The knowledge of all things is possible.
There lives more faith in honest doubt
Believe me, than in half the creeds.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet (1809-1892)
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.
Thomas Jefferson, third US president,
architect and author (1743-1826)
But words are things, a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)
I'm man enough to tell you that I can't put my
finger on exactly what my philosophy is now, but I'm flexible.
Malcolm X, shortly before his death
Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.
Graham Greene, novelist and journalist (1904-1991)
The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working
the moment you get up and does not stop until you get into the office.
In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like
medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects.
J. William Fulbright, US Senator (1905-1995)
All religions, arts and sciences are branches
of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling
man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and
leading the individual towards freedom.
When I get a little money I buy books; and if
any is left over I buy food and clothes.
When you sell a man a book, you don't sell him
12 ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life.
I do not know what I may appear to the world;
but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore,
and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier
shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered
If a man empties his purse into his head, no
man can take that away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays
the best interest.
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest
enemy of truth.
'The best thing for being sad,' replied Merlyn,
'is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may
grow old and trembling in you anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening
to the disorder of your veins...you may see the world around you devastated
by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds.
There is only one thing for it then - to learn. Learn why the world wags
and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust,
never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never
dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you.'
T.H. White, The Once and Future King
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same
God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended
us to forgo their use.
Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer (1564-1642)
Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural
inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows
precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in
morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values,
not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly
civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all
others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure."
In science it often happens that scientists
say, "You know that's a
really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually
change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again.
They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists
are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day.
I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics
Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)
Television's perfect. You turn a few knobs, a few of those mechanical
adjustments at which the higher apes are so proficient, and lean back
and drain your mind of all thought. And there you are watching the bubbles
in the primeval ooze. You don't have to concentrate. You don't have to
react. You don't have to remember. You don't miss your brain because
you don't need it. Your heart and liver and lungs continue to function
normally. Apart from that, all is peace and quiet. You are in the man's
nirvana. And if some poor nasty minded person comes along and says you
look like a fly on a can of garbage, pay him no mind. He probably hasn't
got the price of a television set.
Raymond Chandler, writer (1888-1959)
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if
he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626)