Dr. Parkins served aboard this ship in WWII
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By Ivan Parkins
The strength of democracy lies not so much in any special capacity that it may have for discovering truths or for making truths known as in its ability to detect and serve the many views and interests of its citizens. ….
…..The dominion of Europe spread to the ends of the earth. The West had risen to a point that, in terms of geopolitics, could not help but be the zenith of its power. But how significant are the views that attempt to measure the rise of the West in such materialistic terms?
It has become intellectually fashionable to follow every acknowledgment of Western superiority in material things with condemnation of materialism and the West. But the shallowness of mind and spirit exposed in such evaluations may be more characteristic of those intellectuals who do the condemning than of the Western civilization that they pretend to evaluate.
Chapter 3, cont. excerpts from
Perspectives for American Society
The exponential growth of our accumulation of knowledge has soared to such a point that the total reservoir is estimated to double every few years. At the same time our capacity to store, recall, and transmit this exploding mass of data and ideas adds a whole new dimension to problems of comprehending what is happening in the world. Never before have men needed to cope with a body of knowledge so huge or so lacking in common premises. Never before have so many needed to share their views with one another.
Language, the ability to communicate with one another through elaborate symbol systems, is a distinguishing characteristic of man. It is true that other animals besides Homo sapiens communicate among themselves. But no other species has been able to invent socially and to preserve and, moreover, continuously elaborate upon its system of communication. The extent of communication among human beings is without parallel in animal behavior.
…..The ruling class bias in written and recorded history scarcely disappeared before the twentieth century even in the highly literate nations of the world, and only now is it beginning to be offset in less literate countries. Nothing else illustrates quite so clearly that writing and the inscribed record that were made of men’s lives were reserved for a privileged few as a case from approximately two thousand years ago. There came to the eastern Mediterranean a leader of men whose appeal has grown ever since. Jesus Christ made his appeal orally and directed it primarily to the poor and illiterate of his time; hence he was virtually ignored in the recorded histories of the period.
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