Perplexities and Paradoxes

Perplexities and Paradoxes

Perplexities and Paradoxes

Perplexities and Paradoxes

Excerpt

A friend writes me from Chile saying that people there keep asking him this question, "Briefly, what is Mr. Unamuno's religion?" As this is not the first time I have been confronted with such a question, I am going to attempt, not to answer it, but to clarify the meaning of the question.

Peoples as well as individuals who are spiritually lazy --and spiritual laziness is wedded to extreme economic activity -- whether they know it or not, desire it or not, seek it or not, lean toward dogmatism. Spiritual laziness flees from a critical or skeptical attitude.

I say skeptical, but taking the term skepticism in its etymological and philosophical sense, because skeptic means not one who doubts but one who investigates or searches carefully, as contrasted with one who affirms and believes that he has found out. There are those who scrutinize a problem, and there are those who give us a formula, whether it's the right one or not, as its solution.

In the realm of pure philosophical speculation it is precipitant to ask one for an exact solution, provided that he has furthered the clarification of a problem. When a long calculation turns out to be wrong, erasing what has been done and beginning again represents substantial progress. When a house threatens to fall or becomes completely uninhabitable, we tear it down, and we can't . . .

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