Condemnation Before Investigation

You may have heard of this quote before; it’s been floating around the internet for quite some time. It’s almost like a meme.  But before Richard Dawkins was born, this axiom was a meme before the internet or electricity existed.

“Condemnation before investigation, is the highest form of ignorance.”


This quote, most often attributed to the infamous (Albert Einstein) is paraphrased -often without citations- to the likes of Ernest Hemmingway, Thomas Edison, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

William Paley, however wrote a similar sentiment that can be found on page 455 of his book entitled “Paley’s evidences of Christianity”.

“…Contempt prior to examination is an intellectual vice, from which the greatest faculties of mind are not free.” -William Paley, 1859 A.D.

Also see:

Here is a quote from the following book below:


So many people have paraphrased this quote, yet few if any realize its origins. I think the reason so many are drawn to it is because it’s absolutely true.  Don’t put your cart before your horse; don’t make a conclusion before you have gathered ample evidence.  Don’t put your logic and reasoning before your grammar and evidence, lest you’ll look like an uninformed idiot.


Later in 1879 Rev. William H. Poole, in his book ‘Anglo-Israel or, The British Nation: The Lost Tribes of Israel‘, shed some light on where this quote and its many variants actually comes from.

“The book is a lecture on the subject of Anglo-Israelism. Ten years later, in 1889, he used the two quotations again on the title page of a revised and much enlarged edition of this book, Anglo-Israel or The Saxon Race Proved to Be the Lost Tribes of Israel, in Nine Lectures.”

‘Accept nothing that is unreasonable; discard nothing as unreasonable without proper examination.’ – attributed to Buddha

Here is the true source of this quote, which is thousands of years old. While reading the book of Proverbs, I bookmarked a certain verse.  Later I discovered others, such as Reverend Poole, that also realized the same quote was taken from scripture.

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly (foolish) and shame unto him.   Proverbs 18:13


” When one returneth an answer before he understandeth the question, it is afolly unto him and a shame.”  – SOLOMAN

Joe Dubs

I write about philosophy, geometry, health, politics and other stuff that interests me.


  1. Condemnation before Investigation is a sure sign of Indoctrination.
    Often as not displayed in the cursory knowledge mindset of the Dunning Kruger syndrome.

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