Because of our broken instincts we are in pain. We continue in pain because our instincts have been twisted by reason. So, what are we supposed to do? Should we abandon knowledge? Throw away reason? In any event, that wouldn't be possible. For better or worse, we ate the fruit of knowledge long, long ago.
We became Homo sapiens not that long ago, from the scientific perspective, and we've retained a lot of our beast nature. We've done all these amazing things in terms of our knowledge base and technology, and now we're flying around and using the internet. But we're still very animalistic. So, I think about hierarchies. I think about evolution. I think about how we stack up, how we sit on top of each other. How we pray that we know what we're up to.
By speech first, but far more by writing, man has been able to put something of himself beyond death. In tradition and in books an integral part of the individual persists, for it can influence the minds and actions of other people in different places and at different times: a row of black marks on a page can move a man to tears, though the bones of him that wrote it are long ago crumbled to dust.
Philosophy would long ago have reached a high level if our predecessors and fathers had put this into practice; and we would not waste time on the primary difficulties, which appear now as severe as in the first centuries which noticed them. We would have the experience of assured phenomena, which would serve as principles for a solid reasoning; truth would not be so deeply sunken; nature would have taken off most of her envelopes; one would see the marvels she contains in all her individuals. ...
There are times I almost think I am not sure of what I absolutely know. Very often find confusion in conclusion I concluded long ago. In my head are many facts that, as a student, I have studied to procure. In my head are many facts of which I wish I was more certain I was sure.
Our enemies send other people's children on missions of suicide and murder. They embrace tyranny and death as a cause and a creed. We stand for a different choice - made long ago, on the day of our founding. We affirm it again today. We choose freedom and the dignity of every life.