In our zeal to justify our opinions we neglect to justify having them at all.
Error is boundless.
Nor hope nor doubt,
Though both be groundless,
Will average out.
“How can you say that such-and-such is against X, when X is right there in its name?” This argument owes its extraordinary popularity to its utility as a trial balloon: people who swallow it will swallow anything.
When bemoaning all that you should know, but do not, spare a thought for all that you should not know, but do.
When I was young, I regarded argument as a path to truth, later as a harmless vice, and finally as a positive plague.
Fools come in two kinds: the Barren, whom nothing reminds of anything; and the Promiscuous, whom anything reminds of everything.
It is strange, the way people will believe bizarre and byzantine theories about their rulers after years of being lied to by them continuously.
The illusion it affords of objectivity is conversion’s great appeal: the convert, though once a fanatic, has learned his lesson, and today’s belief is informed exclusively by a sober consideration of its merits.
We remember only the errors we pay for.
To treat such doctrines as pacifism and communism as errors is itself an error. One does not argue with pipe dreams, or refute impossibilities.
We need not search for facts that confirm our opinions: all facts confirm our opinions.