Organized groups do most of the thinking for the populace at large. In a natural antipathy to thinking, which is hard work, practically every person depends upon some organization to do the thinking for him. The individual seldom knows where he gets his so-called facts; along with opinions, they are absorbed either through the columns of a newspaper habitually read, or are jammed into consciousness by the insistent radio. This reduces individual opinion to something largely made up out of hearsay, or propaganda, which is organized hearsay.
Hall, Manly P. "Ten Dollars for Health." Horizon (August 1941)
Philosophy is thousands of years old. Religion goes back to the dawn of time. And science had its beginning with Descartes and Bacon in the opening years of the 17th Century, A. D., and, the initials A. D., according to a modern schoolboy, really signify After Dark. So, perhaps philosophers may be excused if they take an ancestral attitude towards this obstreperous youngster who has great promise, but whose promises are not yet entirely fulfilled.
Hall, Manly P. "Science Acts Its Age." Horizon (September 1941)
About 2300 years ago Plato and Aristotle had a very important argument, Fate versus Free Will. According to Plato, everything that happened in the world was the result of antecedent causes set in motion. The universe was governed by the immutable law of Cause and Effect. Each Cause became the beginning of a series of Effects. Each Effect in turn was the beginning of a new series of Causes. This alternation of Cause and Effect continued through eternity. Aristotle refused to accept this belief.
Aristotle insisted the doctrine of Cause and Effect was a kind of philosophic evasion. He termed it retrogressive evasion. It was an evasion, he said, because it left the supreme reason for existence unanswered. So-called answers he maintained were nothing more or less than a constant shifting of responsibility backward, or forward, according the subject under consideration. If, for example, we say today is the consequence of yesterday, then we are merely pushing back the problem of yesterday. When we ask what caused yesterday, then the answer would be the day before. Then if we ask what caused the day before, it would be the day before that. This is evasion—refusing to place responsibility to any time or to any place, always referring responsibility to a preceding time or place. That, said Aristotle, is begging the issue, in the unwillingness of the human mind to accept the burden of responsibility.
There is nothing more superstitious than a materialist. No belief is more fantastic than the belief there is nothing to believe. Most people have not realized that.
If it is superstitious to fill the invisible universe with spirits, it is also superstitious to empty the universe of everything.
Actually, we do not possess the knowledge to do either. We see about us an invisible source of life. The materialist says it is empty space, but he cannot prove that it is empty. All evidence of the universe is against him, for the reason that the universe is in space, and emerged from this emptiness.
Hall, Manly P. "Eighty Years of Revolution." Horizon (November-December 1941)