Hypatia of AlexandriaHypatia of Alexandria, (355? - 415 CE), Female Mathematician, Astronomer, and Philosopher

Hypatia of Alexandria Quote

“Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”

Hypatia of AlexandriaHypatia of Alexandria
~ Hypatia of Alexandria

Ratings and Comments

J Carlton, Calgary

Yes exactly...THIMK !!

warren, olathe

The world would be allot better off if some that think wrongly didn't think at all.

Ken, Allyn, WA

This must be what all of those people in padded cells tell themselves.

E Archer, NYC

I do not agree with a lot of what people say on this blog and in the rest of the world. But I respect those that actually think rather than simply parrot the party line. You guys commenting above must think that you are always right -- I am surprised. I thought you respected others' opinions. I see now, that you don't, but merely want to spout your own opinions as fact. That's a shame.

Ken, Allyn, WA

The question is, who is it better for? Karl Marx thought. Stalin thought. Mao thought. Hitler thought. Would it have been better if they had not thought at all, and for whom? Should I respect their opinions?

E Archer, NYC
  • Reply
E Archer, NYC Ken, Allyn, WA 7/18/18

I don't think Hyaptia is talking about whether Tyrants thought but whether the common people thought about their 'duties' to them.  Same in the USA today  how many really think for themselves.  How many have asked the hard questions?  Propaganda, influence-peddling, opinion-making, 'common core' education, re-education, fake news ... There is a constant barrage of ready-made 'thoughts' to adopt as my narrative.  Dare I say, I have been the object of programming since a child.  Once again, it is the Truth that sets one free  the need to reason and discern, to think, is essential.

Bob, Eugene, OR

You won't know who the idjits are if they aren't allowed to speak.

N. Peltier, North Bay, Canada

I would rather think for myself and be wrong then have someone tell me what to think. Good or bad, we can all learn from mistakes.

Me, Sylmar, CA

Have you ever been afraid to give an answer? Remember when you were in school, in your math class and the teacher was searching the room for a brave volunteer? Maybe you knew the answer or at least part of the answer but you were afraid to take a risk! I believe that Hypathia meant just that... it's better to take a chance and say what you think, even if it is wrong, than not to think at all.

  • Reply
mitch    9/18/08
Gregg Strouse, Los Angeles, CA

As a teacher, this quote is invaluable. Especially to those students that fear reprisal for their questions and ideas.

JBalzer, Ireland

The Hitlers and Stalins of this world tend to leave a wonderful air of warmth and humanity behind... For the simple reason that they *don't* think at all.

ella, south texas

Thank you angry "Xtian" mob for giving us freethinkers our own martyr.

kaylin, new york

I think she means that we should think for ourselves. Even if what we think might be wrong, it would be better than not thinking at all.

  • Reply
Jim    9/2/09

Hypatia's statement is absolutely correct.It just doesn't state the obvious implication. A thinking person is always thinking, and can change their mind in the forum of free inquiry and investigation. A thinking person, who's mind cannot or will not be changed, is not thinking at all ~ but is a willful ignorant.

Abby, Foley

I think she right cause if you don't think and state your thought that you can't see the answer from all the angles.

Tanin, Dhaka

Now here is another quote: " I think therefore I live." That means human mind always think as long as it conscious and without the consciousness or conscience no mind can do the thinking weather it is right wrong and we all know that a dead man cannot think. So it is impossible for anyone "not to think at all" no matter it is either right or wrong. So from this point of view the quote means that, thinking is better than dying even if you do it wrongly!!!

Gerry Dempsey, Dublin Ireland.

As long as we are unthinking there can be no change, no improvement. But if we are thinking, then even if we are in error, or mistaken, there is the possability of improvement.

Shine, Austin

The only means to remedy incorrect thought is to think further; those who continue to think incorrectly are the victims of stagnant thought. With time, stagnant thought becomes synonomous with a lack of thought. Historical figures whose fame lies in their terrible thoughts were, in effect, those who simply stopped thinking. Had they continued to think, they would have likely amended their false conclusions and produced superior thoughts.

no h8, chino

i agree with her!

Selai, zmr
  • Reply
    Selai, zmr    7/9/10

    I think she meant to say: think for what you believe in, do not follow the majority because it's not thinking but being under the influence of others.

    CrisTechnology, Jamaica

    The esoteric wisdom of the ancients will rise above all the froth of every sophistical mind controllling institution

    fhfkul, st.louis

    i agree

    • Reply
    ol    12/15/10


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    • Reply
      Anonymous    12/20/10

      I think it is time for all of us sentient beings to do more than think, it is time to bring the power of LOVE back into the world. Oppose the decade long war. Stop Israel from destroying a whole population, stop big Agra-business from killing small farmers, stop big -pharma from poisoning our bodies. It is a time of coming together in unison and staving off destruction. Our world is slowly dying from our self-indulgent blindness. Yes, it is time for the Goddess in ALL of us to rise up and say NO MORE!

      Moo, yolanda

      Even the stupidest can come up with the most extraordinary of ideas

      Mike, Norwalk

      Hypatia's hyperbole is a bit ahh, hmm, well ahh ? What exactly is it to not think ? Hitler, Stalin, Marx, Mao, etc. all "thought" criminal / anti-law; is that wrong ? - it wasn't good for many around them ;-) but, that wasn't the horrible thing, it was their subsequent actions that were so heinous with lasting devastation (to mind, body and soul).

      cal, Lewisville, tx

      Mike, you left out LBJ in your excellent examples.

      Luis Pérez, Panamá

      Hypatia was the last scientific free thinker from the Roman-Greek culture before Christians destroy all Knowledge in the name of the "Faith". She was heading the Alexandria Library in the IV century, the largest reservoir of knowledge in occident.

      Hypatia was taken by the Christians, led by the catholic bishop Cyrilo, and she was put to dead in public. Due to that, the Pope made a saint of him after his dead. It was the beginning of the dark age for western culture for the next Millennium.

      Ronw13, OR
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      • Reply
      Ronw13, OR    7/18/18

      Considering the library of Alexandria no longer existed during Hypatia's life time, more than likely her death was the result of a political "hit job." Luis Perez, Panama's broad stroke slander of Christians as a whole is incorrect, misleading. Hypatia was a neoplatoian, being found at odds with catholicism's stance on philosophical inquiry. During the Age of Enlightenment Hypatia came to be recognize as a symbol of Christian values in opposition to catholicism, Plato's Forms as God's thoughts. The existence of abstract objects in the third realm. distinct from the external and internal world of conscience. Her work in astronomy is well noted. Platonian philosophy and Christian principles form the foundation of American thought concerning Natural law dictates and the Republicanism America cherishes. It is indeed better to think than to not think at all.  There are no bad questions, only stupid answers. "A soul without knowledge is not good." Solomon. 


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