There are two threats to reason, the opinion that one knows the truth about the most important things and the opinion that there is no truth about them. Both of these opinions are fatal to philosophy; the first asserts that the quest for truth is unnecessary, while the second asserts that it is impossible. The Socratic knowledge of ignorance, which I take to be the beginning point of all philosophy, defines the sensible middle ground between two extremes.Allan Bloom
He quickly lowered his eyes to his knees again, to conceal the pain in them, to conceal his broken faith in the innate goodness of men, the profound despair of realization that reason might not after all triumph over ignorance. “Perhaps,” he murmured aloud, “To believe in the inevitable triumph of rationality might, in itself, be no more than another expression of those same superstitions which we deplore in the ignorant. It is apparently an occupational disease, perhaps a fatal one, for the scientist to be too sanguine about eventual rule by reason. There is so little evidence...”mark clifton
I know it all All ye would ask. But ne'er shall hope be mine Till the dread secret works its fatal will In daylight visible, with wrath and scorn, And ceaseless memory of forgotten things. Then Jove shall learn what all his sulphurous bolts, Soul-piercing torments, earthquakes, fiery plagues, Disease, and loathsome, black deformity, And all confounding shame, shall ne'er persuade My voice to utter.hartley coleridge
In all ages of the world, priests have been enemies to liberty; and it is certain, that this steady conduct of theirs must have been founded on fixed reasons of interest and ambition. Liberty of thinking, and of expressing our thoughts, is always fatal to priestly power, and to those pious frauds, on which it is commonly founded; and, by an infallible connexion, which prevails among all kinds of liberty, this privilege can never be enjoyed, at least has never yet been enjoyed, but in a free government.David Hume
There are two kinds of mistakes. There are fatal mistakes that destroy a theory; but there are also contingent ones, which are useful in testing the stability of a theory.Gian-Carlo Rota (with Fabrizio Palombi), Indiscrete Thoughts (1997), p. 202.
To confuse our own constructions and inventions with eternal laws or divine decrees is one of the most fatal delusions of men.Isaiah Berlin, in Essays in Honour of E. H. Carr (1974) edited by Chimen Abramsky, p. 9
A young man before he leaves the shelter of his father's house, and the guard of a tutor, should be fortify'd with resolution, and made acquainted with men, to secure his virtues, lest he should be led into some ruinous course, or fatal precipice, before he is sufficiently acquainted with the dangers of conversation, and his steadiness enough not to yield to every temptation.john locke
Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age; its first appearance is the fatal omen of growing depravity and future shame.Hugh Blair, p. 242. (Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895))
An unfriendly fairy godmother presented him with a keen sense of humor. Nothing is more fatal in politics. -- Colonel Edward M. House , adviser to President Woodrow Wilson .Charles M. Thomas, Thomas Riley Marshall, Hoosier Statesman (Oxford, OH:1939), p. 153.
I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson (September 3, 1816). Published in Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams (UNC Press, 1988), p. 488.
I'm all those things, even though I don't want to, in the confuse depth of my fatal sensibility.Original: Sou todas essa coisas, embora o não queira, no fundo confuso da minha sensibilidade fatal.
The fatal futility of Fact.Henry James (1897) Prefaces