Florence Allen, Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, explains her worry over the "deterioration of the human spirit" and her belief that faith and intelligence and the fair application of law may restore the human spirit and through law create a peacful planet. Audio includes an advertisement for "This I Believe" book.
And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Florence E. Allen is Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She is an authority on international law and has given much of her life to work for peace. Judge Allen lives on a small Ohio farm where she rises at five to tend the blackberry patch and play the piano. Here now is the personal philosophy of Judge Florence E. Allen.
I believe that having faith is our most pressing need today. Faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen is the mainspring not only of individual, ethical living, but of law and civilization
based on law. Love is greater than faith, said Paul but love without faith becomes futile and barren.
It seems to me that faith in the basic ethical standards, in the ultimate victory of right, and trust in the destiny of mankind are the basis of all human advance. Therefore I believe that the doctrine of Nietzsche--that the will to power is the vitalizing force and that the Superman in pursuit of power may adapt all ethical standards to his own desires--is a definite factor in the moral disintegration that besets us. This deterioration of the human spirit is in my opinion, the danger of our time. Our minds and souls have, been deprived of their heritage of integrity and faith.
To me the lives lost in the world wars and their cruel aftermath are not the only appalling loss. I find the lessening
of our beliefs, of our established principles, of faith in the individual and of trust between nations, is equally tragic.
I believe in the ethical purpose of law. After all, law is an outgrowth of faith. At first law was the effort of the race to hold brutality in leash. It began as a series of Don'ts: "Thou shalt not kill," "Thou shalt not bear false witness." But in its broader development, law expresses the desire of mankind to erect and maintain positive standards of right: "Thou shalt regard the rights of others," "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Where has mankind attempted anything finer than the attainment of justice through evidence based on fact, illuminated by moral principle? This is part of my fundamental faith. "What doth the Lord require of thee," said the prophet, "but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
Our country was built upon faith. Because they had faith, our fathers established the fullest freedom in the world today.
Faith that obstacles could be surmounted made men and women venture upon the seas, dare the wilderness, cross the rivers, the plains, the Rockies and the High Sierras to open up America.
Realizing the delicate problem involved in building world organization and at the same time preserving essential national freedom, I believe that we can establish world peace. The task seems super-human; but if prehistoric man could invent the wheel and the alphabet and apply ethical standards in the group through law, I see no reason why with