Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Between Hell And Reason

Our technical civilization has just reached its greatest level of savagery.  We will have to choose, in the more or less near future, between collective suicide and the intelligent use of our scientific conquests. ...  Let us be understood.  If the Japanese surrender after the destruction of Hiroshima, having been intimidated, we will rejoice.  But we refuse to see anything in such grave news other than the need to argue more energetically in favor of a true international society, in which the great powers will not have superior rights over small and middle-sized nations, where such an ultimate weapon will be controlled by human intelligence rather than by the appetites and doctrines of various states.  Before the terrifying prospects now available to humanity, we see even more clearly that peace is the only goal worth struggling for.  This is no longer a prayer but a demand to be made by all peoples to their governments -- a demand to choose definitively between hell and reason.

-- Albert Camus (1913 - 1960), French author, philosopher, and 1957 Nobel Laureate in Literature, in the French Resistance newspaper, Combat (8 August 1945), as translated by Alexandre de Gramont, in Between Hell and Reason: Essays from the Resistance Newspaper Combat, 1944–1947 (1991), p. 110

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