In an address to the British House of Commons in 1948, Winston Churchill famously contended that “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” This was the tweaking of a George Santayana conclusion which begins: “Those who cannot remember the past.” While Santayana emphasized the lack of remembrance, Churchill pointed to the failure to learn as the cause of repeating past mistakes. In both instances the immediate contexts lament fallout from unlearned lessons of human conflicts. In Santayana, the idea reinforces his aphoristic antiwar position that “Only the dead have seen the end of war,” while Churchill’s is informed by the horrors of World War II. In either phrasing, the message is clear: we ignore the lessons of history, especially in the context of conflict, to the peril of repetition.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/views/2019/immorality-silence-adventist-leadership-times-conflict