Some Things Don't Change [updated]

Alex Koppel bio photo By Alex Koppel

People are accustomed to believe, and have been encouraged in the belief by some who aspire to the character of philosophers, that their feelings, on subjects of this nature*, are better than reasons, and render reasons unnecessary.

J.S. Mill, On Liberty, 1869

I don’t know whether to cry1 or to laugh2, but either way, some problems are not new, and probably not going away.

* 3 (update 12/22)

  1. 144 years later and people still think their feelings alone justify passing laws? 

  2. Try as they have, people who think like this clearly haven’t been able to stop progress. 

  3. “Some rules of conduct, therefore, must be imposed, by law in the first place, and by opinion on many things which are not fit subjects for the operation of law. What these rules should be, is the principal question in human affairs…”