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I recall the experience of shipwreck which happened to me in the Red Sea many years ago when I was travelling on a 5,000 ton cargo steamer which happened to be the only ship sailing at around that time from a certain port. Our ship was smashed in two during the darkness of the night by another steamer four times as large. It rammed us, crushed and broke our steamer into two halves. We sank because we were carrying a cargo heavier than the ship was designed for which consisted of uranium-rich sand, black sand. Luckily the process of sinking took some time, enough to let the few passengers (only a dozen of us) get off safely in a small boat. What I wish to say about this little episode is that when I became aware of what had happened a great calm descended on me together with a great faith and a great patience, and I had to laugh at my travelling companion, a Portuguese bishop who shared the cabin with me. He was highly excited, waved his arms and muttered his prayers. I take this as an illustration of the contrast between the value of philosophy and the value of dogmatic religion.


-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 1: Toward Defining Philosophy > # 309






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