Full list of "Wise Words"
- "Hic Rhodus, hic saltus! [Rhodes is here, here is where you jump! ]"
-Aesop’s Fable - The Boastful Athlete-
- "Everything I know I learned by killing smart people and eating their brains."
- "Don't underestimate me. I know more than I say, think more than I speak & notice more than you realize."
- "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."
- "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
- "Coffee should be served hot as hell, black as death, and as sweet as love."
- "The Mass of Men Lead Lives of Quiet Desperation."
-Henry David Thoreau-
- "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
- "Fable should be taught as fable, myth as myth, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truth is horrifying. The mind of a child accepts them and only through great pain, perhaps tragedy, can the child be relieved of them. Men will fight for superstition as quickly as for the living truth -- even more so, since a superstition is intangible, you can't get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, as so is changeable."
-Hypatia of Alexandria-
- "What about Fräulein Fritzl, in Austria? Whose father, unwilling to get out of the way, kept her in a dungeon where she didn't see sunlight for twenty-four years. And came down most nights to rape and sodomize her, often in front of the children who were victims of the previous attacks and offences... Imagine how she must have begged him. Imagine how she must have pleaded. Imagine for how long. Imagine how she must've prayed everyday. How she must have beseeched heaven. Imagine, for twenty-four years. And no, no answer at all. Nothing. NOTHING! Now, you say, "That's alright that she went through that." Because she'll get a better deal in another life? Are you- I have to ask you if you can be morally or ethically serious and postulate such a question. "No, that had to happen, and heaven did watch it with indifference. Because it knows that that score will later on be settled. So it was well worth her going through it, she'll have a better time next time." I don't see how you can look anyone, anyone in the face, or live with yourself, and say anything so hideously, wickedly immoral as that. Or even imply it."
- "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
- "I may be laying in the gutter, but I'm staring at the stars"
- "Faith, by definition, is believing in things without evidence and personally I don't do that, 'cos I'm not an idiot."
- "To find yourself, think for yourself."
- "Men will always deceive themselves by abandoning experience to follow imaginary systems. Man is the work of Nature: he exists in Nature: he is submitted to her laws: he cannot deliver himself from them; nor can he step beyond them even in thought."
- "By dint of contradictory qualities and hazarded assertions it has, that is to say, so handicapped its God that it has made it impossible for him to act. If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has, filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? IF HE HAS SPOKEN, WHY IS THE UNIVERSE NOT CONVINCED? If the knowledge of a God is the most necessary, why is it not the most evident and the clearest."
-Percy Bysshe Shelley - The Necessity of Atheism-
- "The cat could very well be man's best friend but would never stoop to admitting it."
- "It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better... while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more."
- "We seem to believe it is possible to ward off death by following rules of good grooming."
- "After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say, I want to see the manager."
-William S. Burroughs-
- "A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes."
- "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is."
- "The point of quotations is that one can use another's words to be insulting."
- "In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning."
- "As an atheist, I am angry that we live in a society in which the plain truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the population."
- "What are you doing Dave?"
- "My foes serve me twice: in dying, and in death."
-Lim-Dûl, the Necromancer-
- "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Richard Jackson - An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania (1759)-
- "Men of the noblest dispositions think themselves happiest when others share their happiness with them."
- "There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people."
- "Delight in teaching what you have learned."
- "Two things indicate weakness: to be silent when it is proper to speak, and to speak when it is proper to be silent."
- "Worry: A crime for which we punish ourselves by disturbing our own peace of mind."
- "Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humour was provided to console him for what he is."
- "Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade."
- "Once I saw upon the stair a little man who wasn't there, he wasn't there again today, oh how I wish he'd go away."
- "They're so heavenly bound they're no earthly good."
- "A pun is the lowest form of humour, unless you thought of it yourself."
- "Individually and collectively, Cherokee people possess an extraordinary ability to face down adversity and continue moving forward."
- "I'm proud of being part Cherokee, and I think it's time all us Indians felt the same way."
- "A duty dodged is like a debt unpaid; it is only deferred, and we must come back and settle the account at last."
-Joseph F. Newton-
- "A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life."
- "A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth."
- "A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives - of approving of some and disapproving of others."
- "A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone."
- "An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men."
- "Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal."
- "False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness."
- "How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded by children."
- "I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions."
- "I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars."
- "I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection."
- "I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me."
- "I love fools' experiments. I am always making them."
