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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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|Henry Brooks Adams||Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.|
|John Adams||All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, so much as downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.|
|John Adams||The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning.... And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes.|
|Samuel Adams||Shame on the men who can court exemption from present trouble|
and expense at the price of their own posterity's liberty!
|Samuel Adams||No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can|
any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is
preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant,
and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own
weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.
|Aeschylus||I would far rather be ignorant than wise in the foreboding of evil.|
|Herbert Sebastien Agar||The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.|
|Fisher Ames||The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty.|
|Isaac Asimov||Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.|
|Isaac Asimov||If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.|
|William J. Astore||When it comes to our nation's military affairs, ignorance is not bliss. What's remarkable then, given the permanent state of war in which we find ourselves, is how many Americans seem content not to know.|
|Aung San Suu Kyi||The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution in spirit, the forces which had produced inequities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance, and fear.|
|Roger Bacon||There are in fact four very significant stumblingblocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, longstanding custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge.|
|Walter Bagehot||So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience tells them it is wrong.|
|Frederic Bastiat||Actually, it is not strange that during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the human race was regarded as inert matter, ready to receive everything -- form, face, energy, movement, life -- from a great prince or a great legislator or a great genius. These centuries were nourished on the study of antiquity. And antiquity presents everywhere -- in Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome -- the spectacle of a few men molding mankind according to their whims, thanks to the prestige of force and of fraud. But this does not prove that this situation is desirable. It proves only that since men and society are capable of improvement, it is naturally to be expected that error, ignorance, despotism, slavery, and superstition should be greatest towards the origins of history. The writers quoted above were not in error when they found ancient institutions to be such, but they were in error when they offered them for the admiration and imitation of future generations. Uncritical and childish conformists, they took for granted the grandeur, dignity, morality, and happiness of the artificial societies of the ancient world. They did not understand that knowledge appears and grows with the passage of time; and that in proportion to this growth of knowledge, might takes the side of right, and society regains possession of itself.|
|Frederic Bastiat||Society is composed of men, and every man is a FREE agent. Since man is free, he can choose; since he can choose, he can err; since he can err, he can suffer. I go further: He must err and he must suffer; for his starting point is ignorance, and in his ignorance he sees before him an infinite number of unknown roads, all of which save one lead to error. |
|Frederic Bastiat||The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.|
|Charles Baudelaire||The devil’s best trick is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist!|
|Cardnial Robert Bellarmine||To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.|
|Isaiah Berlin||Injustice, poverty, slavery, ignorance -- these may be cured by reform or revolution. But men do not live only by fighting evils. They live by positive goals, individual and collective, a vast variety of them, seldom predictable, at times incompatible.|
|Josh Billings||The trouble with most folks isn't so much their ignorance, as knowing so many things that ain't so.|
|Jim Bishop||The truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.|
|Justice Hugo L. Black||The layman’s constitutional view is that what he likes is constitutional and that which he doesn’t like is unconstitutional.|
|Reuben Blades||I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.|
|William Blake||More! More! is the cry of a mistaken soul.|
|William Blase||To be paranoid means to believe in delusions of danger and persecution. If the danger is real, and the evidence credible, then it cannot be delusional. To ignore the evidence, and hope that it CANNOT be true, is more an evidence of mental illness.|
|George Boas||When we think of the past, we forget the fools and remember the sage. We reverse the process for our own time.|
|Daniel Boorstin||We must abandon the prevalent belief in the superior wisdom of the ignorant.|
|Neal Boortz||How many Catholic schools do you think teach the students to question the authority of the Pope? Do you believe Christian schools teach students to question or challenge the authority of Jesus Christ? Do military schools teach the cadets to challenge the authority of superior officers? Well, why should we then expect government schools to teach children to question the authority of government?|
|James Bovard||To blindly trust government is to automatically vest it with excessive power. To distrust government is simply to trust humanity - to trust in the ability of average people to peacefully, productively coexist without some official policing their every move. The State is merely another human institution - less creative than Microsoft, less reliable than Federal Express, less responsible than the average farmer husbanding his land, and less prudent than the average citizen spending his own paycheck.|
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis||The constitutional right of free speech has been declared to be the same in peace and war. In peace, too, men may differ widely as to what loyalty to our country demands, and an intolerant majority, swayed by passion or by fear, may be prone in the future, as it has been in the past, to stamp as disloyal opinions with which it disagrees.|
|Major General Smedley Darlington Butler||My mental faculties remained in suspended animation|
while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups.
