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Quote of the Day: “Give someone a truth, they will think for a day. Teach someone to reason, and they will think for a lifetime.”

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Give someone a truth, they will think for a day.  Teach someone to reason, and they will think for a lifetime.

This is a morphed quote from what Dr. Phil Plait said in his speech about the The Goal of Skepticism, which was simply “Teach a man to reason, and he will think for a lifetime.”  Blogs apparently changed it have “give a man a truth”, and I changed it to not be male specific.

Phil Plait, of course, had his idea come from “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” which the Yale Book of Quotations tracked down to the Christian Science Monitor of July 2, 1965, and earlier to a similar quote in the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune on December 24, 1945.

But, I was able to track down an earlier quote in the book Mrs. Dymond by Anne Isabella Ritchie published in 1885, which has the following in it:

…if you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour. If you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.

I have also found a similar contemporary quote to Dr. Phil Plaits, from the book Logically Fallacious: The Ultimate Collection of Over 300 Logical Fallacies by Bo Bennett, which says:

Expose an irrational belief, keep a man rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, and keep man rational for a lifetime

 

 

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Written by Jacob Walker

November 4th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others

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