The truth is that it is only in the light of such creeds that we become conscious of any variety or any vivacity at all. If, let us say, I accept a fixed standard of goodness, I can then adopt or discuss the pleasing and stimulating proposition that Caesar Borgia was a good man. If I have no standard of goodness, then I can have no opinion about the matter; Caesar Borgia and I are two entirely distinct and unmeaning facts with no relation to each other; between me and Caesar Borgia there is no tie at all, which is a very sad state of things.
The fixed beliefs of mankind have given us all our own heresies and eccentricities, for they have given us the very terms in which we talk. Even paradox (a word which I seem to have seen somewhere) depends, like every other statement, upon the terms used in it being firm, intelligible, and even orthodox. If a man were really sceptical about everything he would not be able to think paradox or to think anything. He may be trying to prove that black is white; but even to do that he must be certain black is black.
-August 26, 1905, Daily News
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