Shooting All Day

“I see some who study and comment on their almanacs and cite their authority in current events. With all they say, they necessarily tell both truth and falsehood. For who is there who, shooting all day, will not sometime hit the mark? [Cicero] I think none the better of them to see them sometimes happen to hit the truth; there would be more certainty in it, if it were the rule and the truth that they always lied. Besides, no one keeps a record of their mistakes, inasmuch as these are ordinary and numberless; and their correct divinations are made much of because they are rare, incredible, and prodigious. In this way Diagoras, who was surnamed the Atheist, replied to the man in Samothrace, who, showing him in the temple many votive offerings and tables of those who have escaped shipwreck, said to him: ‘Well, you who think that the gods care nothing about human affairs, what do you say about so many men saved by their grace?’ ‘This is how it happens,’ Diagoras answered. ‘Those who were drowned, in much greater number, are not portrayed here.'” (I:11, 29, Frame)