masaccio commented on the blog post FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Hirsch and Dan Van Haften, Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason
I’ve just started on your book, and as I read, I thought about Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, partly because peterr had just written on it, and partly because is my favorite speech ever. I remember the first time I read it all the way through, it’s on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial in DC.
One thing I always loved about geometry was that after you learned the basic rules of proofs, you could almost feel the answers unroll as you directed your attention towards the end point while thinking about the axioms and intermediate proofs you had worked out.
In the Second Inaugural, you can feel the lack of malice, almost the lack of partiality, towards North and South from the very beginning, but especially in the second paragraph: “the war came” is in the passive voice, not blaming. And this potent statement from the third statement: “that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came”, recognizing that both sides participated in the initiation and continuation of slavery.
So, at the end, when he states we, the nation for which he claims to speak, must have malice towards none, he has steadily shown that lack of malice throughout the speech, and that charity towards all.