From Primo Levi’s afterword to the combined volume of If This is a Man and The Truce, which relate the author’s experiences as a prisoner at Auschwitz and on his journey home.
It is, therefore, necessary to be suspicious of those who seek to convince us with means other than reason, and of charismatic leaders; we must be cautious about delegating to others our judgment and our will. Since it is difficult to distinguish true prophets from false, it is as well to regard all prophets with suspicion. It is better to renounce revealed truths, even if they exalt us by their splendor or if we find them convenient because we can acquire them gratis. It is better to content oneself with other more modest and less exciting truths, those one acquires painfully, little by little and without shortcuts, with study, discussion, and reasoning, those that can be verified and demonstrated.