Saturday, 15 January 2011

Chasing Shadows

The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.
— William Shakespeare 'Hamlet'

The Husband Of Necessity

Doubt is the father of invention.
— Ambrose Bierce


A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
— David Hume

One Certainty Principle

It is certainly true that principles cannot be more securely founded than on experience and consciously clear thinking.
— Albert Einstein


If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think they'll hate you.
— Don Marquis

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
— William James

Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.
— Ambrose Bierce


Education, n, That which discloses to the wise, and disguises from the foolish, their lack of understanding.
— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary.

Education is what’s left when you’ve forgotten everything you ever learned.
— Alan Bennett ‘Forty Years On’

'A' Levels are credentials, qualifications, the footings of your CV, your Cheat's Visa …
— Alan Bennett 'The History Boys'

I count exams, even for Oxford and Cambridge, as the enemy of education.
— Alan Bennett 'The History Boys'

The chief enemy of culture, in any school, is always the headmaster.
— Alan Bennett 'The History Boys'

Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.
— Oscar Wilde

Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
— Ambrose Bierce

Faith Is Inversely Proportional To Knowledge

Researchers polled nearly 3,500 Americans and asked them 32 basic questions about world religions, their texts, main figures, and tenets. Most respondents got about half the questions wrong.

For example, 45 percent of Catholics polled did not know that the Catholic church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine in holy communion are said to actually and literally become the body and blood of Christ. About as many Americans did not know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist.

In fact the poll found that atheists and agnostics knew more about religion than religious people. Among religious groups, Jews and Mormons scored highest.

Sociologists have long known that religious people are no more honest or trustworthy than the non-religious, and the new poll suggests that atheists and other non-believers are actually better informed about the religious world than the faithful themselves.

Imagination & Responsibility

To be an atheist you have to have ten thousand times more imagination than if you are a religious fundamentalist. You must take the responsibility to acquire information, digest and use it to understand what you can.
— Peter Greenaway

With Respect …

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
— HL Mencken

The Selfishness Of Faith

Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.
— Kurt Vonnegut