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Oliver Wendell Holmes

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To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
"Ideals and Doubts" in Illinois Law Review, Vol. X (1915); also in Collected Legal Papers (1920) edited by Harold Joseph Laski, p. 307.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

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The mark of a truly civilized man is confidence in the strength and security derived from the inquiring mind.

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Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure."

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