A Kind of Madness

It is a form of madness to see everything in simple terms of cause and effect. A strict or hard determinism is a form of madness. There is no room in these persons for associative movement. In the disordered tangle of this world they reduce all things to an ordered march. They are a slave to denotative reasoning, and unable to pursue associative leaps or connotative thought that synthesize seeming randomness.

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In the political arena they tend toward fascism and tribalism — whatever promises a world of absolutes. They are dead to connotative associational patterns, as in poetry, art, and music. This is often the realm of the religious terrorist and the mad dog atheist. This is why the Islamic State terrorists destroy ancient works of art — art that is of their own cultural heritage. It is foreign and strange. An oddity. Quite beyond their truncated  powers of reasoning. As G.K. Chesterton wrote, “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.” KS

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