"The earth becomes more crowded, and our dependence upon our neighbours becomes more intimate. In these circumstances life cannot remain tolerable unless we learn to let each other alone in all matters that are not of immediate and obvious concern to the community. We must learn to respect each other's privacy, and not to impose our moral standards upon each other. The Puritan imagines that his moral standard is the moral standard; he does not realize that other ages and other countries, and even other groups in his own country, have moral standards different from his, to which they have as good a right as he has to his. Unfortunately, the love of power which is the natural outcome of Puritan self-denial makes the Puritan more executive than other people, and makes it difficult for others to resist him. Let us hope that a broader education and a wider knowledge of mankind may gradually weaken the ardour of our too virtuous masters."
by:
Bertrand Russell
[Bertrand Arthur William Russell] (1872-1970) Philosopher, educator
Source:
The Recrudescence of Puritanism, in Sceptical Essays, 1928
http://www.panarchy.org/russell/puritanism.html
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