Quotes on Human Ignorance

Human Ignorance Quotes:

"If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks": Frederick The Great
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"The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false." -- Paul Johnson
British Roman Catholic journalist, historian, speechwriter and author
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"The ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle, home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics, he feels himself master of his fate. But otherwise he simply lies down and lets things happen to him." -- George Orwell [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950) British author Source: Inside the Whale, 1940
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"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin." - James Monroe 1758-1831), 5th US President Source: First Inaugural Address, 1817
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The soft, the complacent the self-satisfied societies will be swept away with the debris of history - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
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“It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.” (1790): John Philpot Curran
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"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire - [François Marie Arouet] (1694-1778)
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"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason" Thomas Paine - Common Sense -[January 10, 1776]
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Men love their ideas more than their lives. And the more preposterous the idea, the more eager they are to die for it. And to kill for it.: Edward Abbey
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"In the general course of human nature, a power over man's substance amounts to a power over his will." -- Alexander Hamilton
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"And now the whole nation -- pulpit and all -- will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.": Mark Twain
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"What a curious phenomenon it is that you can get men to die for the liberty of the world who will not make the little sacrifice that is needed to free themselves from their own individual bondage." -- Bruce Barton (1886-1967)
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Men love their ideas more than their lives. And the more preposterous the idea, the more eager they are to die for it. And to kill for it.: Edward Abbey -
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"To act without clear understanding, to form habits without investigation, to follow a path all one's life without knowing where it really leads -- such is the behavior of the multitude.": - Mencius - [Mengzi Meng-tse] (c.371 - c.288 B.C.) Chinese Confucian philosopher
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“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” Bertrand Russell
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"There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action" Bertrand Russell

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An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. - James A. Michener; "Space"
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"Willful Ignorance is both a life and death sentence" - James A. Zoppa


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