Curiosity is More Important Than Doing Good

The value the world sets upon motives is often grossly unjust and inaccurate. Consider, for example, two of them: mere insatiable curiosity and the desire to do good. The latter is put high above the former, and yet it is the former that moves some of the greatest men the human race has yet produced: the scientific investigators. What animates a great pathologist? Is it the desire to cure disease, to save life? Surely not, save perhaps as an afterthought. He is too intelligent, deep down in his soul, to see anything praiseworthy in such a desire. He knows by life-long observation that his discoveries will do quite as much harm as good, that a thousand scoundrels will profit to every honest man, that the folks who most deserve to be saved will probably be the last to be saved. No man of self-respect could devote himself to pathology on such terms. What actually moves him is his unquenchable curiosity–his boundless, almost pathological thirst to penetrate the unknown, to uncover the secret, to find out what has not been found out before. His prototype is not the liberator releasing slaves, the good Samaritan lifting up the fallen, but the dog sniffing tremendously at an infinite series of rat-holes.


More good has been done through curiosity.

Folksonomies: virtue curiosity

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/science (0.562580)
/health and fitness/disease (0.551772)

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English-language films (0.979994): dbpedia
Human (0.942570): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Pathology (0.708600): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Parable of the Good Samaritan (0.696925): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Samaritan (0.667133): dbpedia | freebase | yago
American films (0.650803): dbpedia
Medical school (0.644760): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Forensic pathology (0.634538): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Mencken , H. L. (2006-08-28), Prejudices, Johns Hopkins Univ Pr, Retrieved on 2012-06-12
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