Unfortunately for the good sense of mankind, the fact of their fallibility is far from carrying the weight in their practical judgement, which is always allowed to it in theory; for while every one well knows himself to be fallible, few think it necessary to take any precautions against their own fallibility.
John Stuart Mill
The future is too interesting and dangerous to be entrusted to any predictable, reliable agency. We need all the fallibility we can get. Most of all, we need to preserve the absolute unpredictability and total improbability of our connected minds. That way we can keep open all the options, as we have in the past.
At most, recognizing that our history was inspired by many tales we now recognize as false should make us alert, ready to call to constantly into question the very tale we believe true, because the criterion of the wisdom of the community is based on constant awareness of the fallibility of our learning.
Our criminal justice system is fallible. We know it, even though we don't like to admit it. It is fallible despite the best efforts of most within it to do justice. And this fallibility is, at the end of the day, the most compelling, persuasive, and winning argument against a death penalty.
You and I may only be mortals, with all the foolishness and fallibility that that state implies, but we're mortals made in the image of heaven. The gods can't do their work without us. So let's be bold, in their cause and in our own. It's our job, we humans, to make manifest that which is unmanifest-and to raise into consciousness, in this material dimension, that which had been known before only in heaven.
Actors in any capacity, artists of any stripe, are inspired by their curiosity, by their desire to explore all quarters of life, in light and in dark, and reflect what they find in their work. Artists instinctively want to reflect humanity, their own and each other's, in all its intermittent virtue and vitality, frailty and fallibility.
There is indeed something deeply wrong with a person who lacks principles, who has no moral core. There are, likewise, certainly values that brook no compromise, and I would count among them integrity, fairness, and the avoidance of cruelty. But I have never accepted the argument that principle is compromised by judging each situation on its own merits, with due appreciation of the idiosyncrasy of human motivation and fallibility.
Unless a group of workers know their work is under surveillance, that they are being rated as fairly as human beings, with the fallibility that goes with human judgment, can rate them, and that at least an attempt is made to measure their worth to an organization in relative terms, they are likely to sink back on length of service as the sole reason for retention and promotion.
Mary Barnett Gilson
emotion clouds the rational, and many perspectives guide the full reality. To view current events as a historian is to account for all perspectives, even those of your enemy. It is to know the past and to use such relevant history as a template for expectations. It is, most of all, to force reason ahead of instinct, to refuse to demonize that which you hate, and to, most of all, accept your own fallibility.
R. A. Salvatore
When interpreted as infallible, the truth claims of powerful institutions - whether religious or secular - tend to emphasise the fallibility of individuals and their subjective ethical intuitions; thus, undermining self-reliance, including people's ability to make use of information they intuitively know is basically correct, based on their own experiences or simply common sense.
When men have appreciated the countless differences which the exercise of that judgment must necessarily produce, when they have estimated the intrinsic fallibility of their reason, and the degree in which it is distorted by the will, when, above all, they have acquired that love of truth which a constant appeal to private judgment at last produces, they will never dream that guilt can be associated with an honest conclusion, or that one class of arguments should be stifled by authority.
William Edward Hartpole Lecky
When we go to the Bible we should keep in mind that the basic principles of the Bible are taught by God, but written down by human beings deprived of modern day knowledge. So there is some fallibility in the writings of the Bible. But the basic principles are applicable to my life and I don't find any conflict among them.
The South African artist William Kentridge speaks to this type of certainty: 'To say that one needs art, or politics, that incorporate ambiguity and contradiction is not to say that one then stops recognizing and condemning things as evil. However, it might stop one being so utterly convinced of the certainty of one's own solutions. There needs to be a strong understanding of fallibility and how the very act of certainty or authoritativeness can bring disasters.' The outcome of the current crisis is already determined.
Children understood at a very young age that doing nothing was an expression of power. Doing nothing was a choice swollen with omnipotence. It was, in fact, godly. And this, she now realized, was the reason why the gods did nothing. Proof of their omniscience. After all, to act was to announce awful limitations, for it revealed that chance acted first, the accidents were just that-events beyond the will of the gods-and all they could do in answer was to attempt to remedy the consequences, to alter natural ends. To act, then, was an admission of fallibility.
One can expect the human race to continue attempting systems just within or just beyond our reach; and software systems are perhaps the most intricate and complex of man's handiworks. The management of this complex craft will demand our best use of new languages and systems, our best adaptation of proven engineering management methods, liberal doses of common sense, and a God-given humility to recognize our fallibility and limitations.
It is often said that mankind needs a faith if the world is to be improved. In fact, unless the faith is vigilantly and regularly checked by a sense of man's fallibility, it is likely to make the world worse. From Torquemada to Robespierre and Hitler the men who have made mankind suffer the most have been inspired to do so have been inspired to do so by a strong faith; so strong that it led them to think their crimes were acts of virtue necessary to help them achieve their aim, which was to build some sort of an ideal kingdom on earth.
He was really quite addicted to her face, and yet for the longest time he could not remember it at all, it being so much brighter than sunlight on a pool of water that he could only recall that blinding brightness; then after awhile, since she refused to give him her photograph, he began to practice looking away for a moment when he was still with her, striving to uphold in his inner vision what he had just seen (her pale, serious, smooth and slender face, oh, her dark hair, her dark hair), so that after immense effort he began to retain something of her likeness although the likeness was necessarily softened by his fallibility into a grainy, washed-out photograph of some bygone court beauty, the hair a solid mass of black except for parallel streaks of sunlight as distinct as the tines of a comb, the hand-tinted costume sweetly faded, the eyes looking sadly, gently through him, the entire image cob-webbed by a sheet of semitranslucent Thai paper whose white fibers twisted in the lacquered space between her and him like gorgeous worms; in other words, she remained eternally elsewhere.
William T. Vollmann