- "If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin."
- "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
- "In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed."
- "It is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine."
- "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."
- "Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits."
- "Man tends to increase at a greater rate than his means of subsistence."
- "My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts."
- "On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation."
- "The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts."
- "The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic."
- "The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference."
- "The very essence of instinct is that it's followed independently of reason."
- "To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact."
- "We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act."
- "We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin."
- "What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low, and horribly cruel work of nature!"
- "When the axe entered the forest, the trees said, look, the handle is one of us!"
- "I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful."
- "The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more."
- "Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods."
- "Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse."
- "Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that is where it should stay."
- "Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you."
- "Mother Teresa was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction."
- "The noble title of 'dissident' must be earned rather than claimed, it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement."
- "Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it."
- "The governor of Texas, who, when asked if the Bible should also be taught in Spanish, replied that 'if English was good enough for Jesus, then it's good enough for me."
- "Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake."
- "The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals."
- "One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody-not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms-had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think-though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one-that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell."
- "I have met some highly intelligent believers, but history has no record to say that [s]he knew or understood the mind of god. Yet this is precisely the qualification which the godly must claim--so modestly and so humbly--to possess. It is time to withdraw our 'respect' from such fantastic claims, all of them aimed at the exertion of power over other humans in the real and material world."
- "Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and --since there is no other metaphor--also the soul."
- "To 'choose' dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid."
- "Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with."
- "Why do humans exist? A major part of the answer: because Pikaia Gracilens survived the Burgess decimation."
- "Nothing optional--from homosexuality to adultery--is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishments) have a repressed desire to participate. As Shakespeare put it in 'King Lear', the policeman who lashes the whore has a hot need to use her for the very offense for which he plies the lash."
- "Organised religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children."
- "I suppose that one reason I have always detested religion is its sly tendency to insinuate the idea that the universe is designed with 'you' in mind or, even worse, that there is a divine plan into which one fits whether one knows it or not. This kind of modesty is too arrogant for me."
- "Nothing optional -- from homosexuality to adultery -- is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishment) have a repressed desire to participate."
- "We owe a huge debt to Galileo for emancipating us all from the stupid belief in an Earth-centred or man-centred (let alone God-centered) system. He quite literally taught us our place and allowed us to go on to make extraordinary advances in knowledge."
- "Everything about Christianity is contained in the pathetic image of 'the flock'."
- "It is interesting to find that people of faith now seek defensively to say that they are no worse than fascists or Nazis or Stalinists."
- "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes - one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
- "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any-place, any-time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass."
- "If someone tells me that I've hurt their feelings, I say, 'I'm still waiting to hear what your point is.' In this country, I've been told, 'That's offensive' as if those two words constitute an argument or a comment. Not to me they don't. And I'm not running for anything, so I don't have to pretend to like people when I don't."
- "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
- "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
-Arthur C. Clarke-
- "You can gain no knowledge of existence through continued use of hypotheses which are shown to be unworthy of a theoretical status."
- "Think of how stupid the average person is and then realize half of them are stupider than that."
- "The hierarchy of everything in my life has always bothered me. I'm bothered by power. People, whoever they might be, whether it's the government, or the policeman in the uniform, or the man on the door - they still irk me a bit. From school, from the first nun that belted me - people used to think of the nice sweet little ladies... they used to knock the fuck out of you, in the most cruel way that they could. They'd find bits of your body that were vulnerable to intense pain - grabbing you by the ear, or by the nose, and lift you, and say 'Don't cry!' It's very hard not to cry. I mean, not from emotion, but pain. The priests were the same. And I sit and watch politicians with great cynicism, total cynicism."
- "The wicked are ensnared by the work of their own hands."
- "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
- "Some people die at 25 and aren't buried until 75."
- "He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else."
- "I think you could argue that belief in an afterlife, as a source of meaning and purpose, is highly pernicious, because it devalues life on earth."
- "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
- "Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."
-Arthur C. Clarke-
- "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
- "Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been."
-John Greenleaf Whittier-
- "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times."
- "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."
- "Don't let schooling interfere with your education."
- "A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on."
-John F. Kennedy-
- "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
- "Every man dies, not every man really lives."
- "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle."
- "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."
- "Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"
- "To love is to recognize yourself in another."
- "Prejudices are rarely overcome by argument; not being founded in reason they cannot be destroyed by logic."
