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Forbidden Knowledge : From Prometheus to Pornography by Roger Shattuck PDF for FREE

Book : Forbidden Knowledge : From Prometheus to Pornography  PDF

Forbidden Knowledge is written by Roger Shattuck. It is a book which explores two of today’s most important moral issues: the explosion of scientific knowledge and the problem of pornography as represented by the recent rehabilitation of the Marquis de Sade. In a compelling synthesis of history and literature, Shattuck challenges the meaning of moral responsibility in our daily life, providing a landmark history of Western culture that will dazzle the reader.

Are there things we should not know? Can anyone or any institution, in this culture of unfettered enterprise and growth, seriously propose limits on knowledge? Have we lost the capacity to perceive and honor the moral dimensions of such questions?

Our increasingly bold discoveries of the secrets of nature may have reached the point where that knowledge is bringing us more problems than solutions. Contrasting threats like overpopulation and AIDS appear to be traceable to the effects of “progress.” One powerful reading of history points out that the most advanced nations on Earth have produced unthinkable weapons of destruction at the same time as they have developed a media culture that revels in images of destructive violence. Can such a combination fail to propel us toward barbarism and self-annihilation?

In contrast, our most truly miraculous accomplishments as human beings take place unwittingly and privately, far removed from laboratories and studios and electronic screens, almost in another universe. For we learn to do certain things before we know what we are doing and in ways that no one can adequately explain. In twenty-four months, an infant learns to recognize and discriminate the elements of the world around it, learns to pull itself erect and to walk, learns to hear language and to talk. Is it possible that we accomplish these feats better for our lack of knowledge about how we do them? Can we know anything unwittingly? To ask the questions does not demonstrate that one has become a know-nothing and a Luddite. Proverbs in every language tell us that it is possible to know too much for our own good. Many great myths and legends explore the perils of knowledge. Fortunately, infants continue to learn to walk and talk. But many of us feel apprehensive about the future of our booming culture

Forbidden Knowledge : From Prometheus to Pornography

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