Friday, February 27, 2009

Quote of the Day: Michel de Montaigne

Let me excuse myself for saying what I often repeat, that I rarely repent, and that my conscience is content with itself, not as the conscience of an angel or a horse, but as the conscience of a man; though always with the addition of this refrain--which is no formal refrain but a true and sincere confession--that I speak as one who questions and does not know, referring the decision purely and simply to common and authorized belief. I do not teach, I relate. (Michel de Montaigne, "On Repentance," Essays 3.2; trans. J.M. Cohen)

Sounds like he is using Socrates as his model here as one who claims not to know, and as one who does not teach, but always questions.

1 comment:

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I really like this quote.

Repentance that is prescibed by outside authorities, does not produce "wisdom" but parody, whereas a person who stands by their conscience, is satisfied, though others may judge him for his "hardened heart".

Religious zeal and conformity breed all kinds of atrocities upon mankind, as it not only confroms man to uniformity, but it parades itself as deference to "God", while really exalting "self spirituality". And on the global scale, religion transcribes contextual traditions into universal truth (reality) bringing hinderances to liberal values of equality, justice, human rights, individual choice and freedom.