Monday, October 27, 2008


I have had to change my mind. When I was younger there was nothing better than reason in an argument. But now I know that there is simply nothing stricter than reason in an argument.

I owe this insight to many things including grace and experience. But I wouldn't have noticed it so easily without my friend pointing it out like so:

"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." G.K.Chesterton

This is rather shockingly said - in my experience many touching moments in my life have been due to the beauty of the truth at the end of a line of reasoning. Yet it was too subtle at first to see that reason can be used as a billy club also.

I have been more sensitive this last year to this notion as I have been guiding an engineering project along. When there is a conflict between our expectations and the provided results I have been attempting to stay more human by appealing to the heart first. I have tried to leave the harsh reason of demonstration as a later or last resort.


Something to remember when deciding to impose or raise taxes.

"A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter." G.K. Chesterton.

G. can say things much better than I! And still true a continent and a century away. Fines are 10's or 100's of dollars. Taxes are usually thousands.

I am sure he had some good insight into "spreading the wealth around a bit". Fantastic when done voluntarily; NOT SO when required by the Leviathan - under the threat of law, i.e. loss of freedom.