Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Value Added Tax

"If everything is judged by how 'useful' it is – useful for staying alive, that is – we are left facing a futile circularity. There must be some added value. At least a part of life should be devoted to living that life, not just working to stop it ending. This is how we rightly justify spending taxpayers' money on the arts. It is is one of the justifications properly offered for conserving rare species and beautiful buildings. It is how we answer those barbarians who think that wild elephants and historic houses should be preserved only if they 'pay their way'. And science is the same. Of course science pays its way; of course it is useful. But that is not all it is."

–Richard Dawkins
Unweaving the Rainbow

One could just as easily exchange "arts" and "science" in any clause and still end up defending both.

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