock him" - and indeed they have widely believed that this was the right, moral, desirable course of action.

For ordinary men, a good man is a hypocrite (*) whose hypocrisies are like their own.

(*) " The word hypocrisy comes from the Greek ύπόκρισις (hypokrisis), which means "play-acting", "acting out", "coward" or "dissembling". The word hypocrite is from the Greek word ύποκρίτης (hypokrites), the agentive noun associated with υποκρίνομαι (hypokrinomai), i.e. "I play a part." " (Wikipedia, Hipocrisy)

Zie mijn Over rollenspel - A.  Menselijke achtergronden
           Over rollenspel - B. Begripsbepalingen & definities

Maarten Maartensz

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