In The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan wrote:
Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.  http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/beyond-belief-candles-in-the-dark

The demands of future leadership and responsible participation in a pluralistic global society require new understandings, new perceptions, new skills, new behaviors, and critical to all the rest, new ways of thinking. Dr. Berenice Bleedorn

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. Albert Einstein

The genius of the future will be the creative mind adapting itself to the shape of things to come. The skills of creative thinking must be recognized as mankind’s most important adaptability skills. Such skills must become basic to the curriculum of schools, homes, business and other agencies. E. Paul Torrance

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’ Isaac Asimov

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. Thomas Paine

True, people of faith have always tried to bring their interpretation of the Bible to bear on American laws and morals … it’s the American way, encouraged and protected by the First Amendment. But what is unique today is that the radical religious right has succeeded in taking over one of America’s great political parties. The country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is, and they are driving American politics, using God as a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, foreign policy, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services and so on. Bill Moyers

Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred. Vaclav Havel

We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left to combat it. Thomas Jefferson

We have the right to our own opinions, but not our own facts. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

When you place a high value on truth, you have to think for yourself. Dr. Cornel West

selected from an extensive collection of quotations relevant to democracy

updated 1/28/13

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