I found the above Latin axiom in a book published in 1970 which was a translation of a German title, Ich und Du . It is understandable that not many visitors to this web site are fluent in German so I will quickly add the fact that this book was titled: I and Thou and was written by Martin Buber and conveniently translated by Walter Kaufmann. Page 9 of this little book caught my eye while sorting through some of my treasures and I could not help but consider this as a portion to dole out in this web page.
"Mundus vult decipi -- the world wants to be deceived. The truth is too complex and frightening; the taste for the truth is an acquired taste that few acquire.
"Not all deceptions are palatable. Untruths are too easy to come by, too quickly exploded, too cheap and ephemeral to give lasting comfort. Mundus vult decipi; but there is a hierarchy of deceptions.
"Near the bottom of the ladder is journalism: a steady stream of irresponsible distortions that most people find refreshing although on the morning after, or at least within a week, it will be stale and flat.
"On a higher level we find fictions that men eagerly believe, regardless of the evidence, because they gratify some wish.
"Near the top of the ladder we encounter curious mixtures of untruth and truth that exert a lasting fascination on the intellectual community."
I hope you are still with me and have continued reading to this line. Did you catch anything in the way of a HINT as to where I am going with this thought -- and the Latin axiom? How about our penchant perambulations to peck out WARNINGS and VIRUS THREATS to our friends about the Government FINALLY taking over the e-mail system and even AUTHENTICATE it with the statement that there is a Bill 601-1/4 that has been through this house and that house and unless we send this letter to 37 friends of our ours we will have our freedoms taken away just like the guns were collected in Poland in 1939. Give me a break. I happen to believe, though, that the same philosophy that was found in the speech Ronald Reagan made when campaigning for Barry Goldwater in the 1960's IS TRUE. In case you might need a mental jog, that quote is: "If a government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is strong enough to take everything you have." THAT IS TRUE and you better put it in a safe place for keeping. But the fact that SOMEONE WROTE ME that e-mail is now going to cost 5 cents is a good case that proves Mundus vult decipi.
I further dare say that it is often embarrassing to me to receive such
evangelistic pleas for me to watch out for this virus or that ominous
bill that our legislators are trying to foist on us when in reality it
is a blatant LIE! Such bold face misinformation-type statements are the
reason for the axiom, "If it sounds too good to be true, it is NOT
true." Now, I can sink my teeth into that. How can honest and
ethical Christians pass on such notices when in reality they DO NOT KNOW
that the statement is true -- it is no different than the inane
philosophy, "If it's printed in the paper it must be true."
William B. Venrick
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