"Every man prefers belief to the exercise of judgment."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
(4 B.C.-A.D. 65) Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, "Seneca the Younger"
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Reader comments about this quote:
I'm not quite sure how to rate this. I believe that it is an inherent element of the being man to believe. As to judgment, all men judge. Is the comparison suppose to give a meaning of reason to judgment ? Is the belief implication a reference to something unfounded ? Does the quote say man prefers a baseless mental conviction to the exercise of reason, logic and fact ? Every man ? Is every time implied ? I would say every man at one time or another prefers a baseless mental conviction to the exercise of reason, logic and fact.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I am a former religious fundamentalist. We, in our Bible church, were always taught to believe, never to question or think for ourselves. We never questioned that an invisible man in the sky was making a list and checking it twice to see if you were being naughty or nice. Oh, I forgot, every single word in the Bible was inspired by God, well, maybe not. The God of the Old Testament was pretty cranky at times. Maybe He went to anger management classes before the New Testament was written, maybe not.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    If something is true and I believe it is true, is it true? Yes, because it is true. If something is not true and I believe it is true, is it true? No, because it is not true. Truth is not determined by belief. It is uncovered, if it all, by the faculties of reason.

    That being said, in a free country, a man can believe whatever he wishes to believe as long as he does not force others to do so. A man can be wrong in a free country, but if he does wrong, he must make amends. That is the most we can expect from humans -- our tiny brains can only comprehend so much, and that is ok. We are not much more advanced than beasts of burden which can easily be enslaved and trained to obey their 'masters.'
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Well said E Archer.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    Judgement is the ability to make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion.

    Discernment is the ability to see and understand people, things, or stituations clearly and intelligently.

    Belief is when someone thinks something is reality, true, when they have no absolute verified foundation for their certainty of the truth or realness of something.

    Seneca may have been inferring that man would rather follow someone else blindly, then follow and trust their own logic and understanding.
     -- KLP, Idaho     
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