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"Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate
problem is wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in
pulpits that unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and
ignorant? Is it not a spectacle to make the angels laugh? We are a
company of ignorant beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness,
learning only by incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering
of truth by falling into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light
enough for our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt
to describe the ultimate origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one
of us ventures to declare that we don't know the map of the universe as
well as the map of our infintesimal parish, he is hooted, reviled,
and perhaps told that he will be damned to all eternity for
his faithlessness..."

"An agnostic's Apology", Fortnightly Review, 1876

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