Every burning tear, every harrowing fear, every festering grief, every corroding care, every shooting pain, every piercing remorse; the sighs and moans of lazar-houses reeking with putrefaction and death; the shrieks and wails and clanking chains in hospitals swarming with maniacs; and the curses and blasphemies of dungeons where guilt rots and raves these, all these, are but feeble reverberations of those dismal truths, " Sin reigns unto death." " Death hath passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
Since the Greeks the predominant attitude of thinkers towards intellectual activity was to glorify it insofar as (like aesthetic activity) it finds its satisfaction in itself, apart from any attention to the advantages it may procure. Most thinkers would have agreed with … Renan’s verdict that the man who loves science for its fruits commits the worst of blasphemies against that divinity. … The modern clercs have violently torn up this charter. They proclaim the intellectual functions are only respectable to the extent that they are bound up with the pursuit of concrete advantage.julien benda