Fools Quotes Religion
The conversation started when East Point Man posted a graphic of Mark Twain. The beloved writer is clutching a pipe, leaning back in an easy chair, with his white hair flying in a hundred directions. The quote is “Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” Readers of this blog should know what happens next.
PG- Wikiquotes does not show Mr. Twain saying this. I searched under religion, invented, and fool. He might have said it, but I do not see a source. While I agree with the concept, I strongly suspect that Mr. Twain did not say this.
EPM- Wikiquotes is not a reliable source..
EPM- Goodreads Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool. – Mark Twain
PG- Do you know when, where, and under what circumstances? Also, the context would be fun to know. Online quotes can be fun, but they leave out a lot of useful information.
EPM- Like you I agree with the concept.. as for the validity.. hard to say.. I have found it listed on several well known sites.. but it is not listed on the Mark Twain quote website. and i also found this
EPM- Ne’er the Twain did speak it
EPM- whether or not he said it is not as important as the message that so many others agree on..but in this digital age.. anyone could have said anything lol
PG- When you go looking for information, or to verify information, you are liable to find out something unexpected. Often the journey is far more interesting than the destination. I agree with the essential truth of the original quote, even as I dispute who said it. I have long suspected that people like Twain and Oscar Wilde had interesting friends, whose witty sayings were borrowed by the famous scribe. Thank you for the link to Zebra fact check.
EPM- agreed..like the email warnigs that you get sometimes warning you fo a product and such.. I usally attempt to find out if something is true or not before I send it out to anyone else.. Facebook posts are different as most people agree with the content and pay less attention to the delivery of it
EPM- You are welcome.. the Zebra page is new to me too.. and will be using it to check on things
PG- This is a favorite subject of mine. You can fool all the people all the time, if the people want to be fooled. The christian religion places great emphasis on believing, and less on whether this belief is the truth. Even for those who have moved away from religion, this emphasis on belief… on mythos over logos… is present.
PG- Also, I don’t know if wikiquotes is a total authority, but it is a good place to start your search. While the absence of a quote in wikiquotes does not mean the quote is completely bogus, it is evidence thereof. There is a difference between prove and indicate. While a quote not being in wikiquotes does not prove that it is phony, it certainly is evidence that something is amiss.
EPM- I personally find all the wiki sites to be unreliable as they let anyone put in the information and I do not see any actual checks and balances. but as a starting point.. they can always be a starting point as long as you do not rely on them soley. just my opinion
Two links are used in this discussion. Goodreads parrots the quote without any more information. The page is sponsored by a cleaning product called Swiffer.
Zebra Fact Check is the star of this story. They do more than searching for key words on wikiquote, which is what this slack blogger does. Here is the key paragraph from “Ne’er the Twain did speak it”.
“We were poised to interview experts on Mark Twain and do searches of available databases of the author’s works, but the patterns in simple Google searches suggested an easier alternative. All the Google hits for our set of keywords lacked a source attribution, a classic symptom of spurious quotations, and more importantly the hits were recent. We revised our search criteria to look for an origin of the quotation. It didn’t appear before 2002 on the Web. Anti-religious quotations from famous people just don’t go unused over that length of time. If Twain wrote or said it, somebody would have quoted it online before the year 2000.”
Pictures are from The Library of Congress.