Posts Tagged ‘Ignorance’

Did Mohammed Believe in Himself?

May 21, 2012

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Did Mohammed Believe in Himself?

However strange it may appear, the heavenly origin of his revelations, obtained though they were from fallible and imperfect sources, appears to have been believed by Mohammed himself.

It would be against the analogy of his entire life, to suppose a continuing sense of fraud — a consciousness that the whole was a fabrication of his own mind, an imposition upon his followers, an impious assumption of the name of the Almighty. Occasional doubts and misgivings, especially when he first submitted to Jewish promting, there may have been; but a process similar to that by which he first assured himself of his own inspiration, quickly put them to flight. The absence of spiritual light and of opportunities for obtaining it which excused this marvelous self-deception in the early prophetical life of Mohammed, cannot be pleaded for his later years. Ignorance was no longer then involuntary. The means of reaching a truer knowledge lay plentifully within his reach. But they were not heeded; or rather they were deliberately rejected, because a position had been already taken up from which there could be no receding without discredit or inconsistency.

The living inspiration of God vouch-safed to himself was surely better and more safe than the recorded revelations of former prophets; it was at any rate more incomparable more authoritative than the uncertain doctrines deduced from them by their erring adherents. Thus did ignorance become wilful. Light was at hand; but Mohammed preferred darkness. He chose to walk “in the glimmerings of his own fire, and in the sparks which he had kindled.” — Muir’s Life of Mohammed.

Richland County Observer (Richland Center, Wisconsin) Jun 29, 1858

The Ignorance of Braggarts and Fools

October 26, 2009

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The fact that one can make a noise,
Is hardly proof of skill, or poise.
Most braggarts, when they’re put to test,
Produce performance not the best.
To boast is easy, but indeed,
It takes some action to succeed.
A donkey has a noisy bray,
But that is all he has to say.
Some blowers are about the same,
In real results, if not in name.
Just listen to the folks who brag,
And see if their attainments lag!


The Frederick Post (Frederick, Maryland) Mar 16, 1939

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The self complacency of uneducated people is one of the great barriers in the way of improvement. No one can fail to have noticed how dogmatic the man is who knows a very little about any important matter. It is proverbial that the greatest students have only found out how little they know after a lifetime, and another proverb is, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.”

IT is a great step upward for a man to break the shell of his self-conceit, so that he can keep his mind in a receptive mood, and discriminate between wheat and chaff. He cannot grow unless he is willing to learn, and he cannot learn as long as it mortifies him to acknowledge that there is anyone wiser than he.

A great many very ignorant men assume an air of superiority, and by their dogmatic impudence override the very people that could teach them something. This sort of thing does the wise no harm but it keeps the fool a fool to his dying day. It is an excellent plan for young men to associate with their superiors. Don’t choose for companions the men who flatter and make much of you, but cultivate the acquaintance of the wise and good, and you will grow to be wise and good yourselves.

The Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jan 5, 1881

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He knew Latin and he knew Greek,
But the plumber who came to mend the tap
Thought him a strangely ignorant chap
Who couldn’t fix faucets when they leak.

He stopped with a farmer once to chat
And he looked at straw and called it hay.
And the farmer said as he moved away:
“I’d certainly hate to be dumb as that.”

All the ancient writers he could quote,
But sailors laughed when he went to sea
And said: “What an ignorant fool is he
To call such a splendid ship a boat!”

So in spite of the knowledge man has earned,
There is so much to this worldly scheme
That down to the last a fool he’ll seem
To the man who knows what he hasn’t learned.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jan 21, 1930