- "I feel like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest."
- "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."
- "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
- "For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
- "We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."
- "When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit."
- "People misinterpret what I say all the time: They think I'm being offensive, when really, I'm only being opinionated."
- "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
- "Indictment for blasphemy: That the Holy Scriptures were stuffed with such madness, nonsense, and contradictions, that he admired the stupidity of the world in being so long deluded by them: That he rejected the mystery of the Trinity as unworthy of refutation; and scoffed at the incarnation of Christ."
- "We have plucked the low hanging fruit from the tree of knowledge. But there are more succulent goodies higher up and we will get there faster if we all climb together."
- "Yes, I'm a materialist. I'm willing to be shown wrong, but that has not happened - yet. And I admit that the reason I'm unable to accept the claims of psychic, occult, and/or supernatural wonders is because I'm locked into a world-view that demands evidence rather than blind faith, a view that insists upon the replication of all experiments - particularly those that appear to show violations of a rational world - and a view which requires open examination of the methods used to carry out those experiments."
- "In metric, one milliliter of water occupies one cubic centimeter, weighs one gram, and requires one calorie of energy to heat up by one degree centigrade - which is 1 percent of the difference between its freezing point and its boiling point. An amount of hydrogen weighing the same amount has exactly one mole of atoms in it. Whereas in the American system, the answer to "How much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water?" is "Go fuck yourself," because you cant directly relate any of those quantities."
-Wild Thing by Josh Bazell-
- "Truth hurts, I know. It’s biologically-based actually. Our brain process sound faster than we do light, but light moves faster than sound. See, so our brains are constantly shifting reality so the world syncs up... Only when someone is standing 30 yards away do we see and hear the world exactly as it is. That’s when your brain, sound, and light are all in perfect harmony... The rest of the time, we’re living in a world of lies. Lies are what make the world make sense. Ergo, the truth hurts."
-Patrick Jane, The Mentalist-
- "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."
-John F. Kennedy-
- "Horrifying. Dr. Barron, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear?
-Captain Jean-Luc Picard-
- "Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is. I dunno. If the Eiffel tower were now representing the world's age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man's share of that age; and anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would. I dunno."
-Samuel Langhorne Clemens-
- "Man is a marvelous curiosity... he thinks he is the Creator's pet... he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to him and thinks He listens. Isn't it a quaint idea."
-Samuel Langhorne Clemens-
- "One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed in it.
They have also believed the world was flat."
-Samuel Langhorne Clemens-
- "The gods offer no rewards for intellect.
There was never one yet that showed any interest in it."
-Samuel Langhorne Clemens-
- "A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows."
-Samuel Langhorne Clemens-
- "I hope I shall not offend you if I state quite frankly and openly that you seem to me to be in every way the visible personification of absolute perfection."
- "The source of man's unhappiness is his ignorance of Nature. The pertinacity with which he clings to blind opinions imbibed in his infancy, which interweave themselves with his existence, the consequent prejudice that warps his mind, that prevents its expansion, that renders him the slave of fiction, appears to doom him to continual error."
- "Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: look, when you guys were in charge, you didn’t argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we’re doing is, we’re presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain."
- "A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition."
- "There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages."
- "The inspiration of the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it."
- "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
- "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers."
-James George Janos-
- "A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side."
- "Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o, and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have."
- "Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities."
- "I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."
- "Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?"
- "An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated."
-Madalyn Murray O'Hair-
- "The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also."
- "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful"
-Seneca the Younger-
- "There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven."
- "If god doesn't like the way I live, Let him tell me, not you."
- "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."
- "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
- "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
- "Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?"
- "Talent is doing easily what others find difficult. Genius is doing easily what others find impossible."
- "Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead."
- "FRIENDSHIP is a tacit contract between two sensible and virtuous persons, I say SENSIBLE; for a monk, a hermit, may not be wicked, yet live a stranger to friendship. I add VIRTUOUS, for the wicked have only accomplices, the voluptuous have companions, the designing have associates, the men of business have partners, the politicians form a factious band; the bulk of idle men have connections; princes have courtiers: but virtuous men alone have friends. Cethegus was Cataline's accomplice, and Mecenas was Octavius's courtier; but Cicero was Atticus's friend."
- "To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker."
- "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
- "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
- "There is no glory without danger."
-Fenrir, son of Loki-
- "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.-
- "It is always useful to face an enemy who is prepared to die for his country. This means that both you and he have exactly the same aim in mind."
