„I affirm, in words as true and literal as any that belong to geometry, that the man who withholds knowledge from a child not only works diabolical miracles for the destruction of good, but for the creation of evil also.“

—  Horace Mann, Congressional speech (1849), Context: I affirm, in words as true and literal as any that belong to geometry, that the man who withholds knowledge from a child not only works diabolical miracles for the destruction of good, but for the creation of evil also. He who shuts out truth, by the same act opens the door to all the error that supplies its place. Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up all the vacuities of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge. He who dethrones the idea of law, bids chaos welcome in its stead. Superstition is the mathematical complement of religious truth; and just so much less as the life of a human being is reclaimed to good, just so much more is it delivered over to evil. The man or the institution, therefore, that withholds knowledge from a child, or from a race of children, exercises the awful power of changing the world in which they are to live, just as much as though he should annihilate all that is most lovely and grand in this planet of ours, or transport the victim of his cruelty to some dark and frigid zone of the universe, where the sweets of knowledge are unknown, and the terrors of ignorance hold their undisputed and remorseless reign.
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Horace Mann5
1796 - 1859

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—  Max Weber, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology
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„The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance.“

—  Herodotus ancient Greek historian, often considered as the first historian -484 - -425 a.C.
Misattributed, The words of Socrates, as quoted by Diogenes Laertius.

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„Evil knows of the Good, but Good does not know of Evil. Knowledge of oneself is something only Evil has.“

—  Franz Kafka, livro The Blue Octavo Notebooks
The Blue Octavo Notebooks (1954), The First Octavo Notebook https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gD981HZ190BUJF-3czZNX3DsFWvqp3cq-Z4QS4d-9gw/edit?hl=en

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„There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.“

—  Socrates classical Greek Athenian philosopher -470 - -399 a.C.
Diogenes Laertius, Variant: The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. Socrates II: xxxi http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=D.+L.+2.5.31&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0257#note-link14. Original Greek: ἓν μόνον ἀγαθὸν εἶναι, τὴν ἐπιστήμην, καὶ ἓν μόνον κακόν, τὴν ἀμαθίαν

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„Any religion that says it knows the one and only truth is evil, because it limits knowledge. Any political body that says it owns the truth is evil. Same reason.“

—  Sheri S. Tepper American fiction writer 1929 - 2016
Strange Horizons interview (2008), Context: The Inquisition, by defining and limiting knowledge, was evil. The Taliban, by defining truth and refusing girls an education, is evil. Any religion that says it knows the one and only truth is evil, because it limits knowledge. Any political body that says it owns the truth is evil. Same reason. Any repressive regime that seeks to control exploration and experimentation is evil. Same reason. Any regime that defines truth as a set of beliefs and occurrences that cannot be questioned, that can neither be demonstrated nor proven is not only evil but ridiculous. This includes all mythologies, miracles, etc. because, if creation happened for a reason, if it was done by God, you'd better believe every part of it, including intelligence, was done for a reason ascertainable, eventually, by intelligence. We would not follow and adore a ruler who lied and tortured. Why would we worship a God who did either? God doesn't lie and he/she/it doesn't fool around! Shutting down inquiry is evil. Causing pain purposefully for no reason is evil. Enjoying causing pain by shutting down inquiry is an absolute evil.

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„To affirm a person is to see the good in them that they cannot see in themselves and to repeat it in spite of appearances to the contrary. Please, this is not some Pollyanna optimism that is blind to the reality of evil, but rather like a fine radar system that is tuned in to the true, the good, and the beautiful.“

—  Brennan Manning writer, American Roman Catholic priest and United States Marine 1934 - 2013
2000s, The Furious Longing of God https://books.google.com/books?id=n17xNZ-aCj0C&pg=PA82&dq=%22To+affirm+a+person+is+to+see+the+good%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi6n8OW-JTkAhVJ2FkKHQN4AEIQ6AEwAnoECAEQAg#v=onepage&q=%22To%20affirm%20a%20person%20is%20to%20see%20the%20good%22&f=false (2009), pp. 82–83

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„The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject any thing, is not whether it have any evil in it; but whether it have more of evil, than of good.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
1840s, Context: The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject any thing, is not whether it have any evil in it; but whether it have more of evil, than of good. There are few things wholly evil, or wholly good. Almost every thing, especially of governmental policy, is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded. Speech in the House of Representatives (20 June 1848)

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„If he be not a true man, he will draw evil out of the best; we need not mind how he treats any work of art! If he be a true man, he will imagine true things: what matter whether I meant them or not?“

—  George MacDonald Scottish journalist, novelist 1824 - 1905
The Fantastic Imagination (1893), Context: "But a man may then imagine in your work what he pleases, what you never meant!"  Not what he pleases, but what he can. If he be not a true man, he will draw evil out of the best; we need not mind how he treats any work of art! If he be a true man, he will imagine true things: what matter whether I meant them or not? They are there none the less that I cannot claim putting them there! One difference between God's work and man's is, that, while God's work cannot mean more than he meant, man's must mean more than he meant. For in everything that God has made, there is layer upon layer of ascending significance; also he expresses the same thought in higher and higher kinds of that thought: it is God's things, his embodied thoughts, which alone a man has to use, modified and adapted to his own purposes, for the expression of his thoughts; therefore he cannot help his words and figures falling into such combinations in the mind of another as he had himself not foreseen, so many are the thoughts allied to every other thought, so many are the relations involved in every figure, so many the facts hinted in every symbol. A man may well himself discover truth in what he wrote; for he was dealing all the time with things that came from thoughts beyond his own.

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„He said that there was one only good, namely, knowledge; and one only evil, namely, ignorance.“

—  Diogenes Laërtius biographer of ancient Greek philosophers 180 - 240
The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (c. 200 A.D.), Book 2: Socrates, his predecessors and followers, Socrates, 14.

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