Precognition | Andrew Brown

Just sometimes, science fiction comes out right; in 1928 a philosophy lecturer saw the 21st century clearly.

My daughter picked up a book on Greek philosophy in a second hand bookshop and when we turned to the section on Epicurus one passage leaped out. The author, a lecturer at Queen’s University, Belfast, is trying to explain the philosopher’s thought-world since “the words epicure and epicurean have a bad sound”.

But, he says, “The man after whom they are named lived … in an age when the falsity of the orthodox religion had become apparent to intelligent men and when with the coming of great kingdoms the independence of the Greek states was lost forever. It was for that age as it would be for us if Christianity had become a discredited myth and if Britain had become a subject state in an American Empire.”

That was published in 1928.

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