Thomas Paine: Error, not truth


It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. –Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)

Thomas Paine, Engraving

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Thomas Paine: Error, not truth

  1. Am I pointing at someone in particular? No. But I have lived long enough to realize that there are some people who, though very wrong about something, are so stubborn and blind and creative that they won’t shrink or back down but continuing arguing a point and inventing more and more fanciful but errant reasons to support their point. There are a lot of people who are so “out there” in their thinking and who have met enough similarly out there people that open inquiry does not dissuade them. Think: cult mentality, some new age viewpoints, etc, in one sense, and then in another sense, think about people who seemingly just like to argue and debate everything.

    In my experience, the real key is if the debater or arguer can slow down enough to be self-aware of and look at their own arguments or not. Truth-seekers tend to be able to do this; people who aren’t really interested in truth but in just being right, tend not to be able to do this.

    What do you think?

    Kindest regards,

    John

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  2. Unless of course the person with the errant point of view is so far gone with errors that he or she no longer has sense enough to shrink from inquiry.

    Otherwise, yes, I agree with Paine’s quote–truth usually takes on all comers, error hides from scrutiny. Wise words!

    Thanks for sharing this, Linus!

    Kindest regards,

    John

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