Posted by Thomas chalkley on September 21, 2000
In Reply to: There are none so blind... posted by ESC on July 23, 2000
: : : Can anyone shed light on the origin of the phrase, "There are none so blind as those who will not see?" Thanks!!
: : I could not find one source on this. It sounds Biblical but is not. The closest thing Biblically to it is in Matt 13:13,Jer 5:21 and Isa 6:9-10.
: : Matthew 13:13
: : 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing
: : see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand
: : Jeremiah 5:21
: : Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
: : Isaiah 6:9-10
: : And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear you indeed, but understand not; and see indeed, but perceive not.
: : Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
: "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). Mr. Titelman agrees that this saying has its roots in the Bible, specifically Jer. 5:21 (King James version): "Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not."
: "There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know. The proverb has been traced back in English to 1546 (John Heywood), and resembles the Biblical verse quoted (above). In 1738, it was used by Jonathan Swift in his 'Polite Conversation,' and is first attested in the United States in the 1713 'Works of Thomas Chalkley'..."