-Terry Pratchett, Jingo-
- "Meanwhile we can thank our lucky fate which has rescued us, for a few short hours, from the insufferable fatigues of idleness"
-Sherlock Holmes [The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge - Arthur Conan Doyle ]-
- "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all"
-Hypatia of Alexandria-
- "In the year 415, the woman scientist Hypatia, head of the legendary Alexandria library, was beaten to death by Christian monks who considered her a pagan. The leader of the monks, Cyril, was canonized a saint."
-James A. Haught-
- "For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our education system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us."
- "I will not attack your doctrines nor your creeds if they accord liberty to me. If they hold thought to be dangerous - if they aver that doubt is a crime, then I attack them one and all, because they enslave the minds of men."
-Robert Green Ingersoll-
- "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
- "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man"
- "Nothing endures but change."
- "Do not place dependence on your own genius even if you have some, nothing can be denied to well directed labor and nothing can be obtained without it."
-Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter-
- "This world is no place of rest ... Our work should never be done, and it is the daydream of ignorance to look forward to that as a happy time, when we shall wish for nothing more, and have nothing more to accomplish."
-Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter-
- "The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence"
-Abu Ala Al-Ma'arri-
- "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
- "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."
- "If there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence."
- "Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing - fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand."
- "I believe all important matters have to be settled here, not in the clouds somewhere after we kick off."
- "Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions."
- "We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction."
- "There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis."
- "Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking."
- "We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We're a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don't really have an explanation for."
- "The great accomplishment of Jobs's life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies - his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness - in the service of perfection."
- "It would be interesting to find out what goes on in that moment when someone looks at you and comes to all sorts of conclusions."
- "If the general picture of an expanding universe and a Big Bang is correct, we must then confront still more difficult questions. What were conditions like at the time of the Big Bang? What happened before that? Was there a tiny universe, devoid of all matter, and then the matter suddenly created from nothing? How does that happen? In many cultures it is customary to answer that God created the universe out of nothing. But this is mere temporizing. If we wish courageously to pursue the question, we must, of course ask next where God comes from. And if we decide this to be unanswerable, why not save a step and decide that the origin of the universe is an unanswerable question? Or, if we say that God has always existed, why not save a step and conclude that the universe has always existed?"
- "Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital."
- "Lord let them be smart, but not smart enough to know how dumb they are because then they are really screwed."
- "You see, if you’re very, very stupid, how can you possibly realize that you’re very, very stupid? You’d have to be relatively intelligent to realize how stupid you are... Knowing how good you are at something requires exactly the same skills as it does to be good at that thing in the first place. Which means—and this is terribly funny—that if you’re absolutely no good at something at all, then you lack exactly the skills that you need to know that you’re absolutely no good at it."
- "Families, when a child is born, hope it will turn out intelligent. I, through intelligence having wrecked my whole life, only hope that the baby will prove ignorant and stupid. Then he’ll be happy all his days and grow into a cabinet minister."
-Su Shi, aka Su Tung-Po (1037-1101), On The Birth of a Son-
- "Gravity, have you ever heard of fucking gravity!? Gravity!... GRAVITY!!!"
-Desertphile's Gravity Rant-
- "Believers in religion teach us that God will reward men for good actions, but men who are intellectually free, know that the reward of a good action cannot be given by any power, but that it is the natural result of the good action. The free man, guided by intelligence, knows that his reward is in the nature of things, and not in the caprice even of the Infinite. He is not a good and faithful servant, he is an intelligent free man."
-Robert G. Ingersoll-
- "Leave your stupid comments in your pocket!"
-Greg Sestero (The Room, as Mark)- (The Room Game)
- "You want to know the world? Look at it closely. You want to like it? Look at it from afar."
-Ion Luca Caragiale-
- "One mistake up here, and it's half a day out with the undertaker."
- "A man who says he feels no fear is either a fool or a liar."
- "I've never fell off a big chimney. You'd only fall off one of them once."
- "We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality."
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca-
- "People want to be loved; failing that admired; failing that feared; failing that hated and despised. They want to evoke some sort of sentiment. The soul shudders before oblivion and seeks connection at any price."
- "We know so little about one another. We embrace a shadow and love a dream."
- "Nothing so reduces and drags down a human being as the consciousness of not being loved."
