Knowledge and morality


Sir, - Your "New Century" Editorial (January 1st/3rd) rightly notes that there are effectively no limits to knowledge. Yet isn't there a danger that too many people equate knowledge accumulation with moral progress?

I suggest to you that knowledge and wisdom are different things. There are experts, there are specialists with a mind-boggling grasp of detail, who seem to lack the ability to make wise judgement about human affairs.

In the 20th century many intellectuals made a Faustian pact, trading the opportunity to garner knowledge for a propensity to collaborate in, or turn a blind eye to, profound evil.

It is often said that knowledge is power. Indeed; but remember that power untempered by morality and wisdom corrupts.

We know more than people did at the end of the 19th century, but we are no more moral or wise than they were. - Yours, etc.,

Garreth Byrne, Woodlands Avenue, Dromahair, Co Leitrim.