"When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the Land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible."
"For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them."
"The reading of all good books is indeed like a conversation with the noblest men of past centuries who were the authors of them, nay a carefully studied conversation, in which they reveal to us none but the best of their thoughts."
"There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul."
"Everybody who’s involved with this debate has been struggling over me, my personality and how to describe me. But this isn't the question that we should be struggling with. Who I am really doesn't matter at all. If I'm the worst person in the world, you can hate me and move on. What really matters here are the issues. What really matters here is the kind of government we want, the kind of Internet we want, the relationship between people and societies. and that's what I'm hoping the debate will move towards."
"I want to live my life taking the risk - all the time - that I don't know anything like-enough yet, that I haven't understood enough, that I can't know enough, that I'm always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom.
And I urge you to look at people who tell you at your age that you're dead till you believe as they do. What a terrible thing to be telling to children. That you can only live by accepting an absolute authority. Don't think of that as a gift. Think of is as a poisoned chalice. Push it aside, however tempting it is. Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you."
"I want to live my life taking the risk - all the time - that I don't know anything like-enough yet, that I haven't understood enough, that I can't know enough, that I'm always hungrily operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom... Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you."
"The big difference between this side of the house, mine, and the other, is this, I am absolutely certain that I do not know, but that it might be possible to find out and that doubt and skepticism and innovation and inquiry are the only means by which wonder and beauty and awe and symmetry will be discovered, and beyond those peaks we can yet see new, more wonderful peaks will arise. Whereas, on the Wilson side of the house it is said we already have the certainty, we know that God created us, and we even claim to know his mind and what he wants of us. And I just invite you to open your minds to the possibility that the skeptical and the inquiring and the doubtful will be better than anything that calls itself faith, because anything that calls itself faith calls itself certainty and for certainty I think there is no place in an institute of intellectual mentation and higher education, and I’m very grateful to you all for giving me the chance to say so."