Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hypatia of Alexandria

"Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them. In fact, men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth — often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable." — Hypatia of Alexandria
Hypatia was a mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer. Despite the intense misogyny of the times, she rose to prominence on the basis of her intellect and her excellent teaching, attracting students from all over the civilized world. At a time of intense religious sectarianism, she was a humanist, studying everything with equanimity, believe fervently in — and preaching — the importance of freedom of thought.
She also said "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all."

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