This is typical with everyone in the military.
|Gaius Julius Caesar||Men willingly believe what they wish.|
|Andrew Carnegie||I choose free libraries as the best agencies for improving the masses of the people, because they give nothing for nothing. They only help those who help themselves. They never pauperize. They reach the aspiring and open to these chief treasures of the world -- those stored up in books. A taste for reading drives out lower tastes.|
|James Carville||The Democratic constituency is just like a herd of cows. All you have to do is lay out enough silage and they come running. That’s why I became an operative working with Democrats. With Democrats all you have to do is make a lot of noise, lay out the hay, and be ready to use the ole cattle prod in case a few want to bolt the herd.|
|Dick Cavett||As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.|
|Edmund B. Chaffee||The majority of us are for free speech when it deals with subjects concerning which we have no intense feelings.|
|Sir Winston Churchill||Truth is incontrovertible, ignorance can deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.|
|Sir Winston Churchill||The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.|
|Sir Winston Churchill||Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy.|
|Marcus Tullius Cicero||Wise men are instructed by reason; men of less understanding, by experience; the most ignorant, by necessity; the beasts, by nature.|
|Marcus Tullius Cicero||To be ignorant of what happened before you were born... is to live the life of a child for ever.|
|Marcus Tullius Cicero||A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.|
|Justice Tom C. Clark||Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence.|
|Charles Caleb Colton||Precisely in proportion to our own intellectual weakness will be our credulity as to those mysterious powers assumed by others.|
|Committee on American Citizenship||Lawyers are being graduated from our law schools by the thousands who have little knowledge of the Constitution. When organizations seek a lawyer to instruct them on the Constitution, they find it nearly impossible to secure one competent.|
|Confucius||Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.|
|William Cowper||Freedom has a thousand charms to show,\\|
That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.
|Charles Darwin||Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.|
|Perry de Havilland||I have often lamented that with the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the forces of liberalism did not spend nearly enough time ruthlessly driving intellectual stakes through the hearts of all those who supported the 'Evil Empire' or preached appeasement or claimed that the Soviet system was 'just another way of living' rather than a mass murderous tyranny.|
|François Duc de La Rochefoucauld||We have all sufficient strength to endure the misfortunes of others.|
|Alphonse de Lamartine||Republicanism and ignorance are in bitter antagonism.|
|Louis Charles Alfred de Musset||Few persons enjoy real liberty; we are all slaves to ideas or habits.|
|Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre||The secret of liberty is to enlighten men, as that of tyranny is to keep them in ignorance.|
|Alexis de Tocqueville||Where are we then? The religionists are the enemies of liberty, and the friends of liberty attack religion; the high-minded and the noble advocate subjection, and the meanest and most servile minds preach independence; honest and enlightened citizens are opposed to all progress, whilst men without patriotism and without principles are the apostles of civilization and intelligence. Has such been the fate of the centuries which have preceded our own? and has man always inhabited a world like the present, where nothing is linked together, where virtue is without genius, and genius without honor; where the love of order is confounded with a taste for oppression, and the holy rites of freedom with a taste for law; where the light thrown by conscience on human actions is dim, and where nothing seems to be any longer forbidden or allowed, honorable or shameful, false or true?|
|Lisa Delpit||Those with power are frequently least aware of -- or least willing to acknowledge -- its existence [and] those with less power are often most aware of its existence.|
|Dr. Bella Dodd||I was at last beginning to see how ignorant I had become, how long since I had read anything except Party literature. I thought of our bookshelves stripped of books questioned by the Party, how when a writer was expelled from the Party his books went, too. I thought of the systematic rewriting of Soviet history, the revaluation, and in some cases the blotting out of any mention of such persons as Trotsky. I thought of the successive purges. Suddenly I too wanted the answers to the questions Senator Hickenlooper was asking and I wanted the truth. I found myself hitting at the duplicity of the Communist Party.|
|Norman Douglas||Yes; truth blends well with untruth. It is one of the maladies of our age, a sign of sheer nervousness, to profess a frenzied allegiance to truth in unimportant matters, to refuse consistently to face her where graver issues are at stake.|
|Justice William O. Douglas||As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.|