A Personal Tribute To Sir Herman Bondi Master Of Churchill College Cambridge
My Dad went to Cambridge, his studies were interrupted by the Second World War. He wrote this out by hand for his children and the article is by Sir Herman Bondi.
‘The Certainty of Carl Jung and Others’
Generally, the state of mind of a believer in Revelation is the awful arrogance of saying, "I know, and those who do not agree with my belief are wrong". In no other field is such arrogance so widespread, in no other field do people feel so utterly certain of their knowledge. It is to me quite disgusting that anybody should feel so superior, so selected, and chosen, against all the many who differ in their beliefs or unbelief’s.
This would be bad enough, but so many believers do their best to propagate their faith at the very least to their children, but often to others and historically, there are of course, plenty of examples of doing this by force and a ruthless brutality. The fact that stares one in the face is that is that people of the greatest sincerity and at all levels of intelligence differ, and have always differed, in their religious beliefs.
Since at most, one faith can be true, it follows that human beings are extremely liable to believe firmly and honestly, in something untrue in the field of revealed religion. One would of expected this obvious fact to lead to some humility, to some thought that however deep ones faith one may conceivably be mistaken.
Nothing is further from the believer, any believer, than this elementary humility. All in his power which nowadays in a developed country tends to be confined to his children, must have his faith rammed down their throats. In many cases, children are indeed indoctrinated with the disgrace full thought that they belong to the one group with superior knowledge, who alone have a private wire to the office of the Almighty, all others being less fortunate than they themselves.
War Never Changes
Young Gentlemen Forget
In that cavalry mess I heard queer conversations. Those officers belonged to the old families of England, the old caste of aristocracy, but the foul outrage of the war, the courage against all ideals of civilization, had made them think, some of them for the first time about the structure of social life and of the human family.
They hated Germany as the direct cause of war, but they looked deeper than that, and saw how the leaders of all great nations in Europe had maintained the philosophy of force, and had built up hatreds and fears, and alliances, over the heads of the peoples whom they inflamed with passion or duped lies.
“The politicians are the guilty ones”, said one Cavalry Officer. "I am all for revolution after the bloody massacre. I would hang all politicians, diplomats, and so-called statesmen with strict impartiality”.
“I’m for the people”, said another. “The poor bloody people who are kept in ignorance and then driven into the shambles, when their rulers desire to grab some new part of the Earth’s surface or to get their armies going because they are bored with peace”.
“What price Christianity?” Asked another, inevitably. “What have the Churches done to stop war or preach the Gospel of Christ? The Bishop of London, the Archbishop of Canterbury, all those conventional, patriotic, cannon-blessing, banner baptising humbugs. God! They make me tired"!
The Same Words
Strong words to hear in a cavalry mess! Strange turmoil in the souls of men! They were the same words I heard from London Boys in Ypres (Wipers 1914-18 World War 1) spoken just as crudely.
But many young gentlemen who spoke those words, have already forgotten them or would deny them.
‘Realities of War’ Philip Gibbs. Vol.1. P.244.