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“If the ruling classes,” he goes on, “permit a small crook to become a great crook, he is not entitled to a privileged position in our view of history. That is, the fact that he becomes a great crook and that what he does has great consequences does not add to his stature.” And generally speaking he then says in these very abrupt remarks: “One may say that tragedy deals with the sufferings of mankind in a less serious way than comedy.” This of course is a shocking statement; I think that at the same time it is entirely true. What is really necessary is, if you want to keep your integrity under these circumstances, then you can do it only if you remember your old way of looking at such things and say: “No matter what he does and if he killed ten million people, he is still a clown.”

Popper argues, however, that GR is scientific while psychoanalysis is not. The reason for this has to do with the testability of Einstein’s theory. As a young man, Popper was especially impressed by Arthur Eddington’s 1919 test of GR, which involved observing during a solar eclipse the degree to which the light from distant stars was shifted when passing by the sun. Importantly, the predictions of GR regarding the magnitude shift disagreed with the then-dominant theory of Newtonian mechanics. Eddington’s observation thus served as a crucial experiment for deciding between the theories, since it was impossible for both theories to give accurate predictions. Of necessity, at least one theory would be falsified by the experiment, which would provide strong reason for scientists to accept its unfalsified rival. On Popper’s view, the continual effort by scientists to design and carry out these sorts of potentially falsifying experiments played a central role in theory choice and clearly distinguished scientific theorizing from other sorts of activities. Popper also takes care to note that insofar as GR was not a unified field theory, there was no question of GR’s being the complete truth, as Einstein himself repeatedly emphasized. The scientific status of GR, then, had nothing to do with neither (1) the truth of GR as a general theory of physics (the theory was already known to false) nor (2) the confirmation of GR by evidence (one cannot confirm a false theory).

Barth’s doctrine of objective atonement develops as he distances himself from Anselm of Canterbury ’s doctrine of the atonement. [39] In The Epistle to the Romans , Barth endorses Anselm’s idea that God who is robbed of his honor must punish those who robbed him. In Church Dogmatics I/2, Barth advocates divine freedom in the incarnation with the support of Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo . Barth holds that Anselm’s doctrine of the atonement preserves both God’s freedom and the necessity of Christ’s incarnation. The positive endorsement of Anselmian motives in Cur Deus Homo continues in Church Dogmatics II/1. Barth maintains with Anselm that the sin of humanity cannot be removed by the merciful act of divine forgiveness alone. In Church Dogmatics IV/1, however, Barth’s doctrine of the atonement diverges from that of Anselm. [40] By over-christologizing the doctrine, Barth completes his formulation of objective atonement. He finalizes the necessity of God’s mercy at the place where Anselm firmly establishes the dignity and freedom of the will of God. [41] In Barth’s view, God’s mercy is identified with God’s righteousness in a distinctive way where God’s mercy always takes the initiative. The change in Barth’s reception of Anselm’s doctrine of the atonement shows that Barth’s doctrine entails support for universalism. [42]

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