Inquiry Quotes

Quotes tagged as "inquiry" (showing 1-30 of 56)
Thomas Jefferson
“4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ.

...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost...

[Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.”
Edwin Hubble

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Progress is born of doubt and inquiry. The Church never doubts, never inquires. To doubt is heresy, to inquire is to admit that you do not know—the Church does neither.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Thomas Paine From 'The Gods and Other Lectures'

Richard Dawkins
“The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.”
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

Criss Jami
“Beyond all sciences, philosophies, theologies, and histories, a child's relentless inquiry is truly all it takes to remind us that we don't know as much as we think we know.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

“If the whole universe can be found in our own body and mind, this is where we need to make our inquires. We all have the answers within ourselves, we just have not got in touch with them yet. The potential of finding the truth within requires faith in ourselves.”
Ayya Khema

Louisa May Alcott
“Jo's face was a study next day, for the secret rather weighed upon her, and she found it hard not to look mysterious and important. Meg observed it, but did not troubled herself to make inquiries, for she had learned that the best way to manage Jo was by the law of contraries, so she felt sure of being told everything if she did not ask.”
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

William Kingdon Clifford
“In like manner, if I let myself believe anything on insufficient evidence, there may be no great harm done by the mere belief; it may be true after all, or I may never have occasion to exhibit it in outward acts. But I cannot help doing this great wrong towards Man, that I make myself credulous. The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery.”
William Kingdon Clifford, The Ethics of Belief and Other Essays

Criss Jami
“As a writer of philosophy, it's good to ask oneself, 'Will I still believe this a week from now, or months, or even years?”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Criss Jami
“Rather than swallowing our pride and simply asking what we do not know, we choose to fill in the blanks ourselves and later become humbled. Wisdom was often, in its youth, proven foolish, and ones humiliated were meant to become wise.”
Criss Jami, Healology

Elspeth Huxley
“The best way to find out things, if you come to think of it, is not to ask questions at all. If you fire off a question, it is like firing off a gun; bang it goes, and everything takes flight and runs for shelter. But if you sit quite still and pretend not to be looking, all the little facts will come and peck round your feet, situations will venture forth from thickets and intentions will creep out and sun themselves on a stone; and if you are very patient, you will see and understand a great deal more than a man with a gun.”
Elspeth Huxley, The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood

Richard Wright
“You asked me questions nobody ever asked me before. You knew that I was a murderer two times over, but you treated me like a man...”
Richard Wright, Native Son

Ozzie Zehner
“Truths are as much a matter of questions as answers.”
Ozzie Zehner, Green Illusions

“Just as we may, through an appalled realization that we were unaware of what was going on in the mind of one we thought we knew, come to wonder how we ever know what another person is thinking or feeling, so too we may, having on some occasion wanted badly to understand and having clearly failed, come to wonder how we ever manage to understand, and how we know that we have succeeded.”
Patrick Wilson

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
“Those, then, who want to find themselves at the starting point of a truly free philosophy, have to depart even from God. Here the motto is: whoever wants to preserve it will lose it, and whoever abandons it will find it. Only those have reached the ground in themselves and have become aware of the depths of life, who have at one time abandoned everything and have themselves been abandoned by everything, for whom everything has been lost, and who have found themselves alone, face-to-face with the infinite: a decisive step which Plato compared with death. That which Dante saw written on the door of the inferno must be written in a different sense also at the entrance to philosophy: ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.’ Those who look for true philosophy must be bereft of all hope, all desire, all longing. They must not wish anything, not know anything, must feel completely bare and impoverished, must give everything away in order to gain everything. It is a grim step to take, it is grim to have to depart from the final shore.”
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

Francis Bacon
“The inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or the wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.”
Francis Bacon

Raheel Farooq
“Good questions are to be appreciated, not answered.”
Raheel Farooq

Sharon Weil
“The practice of deep listening is the practice of open inquiry, without assumption or judgement.”
Sharon Weil, ChangeAbility: How Artists, Activists, and Awakeners Navigate Change

Carl Sagan
“But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought that are central to the scientific method.”
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Jonathan Renshaw
“Unless the inquiry has been so exhaustive as to explore every possibility, the lack of evidence should never be used to ground a statement of fact. Unlikelihood certainly, but no more. A prematurely assumed fact blocks further inquiry.”
Jonathan Renshaw, Dawn of Wonder

Roshan Sharma
“You go on living life, as if, everything is real, as everything is going into your mind, but you will never hold on for a moment, to notice, how everything filled into your mind? You were born with it, or is it acquired?”
Roshan Sharma

Gyan Nagpal
“In changing times, question everything you take for granted.”
Gyan Nagpal

“A good education must expose knowledge gaps and increase the hunger for further inquiries.
A good education is not complete.”
Magnus Nwagu Amudi

Geoffrey Hill
“Who now would thrust enquiry on / Beyond necessity of desire?”
Geoffrey Hill, Oraclau/Oracles

Confucius
“Tsze-kung wished to dispense with the sacrifice of a sheep for the New Moon ceremony. The Master said, "You love the sheep; I love the ceremony.”
Confucius, The Analects

Socrates
“...[T]hese people... are my dangerous accusers; because those who hear them suppose that anyone who inquires into such matters... theories about the heavens... and everything below the earth... must be an atheist.”
Socrates, Apology, Crito and Phaedo of Socrates.

“Who am I? The great inquiry indeed.”
Yogananda Paramhansa, Autobiography of a Yogi

Milan Kundera
“But the people who struggle against what we call totalitarian regimes cannot function with queries and doubts. They, too, need certainties and simple truths to make the multitudes understand, to provoke collective tears.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Jo Nesbø
“[...] you soon become lonely if you want to use your own brain to find answers.”
Jo Nesbø, Frelseren

Rivers Solomon
“The point is what you do when you don't have the details. Do you interrogate? Do you examine? Or do you settle for the obvious answer?”
Rivers Solomon, An Unkindness of Ghosts

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