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Re: Re: In praise of curiosity

by gmax (Abbot)
on Jul 27, 2003 at 22:28 UTC ( #278285=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: In praise of curiosity
in thread In praise of curiosity

I apologize for sounding too dogmatic. It was not what I was aiming at. I wasn't trying at teach history, but I was referring at the general acceptance of curiosity as a "bad thing," which is so deeply radicated inside our language that even in everyday speaking we refer to it in a negative way.

  • Curiosity killed the cat -- excessive curiosity can lead one into trouble. A common rebuke by mothers to their offspring
    -- The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms
  • Too much curiosity lost Paradise
    It doesn't do to be too curious or inquisitive
    -- The MacMillan Dictionary of English Proverbs Explained
  • Curiosity killed the cat -- informal Getting too nosy may lead a person into trouble
    -- Barrons Handbook of Commonly Used American Idioms

See also, in the same vein, Why does curiosity kill?, where there are also some more interesting quotes:

  • The “Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” (1996) by Gregory Titelman states: “An overly inquisitive person is likely to get hurt."
  • Saint Augustine recorded in ‘Confessions’ (397) the story of a curious soul who wondered what God did in the eons before creating heaven and earth. ‘He fashioned hell for the inquisitive,’
  • in the nineteenth century, Lord Byron in ‘Don Juan’ (1818) roundly condemned the curious with ‘I loathe that low vice curiosity.’

Please notice that it's not my intention to throw mud at the Church or any other authority. I am just commenting on the social aspect of this concept.

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Re^3: In praise of curiosity
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Jul 27, 2003 at 22:48 UTC

    If it's quotations you're after:

    "Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life-blood of real civilisation"
    - G. M. Trevelyan

    "A generous and elevated mind is distinguished by nothing more certainly than an eminent degree of curiosity
    - Samuel Johnson

    And, if we want to get all Biblical:

    "Be not ignorant of any thing in a great matter or a small"
    - Ecclesiasticus chapter 5, verse 15.

    (and me an atheist too :-)

Re^3: In praise of curiosity
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Jul 28, 2003 at 00:32 UTC
    I'm afraid the religious overtones turned me off of reading an otherwise apparently well thought out node.
    Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
    — Acts 17:11
    Questioning and researching is an integral part of faith according to the bible.

    Makeshifts last the longest.


      Questioning and researching is an integral part of faith according to the bible.


      ...of course, if you don't accept my interpretation, I'll have to condemn you... :)


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