Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Stupidity

"There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea." - Percy W. Bridgman, fully Percy Williams Bridgman

"Discourtesy does not spring merely from one bad quality, but from several - from foolish vanity, from ignorance of what is due to others, from indolence, from stupidity, from the distraction of thought, from contempt of others, from jealousy." - Jean de La Bruyère

"At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Want of tenderness is want of parts, and is no less a proof of stupidity than depravity." -

"Wealth is nothing in itself, it is not useful but when it departs from us; its value is found only in that which it can purchase, which, if we suppose it put to its best use by those that posses it, seems not much to deserve the desire or envy of a wise man. It is certain that, with regard to corporal enjoyment, money can neither open new avenues to pleasure, nor block up the passages to anguish. Disease and infirmity still continue to torture and enfeeble, perhaps exasperated by luxury, or promoted by softness. With respect to the mind, it has rarely been observed, that wealth contributes much to quicken the discernment, enlarge the capacity, or elevate the imagination; but may, by hiring flattery, or laying diligence asleep, confirm error, and harden stupidity." -

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." - Frank Leahy, fully Francis William "Frank" Leahy

"In truth, knowledge is a great and very useful quality; those who despise it give evidence enough of their stupidity. But yet I do not set its value at that extreme measure that some attribute to it, like Herillus the philosopher, who placed in it the sovereign good, and held that it was in its power to make us wise and content. That I do not believe, nor what others have said, that knowledge is the mother of all virtue, and all vice is produced by ignorance. If that is true, it is subject to a long interpretation." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Obstinacy and dogmatism are the surest signs of stupidity. Is there anything more confident, resolute, disdainful, grave and serious than an ass?" - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"We can never be despised as much as we deserve. Pity and commiseration are mingled with some esteem for the thing we pity; the things we laugh at we consider worthless. I do not think there is as much unhappiness in us as vanity, nor as much malice as stupidity. We are not so full of evil as of inanity; we are not as wretched as we are worthless." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Idleness is the stupidity of the body, and stupidity is the idleness of the mind." - Johann Gottfried Seume

"What we opprobriously call stupidity... is nature's favourite resource for preserving steadiness of conduct and consistency of opinion." - Walter Bagehot

"There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea." -

"There are only two ways of getting on in the world: by one's own industry, or by the stupidity of others." - Jean de La Bruyère

"I have no patience with the stupidity of the average teacher of grammar who wastes precious years in hammering rules into children's heads. For it is not by learning rules that we acquire the powers of speaking a language, but by daily intercourse with those accustomed to express themselves with exactness ands refinement and by copious reading of the best authors." -

"Wealth is nothing in itself; it is not useful but when it departs from us; its value is found only in that which it can purchase. As to corporeal enjoyment, money can neither open new avenues of pleasure, nor block up the passages of anguish. Disease and infirmity still continue to torture and enfeeble, perhaps exasperated by luxury, or promoted by softness. With respect to the mind, it has rarely been observed that wealth contributes much to quicken the discernment or elevate the imagination, but may, by hiring flattery, or laying diligence asleep, confirm error and harden stupidity." -

"There is no more certain sign of a narrow mind, of stupidity, and of arrogance, than to stand aloof from those who think differently from us." - Walter Savage Landor

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." - Francis "Frank" William Leahy

"Equality is one of the most consummate scoundrels that ever crept from the brain of a political juggler - a fellow who thrusts his hand into the pocket of honest industry or enterprising talent, and squanders their hard-earned profits on profligate idleness or indolent stupidity." - James Kirke Paulding

"If he who has little wit needs a master to inform his stupidity, he who has much frequently needs ten to keeping check his worldly wisdom, which might otherwise, like a high-mettled charger, toss him to the ground." - Christian Scrivner, pseudonym Gotthold

"It is better to emit a scream in the shape of a theory than to be entirely insensible to the jars and incongruities of life and take everything as it comes in a forlorn stupidity." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"The jury system puts a ban upon intelligence and honesty and a premium upon ignorance, stupidity and perjury." -

"The good Lord set definite limits on man's wisdom, but set no limits on his stupidity and that's just not fair." - Konrad Adenauer, fully Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer

"Only two things are infinite the universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

"To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost." - Gustave Flaubert

"The greatest wisdom seems like stupidity. The greatest eloquence like stuttering. Movement overcomes cold, but staying overcomes heat. So he by his limpid calm puts everything right under heaven." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"Obstinacy and heat of opinion is the surest proof of stupidity. Is there anything so certain, resolute, disdainful, contemplative, grave, and serious as an ass." -

"It is the stupidity of our minds that prevents us from seeng existence as a mystery wilder than the dreams of Devil or God." - Llewelyn Powys

"Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity." - Nick Dimos

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein

"Just as you discover that stupidity and cruelty are the same everywhere, you find that the essential elements of humanism are the same everywhere, too." - Christopher Hitchens

"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." -

"Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin; the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity." - Lazarus Long, fictional character created by Robert A. Heinlein

"At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice, and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols." -

"We lie to ourselves, in order that we may still have the excuse of ignorance, the alibi of stupidity and incomprehension, possessing which we can continue with a good conscience to commit and tolerate the most monstrous crimes." -

"At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols." -

"At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice, and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols." -

"We lie to ourselves, in order that we may still have the excuse of ignorance, the alibi of stupidity and incomprehension, possessing which we can continue with a good conscience to commit and tolerate the most monstrous crimes." -

"At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols." -

"At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice, and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols." -

"We lie to ourselves, in order that we may still have the excuse of ignorance, the alibi of stupidity and incomprehension, possessing which we can continue with a good conscience to commit and tolerate the most monstrous crimes." -

"At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols." -

"Defense of morals is the battle-cry which best rallies stupidity against change." - Alfred North Whitehead

"Obstinacy and vehemency in opinion are the surest proofs of stupidity." - Bruce Barton

"If it be true that men of strong imaginations are usually dogmatists - and I am inclined to think it is so - it ought to follow that men of weak imaginations are the refers; in which case we should have some compensation for stupidity. But it unfortunately happens that no dogmatist is more obstinate or less open to conviction than a fool." - Charles Caleb Colton

"The pressure that has been brought to bear upon the native people, since the cessation of armed conflict, in the attempt to force conformity of custom and habit has caused a reaction more destructive than war, and the injury has not only affected the Indian, but has extended to the white population as well. Tyranny, stupidity, and lack of vision have brought about the situation now alluded to as the “Indian Problem.”" -

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity." - Dwight Eisenhower, fully Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"There are many paths to knowledge already discovered; and no enlightened man doubts that there are many more waiting to be discovered. Indeed, all paths lead to knowledge; because even the vilest and stupidest action teaches us something about vileness and stupidity and may accidentally teach us a good deal more." - George Bernard Shaw