We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
I try to avoid having thoughts. They lead to other thoughts, and—if you’re not careful—those lead to actions. Actions make you tired. I have this on rather good authority from someone who once read it in a book.
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last.
. . . there is a wish in the heart of mankind to be distracted and confused. Truth is but one attraction, and not always the most powerful.
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is the belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
[T]he scripture worshippers put the writings ahead of God. Instead of interpreting God's actions in nature, for example, they interpret nature in the light of the Scripture. Nature says the rock is billions of years old, but the book says different, so even though men wrote the book, and God made the rock and God gave us minds that have found ways to tell how old it is, we still choose to believe the Scripture.
America's state religion, is patriotism, a phenomenon which has convinced many of the citizenry that 'treason' is morally worse than murder or rape.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
When all this is over, people will try to blame the Germans alone, and the Germans will try to blame the Nazis alone, and the Nazis will try to blame Hitler alone. They will make him bear the sins of the world. But it's not true. You suspected what was happening, and so did I. It was already too late over a year ago. I caused a reporter to lose his job because you told me to. He was deported. The day I did that I made my little contribution to civilization, the only one that matters.
Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession - their ignorance.
The real plague is willful ignorance and education can't cure that.