I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
The authoritarian sets up some book, or man, or tradition to establish the truth. The freethinker sets up reason and private judgment to discover the truth … It takes the highest courage to utter unpopular truths.
Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies … It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.
The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.
In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
[David] Hume and [Friedrich] Hayek stressed the limited nature and impermanence of knowledge. Hayek observed that knowledge is not concentrated in a single authority but dispersed across the population. A free and open society, with capitalistic institutions of private property and enforceable contracts, uses knowledge better than central planning. A free society enables a better balance of conflicting objectives and the achievement of objectives with less sacrifice of other wants.
Ten million ignorances do not constitute one knowledge.
Today in the United States, the corporate – or ‘mainstream’ – press is massively consolidated. And it has become remarkably monolithic in viewpoint, at the same time that an increasing number of journalists see themselves less as objective reporters of the facts, and more as agents of change.
Among the innumerable mortifications which waylay human arrogance
on every side may well be reckoned our ignorance of the most common
objects and effects, a defect of which we become more sensible by
every attempt to supply it. Vulgar and inactive minds confound
familiarity with knowledge and conceive themselves informed of the
whole nature of things when they are shown their form or told their
use; but the speculatist, who is not content with superficial views,
harasses himself with fruitless curiosity, and still, as he inquires
more, perceives only that he knows less.