What is this quote-that-I-don't-know?
December 14, 2008 8:30 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a quote... But I only remember the gist of the meaning, not the quote nor the person who said it nor the context. Yay, mystery! From what I can remember, the gist of the quote is that intelligent people aren't afraid of having a dialogue with others who have different beliefs because their minds and own beliefs aren't so pathetic that mere conversation would break them so easily. There may be another part of the quote that has to do with understanding among people, but I'm not sure. Anyway, this is a very long shot, but here's hoping that someone out there knows what the heck I'm talking about.
posted by Ky to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe not exactly what you're looking for, but F Scott Fitzgerald said (wrote?): "Intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function".
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:08 PM on December 14, 2008 [5 favorites]

From Velvet Elvis, by Rob Bell (third paragraph:
It hit me while I was watching that for him faith isn't a trampoline; it's a wall of bricks. Each of the core doctrines for him is like an individual brick that stacks on top of the others. If you pull one out, the whole wall starts to crumble. It appears quite strong and rigid, but if you begin to rethink or discuss even one brick, the whole thing is in danger. Like he said, no six-day creation equals no cross. Remove one, and the whole wall wobbles.</blockquote
posted by niles at 9:44 PM on December 14, 2008

My mom has a bumper sticker held by magnets onto her fridge that says "Blessed are the flexible, because they will not B-R-E-A-K." (The letters in "break" are separated by squiggly cracks.)
posted by hermitosis at 10:14 PM on December 14, 2008

All of these quotes are neat and save-worthy, though the meanings are indeed a bit different. The general feel that I can remember is that religious tolerance is a hallmark of the civilized, so Bell's commentary about faith in particular isn't quite it (the bumper sticker and Bell's quotes have the same idea, though, which is nice). Fitzgerald's seems to be closest; I especially like the use of "ideas" instead of "beliefs" there (reminds me of Dogma in that sense).

I suspect I'm thinking of one of the Founding Fathers or someone from the same time period. Either that, or something on TV. Yes, not terribly helpful, but thanks thus far for the tries!
posted by Ky at 1:51 AM on December 15, 2008

“I've always felt that a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.” - Abigail Adams

And you might search through Jefferson's and/or Franklin's writings. Both entertained the notion to which you're referring.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 5:14 AM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

...truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them...

Could this be it? It is from the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson.
posted by TedW at 5:58 AM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, those are great and on the right track, so I'm savin' them.

I think I'll follow mrbarrett.com's advice and look through Thomas Jefferson's and Ben Franklin's writings, since they certainly talked about it. At least I have some reading time this holiday. Thanks for the direction!
posted by Ky at 6:52 AM on December 15, 2008

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