Words of Wisdom

I just came across this quotation from Adam Smith and thought it was incredibly appropriate. WIth stupidity and ignorance on the rise (can you say “intelligent design?” Or “abstinence” –and nothing else– to prevent AIDS?) I thought it summarized the problem of dealing with the religious right’s attack on sanity perfectly. The quotation reads:

“Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.”

Has anyone said it better? Those who think they know what’s right and virtouous have no qualms about pursuing them because of that “knowledge.” They’re impervious to facts, reason, or the nagging thought that they might possibly be wrong.

I know this isn’t college counseling, but I am fearful that American education is being assaulted by idiots more than ever and we all know that people who “know” they’re right are usually the most dangerous.

About Will Dix

I am currently writing a book about college admission. I'm interested in the intersection of the college process and American culture. I attended Amherst College in the 1970s, taught high school English and theater at The Hill School in the '80s, returned to Amherst in the '90s as an admission dean, and began the '00s as a college counselor at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. I then joined Chicago Scholars as Program Director. Currently, I blog about college admission for Forbes.com. I also help community organizations serving low income students understand the college admission process so more students can consider gaining access to higher education. I have a few private college counseling clients that I take by referral only. The views expressed in this blog are mine alone.
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