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...its prejudices and its ideas, prefer good reasoning to bad reasoning, sound argument to unsound. A prize for argumentative mind is given in free states, to which no other states have anything to compare.
Tolerance too is learned in discussion, and, as history shows, is only so learned. In all customary societies bigotry is the ruling principle. In rude places to this day any one who says anything new is looked on with suspicion, and is persecuted by opinion if not injured by penalty.One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.It is, as common people say, so 'upsetting;' it makes you think that, after all, your favourite notions may be wrong, your firmest beliefs ill-founded; it is certain that till now there was no place allotted in your mind to the new and startling inhabitant, and now that it has conquered an entrance you do not at once see which of your old ideas it will or will not turn out, with which of them it can he reconciled, and with which it is at essential enmity. Naturally, therefore, common men... Bagehot, Walter
Excerpt from Physics and Politics, or, Thoughts on the application of the principles of "natural selection" and "inheritance" to political society · This quote is about innovation · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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