- "For youth, the moon is a promise of all those tremendous things which await it, for older people a memento that the promise was never kept, a reminder of all that broke and went to pieces... And what is moonshine? Secondhand sunshine. Diluted, counterfeit."
- "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell"
- Hodge: "Ah, so it's a test you're looking for. We don't do tests!"
Tyrian: "No, of course not. They never do tests. Not many real deeds either. Oh, conversation with your grandmother's shade in a darkened room, the odd love potion or two, but comes a doubter, why, then it's the wrong day, the planets are not in line, the entrails are not favorable, 'we don't do tests'!"
- "Once upon a time, there was a nonconforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started southward. In a short time, ice began to form on his wings and he fell to earth in a barnyard, almost frozen. A cow passed by and crapped on the little sparrow. The sparrow thought it was the end. But then the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy, able to breathe, he started to sing. Just then a large cat came by and hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds. The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping sparrow and promptly ate him.
Now, it may seem that there are no lessons here, but there are. In fact, there are three:
1. Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.
2. Everyone who gets you out of shit is not necessarily your friend.
3. If you’re warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut."
- "A fight is going on inside me,” he says to the boy. “It’s a terrible fight between two wolves.
One is evil — he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, and ego.
The other is good — he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, and compassion.
The same fight is going on inside you — and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thinks for a minute and then asks, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee replies, “The one you feed.”
- "If its got wings wheels or tits it's cheaper to rent it."
- "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."
- "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."
-Samuel Langhorne Clemens-
- "First you get good, then you get fast."
- "I shall die, but
that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall;
I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle
while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself:
I will not give him a leg up.
Though he flick my shoulders with his whip,
I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where
the black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
I am not on his pay-roll.
I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends
nor of my enemies either.
Though he promise me much,
I will not map him the route to any man's door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living,
that I should deliver men to Death?
Brother, the password and the plans of our city
are safe with me; never through me Shall you be overcome."
-Edna St. Vincent Millay-
- "My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!"
-Edna St. Vincent Millay-
- "Immanuel Kant was a real piss-ant who was very rarely stable,
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could drink you under the table,
David Hume could out-consume Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was twice as sloshed as Schlegel.
There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach yer 'bout the raising of the wrist,
Socrates himself was permanently pissed.
John Stewart Mill, of his own free will, on half a pint of shandy was particularly ill,
Plato, they say, could stick it away, half a crate of whisky every day,
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle, Hobbes was fond of his dram,
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart: "I drink, therefore I am."
Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed -
A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed."
-Bruces' Philosophers Song-
-Sung by Christopher Hitchens-
- "I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am."
-Charles Horton Cooley-
- "Why speculate when you can calculate?"
-John Baez- & - The Crackpot Index -
- "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
-Martin Luther King Jr.-
- "I could while away the hours
Conferrin' with the flowers,
Consultin' with the rain;
And my head I'd be a scratchin' while
my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain.
I'd unravel ev'ry riddle
for any Individdle,
In trouble or in pain
With the thoughts that I'd be thinkin'
You could be another Lincoln
If I only had a brain.
Oh, I could tell you why
The ocean's near the shore
I could think of things I'd never Thunk before,
And then I'd sit, and think some more.
I would not be just a muffin',
my head all full of stuffin',
My heart all full of pain;
And perhaps I'd deserve you and be even worthy of you
If I only had a brain."
- "If falsehood, like truth, had only one face, we would be in better shape.
For we could take as certain the opposite of what the liar said.
But the reverse of truth has a hundred thousand shapes and a limitless field.
The Pythagoreans make out the good to be certain and finite; evil infinite and uncertain.
A thousand paths miss the target; one goes to it."
-Michel de Montaigne-
- "In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion."
- "We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say."
-Zeno of Citium-
- "Man conquers the world by conquering himself."
-Zeno of Citium-
- "The goal of life is living in agreement with Nature."
-Zeno of Citium-
- "Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue."
-Zeno of Citium-
- "Well-being is attained little by little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself."
-Zeno of Citium-
- "If you lay violent hands on me, you'll have my body, but my mind will remain with Stilpo."
-Zeno of Citium-
- "Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content."
- "The word God for me is nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all other religions, is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything “chosen” about them."
- "It is our responsibility as scientist, knowing the great progress and great value of a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress that is the the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom, to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed, and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations."
- "What do you think happens when we die?..." "I know that the ones who love us will miss us."