You know, the brute reality (as darkling Heraclitus perceived so many centuries ago) is that in the vast majority of human lives, the mind is not actually an asset but a liability; humans on the whole are only apt to injure themselves through the deployment of their attempts at thinking, because thinking is a sublime art at which far more is likely to go wrong than to go right by blind chance. To encourage people indiscriminately to "think more for themselves" is therefore highly irresponsible if not catastrophic. It is actually a boon, in normal social and historical circumstances, that so many humans allow others to think for them-a boon when they live in something other than a predatory and mendacious social order, a society aristic enough on the whole to bear up fiduciary responsibilities for its undercastes. Alas, moderns try to practice this thinking-for-oneself in the most culturally impoverished of all cultures and the most amorally atomistic of all societies.
I can't convince myself that it does much good to try to challenge the everyday political delusions and dementias of Americans at large. Their contained and confined mentalities by far prefer the petty and parochial prisons of the kind of sense they have been trained and rewarded for making out of their lives (and are punished for deviating from them). What it costs them ultimately to be such slaves and infants and ideological zombies is a thought too monstrous and rending and spiky for them even to want to glance at.
One thinks of a Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau, or Dickenson, not as engineers hard-pressed to reverse-engineer existence, but rather deeply contemplative and sensual individuals who wanted nothing more than to savor and celebrate the intricate flavors of, and their curiosity toward, existence.
Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)
Source: "The Study of Mathematics", Mysticism and Logic: And Other Essays
I'm not entirely sure, but I'm pretty sure that you can be fairly sure that there is absolutely nothing you can be sure of. If you take the time to think about it all, you start to realize that absolutely everything we experience might not even be real. For instance, it is actually possible that our thoughts might not be entirely our own. Our words have no absolute meaning. In example, when someone mentions the color green it can be assumed that everyone would think of a green color but it can also be assumed that they are not all thinking of the same shade of green. Any time you come to a conclusion about something you are probably wrong or at least not entirely correct. Why else would there be so many varying philosophies, religions and social concepts and always more to come. It can be assumed that we can't know everything about everything for sure.
Source: I'm as sure as I can be that this quote came from my own mind through my finger tips and onto the world wide web.
As Kierkegaard insisted from his theistic perspective, so Nietzsche also argues from his naturalistic one: whoever accepts the whole must accept as well the negative, resented, embittering, contrary elements in that whole. If life and character and nature and society truly are wholes, then everything in them is in some way essential to that whole; and we cannot grasp that whole by means of value-judgments if values are INHERENTLY DISCRIMINATORY or divisive functions of our intelligence. Values drive rifts between options, they exist for the sake of the natural powers of the will which (so to speak) needs its food cut up into willable portions or differentiated options.
The worldview of modern scientism and capitalism are profoundly wrongheaded, rooted in an artificialism and arbitrarialism that cannot begin to see the primordial truth of the way nature actually works, in animals and in ourselves as well. All modern culture and ideology that try to disestablish these principles -- radical egalitarianism, capitalist or bourgeois materialist-artificialist hierarchicalism, arbitrarial libertarianism, etc. -- are flying in the face of the headwinds of both nature and values, the tides of human nature and human character. But these ideologies' fallacies are incomprehensible to them just because their culture systematically prohibits them from thinking about issues at the level of structural principles, of ultimate preconceptions: nothing but good pedestrian mechanical bourgeois logic, as remote as it can possibly be from philosophy.