Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Quote of the Day: Truth Vs. Prior Conlusions

I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their life. --Tolstoy

9 comments:

asher said...

My dear Watson, you have failed to apply my theorum. Once you have dismissed all of the wrong answers, the only remaining answer, no matter how far fetched, is the true answer.

misquoting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

skcorefil said...

Now you should read more Tolstoy.

David said...

This is one of those sentences that just makes me marvel at the wonders of the human mind and its ability to construct and understand language. It's a rather complex sentence, but is understood readily. Another sentence that I heard recently and randomly impressed me is "More Americans need more sleep more than they need more exercise." And of course there's the classic "Buffalo buffalo, Buffalo buffalo buffalo, buffulo Buffalo buffalo."

Jewish Atheist said...

asher:

There are a whole lot of wrong answers out there. Have you really dismissed them all?

Vile Blasphemer said...

A wonderful statement- Tolstoy was such a wonderful writer.

Ezzie said...

...which is why professors are often so exreme. :) (Same applies to many liberals.)

Jewish Atheist said...

ezzie:

no argument here.

Chana said...

Considering Tolstoy's treatment of Natasha in 'War and Peace,' and his very radical version of Christianity, I'm hesitant to follow in the wake of any philosohical comments of his.

That's not to say they're not fun to read. :)

r10b said...

...can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth...

(say, for example, the simplest and most obvious answer as to why anything exists at all rather than nothing)

...rather than admit the falsity of their conclusions...

(That, after something inexplicably came from nothing [after a very long time, of course], billions of million-to-one-chance events occurred--unguided by any purposeful, intelligent force--which lead to life as we know it.)

Note: This is not intended to spark a debate on origins. Just providing an example of the QotD in action.