What can be the aim of withholding from children, or let us say from young people, this information about the sexual life of human beings? Is it a fear of arousing interest in such matters prematurely, before it spontaneously stirs in them? Is it a hope of retarding by concealment of this kind the development of the sexual instinct in general, until such time as it can find its way into the only channels open to it in the civilized social order? Is it supposed that children would show no interest or understanding for the facts and riddles of sexual life if they were not prompted to do so by outside influence? Is it regarded as possible that the knowledge withheld from them will not reach them in other ways? Or is it genuinely and seriously intended that later on they should consider everything connected with sex as something despicable and abhorrent from which their parents and teachers wish to keep them apart as long as possible? I am really at a loss so say which of these can be the motive for the customary concealment from children of everything connected with sex. I only know that these arguments are one and all equally foolish, and that I find it difficult to pay them the compliment of serious refutation.
We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature. We must construct these answers ourselves - from our own wisdom and ethical sense. There is no other way.
Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact. Whatever, therefore, is not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, is incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason. Now ‘tis evident our passions, volitions, and actions, are not susceptible of any such agreement or disagreement; being original facts and realities, complete in themselves, and implying no reference to other passions, volitions, and actions. ‘Tis impossible, therefore, they can be pronounced either true or false, and be either contrary or conformable to reason.
The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values.
The great spiritual and political viewpoint of the West is that we are all equal and are all capable of developing into the same end product. Anybody who bothers to examine the facts can easily see we are not all equal. What we really are is not so much equal as unique. None of us is the same as anybody else. In this uniqueness is a profound Spiritual Realization: Life is infinitely creative and requires uniqueness for creativity.
Life is sufficiently miraculous already - only we do not notice it. If we catch a glimpse of its mystery, we border momentarily on new emotions and thoughts, but this comes from within, as a momentary, individual awakening of the spirit. Eckhart says that we are at fault as long as we see God in what is outside us... All the liberating inner truth and vision that we need, apart from outer truth and facts about things is... ‘native within us.’
Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible; but the world of pure reason knows no compromise, no practical limitations, no barrier to the creative activity embodying in splendid edifices the passionate aspiration after the perfect from which all great works springs. Remote from human passions, remote even from the pitiful facts of nature, the generations have gradually created an ordered cosmos, where pure thought can dwell as in its natural home, and where one, at least, of our nobler impulses can escape from the dreary exile of the actual world.
Children should be surrounded with the things of nature which have their own educational value. Their minds should be allowed to stumble upon and be surprised at everything that happens in today’s life; the new tomorrow will stimulate their attention with new facts of life.
The general conclusion is that all the objects of science, including minds and goods, are things occurring in space and time... and that we can study them in virtue of the fact that we come into spatial and temporal relations with them. And therefore all ideals, ultimates, symbols, agencies and the like are to be rejected, and no such distinction as that of facts and principles, or facts and values, can be maintained. There are only facts, i.e., occurrences in space and time.
While an open mind is priceless, it is priceless only when its owner has the courage to make a final decision which closes the mind for action after the process of viewing all sides of the question has been completed. Failure to make a decision after due consideration of all the facts will quickly brand a man unfit for a position of responsibility. Not all of your decisions will be correct. None of us is perfect. But if you get into the habit of making decisions, experience will develop your judgment to a point where more and more of your decisions will be right. After all, it is better to be right 51 percent of the time and get something done, than it is to get nothing done because you fear to reach a decision.
"Point of view" must mean more than the mere prejudice; it should express conclusions reached by the painful process known as thinking. And when new facts or factors are presented, free men should be as vigilant to change their viewpoints as to confirm them.
Words are not (except in their own little corner) facts or things: we need therefore to prise them off the world, to hold them apart from and against it, so that we can realize their inadequacies and arbitrariness, and can re-look at the world without blinkers.
How then do you pour a little bit of what you feel and think and know into another’s mind?... To help children visualize, to convince them, the teachers use maps, charts, diagrams, they write words on the board, they gesture, admonish, orate. Hence the fatigue and hence the rule that good teaching is a matter of basal metabolism. Some teachers have the facts but not the phosphorescence of learning.
Finding facts in actuality is less rewarded than developing a theory of law that explains the facts, and herein lies an enticement. In making sense out of the unruly substance of nature, and in trying to get there first, a scientist is sometimes tempted to play fast and loose with the facts in order to make a theory look more compelling than it really is.
Facts as facts do not always create a spirit of reality, because reality is a spirit.
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.
History studies not just facts and institutions, its real subject is the human spirit.
The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and the facts established by experiment.
I have steadily endeavored to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved... as soon as facts are shown to be opposed to it.
If facts are changing, law cannot be static.