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Following of authority in any form, whether self-imposed or established from outside, as well as any form of imitation, copying, is destructive of incentive, of creativeness, and that it blocks the discovery of what is true.
How can we encourage other human beings to extend their moral sympathies beyond a narrow locus? How can we learn to become mere human beings, shorn of any more compelling national, ethnic, or religious identity? We can be reasonable. It is in the very nature of reason to fuse cognitive and moral horizons. Reason is nothing less than the guardian of love.
Rather than being a luxury, emotions are a very intelligent way of driving an organism toward certain outcomes.
Man (like the other animals) is not born to enjoy life, but only to perpetuate life, to communicate it to others who come after, to conserve it. Neither he himself, nor life, nor any object of this world is actually made for him, but, on the contrary, he exists completely for life. Terrifying, but a true proposition of all metaphysics.
Ethical ideas and sentiments have to be considered as parts of the phenomena of life at large. We have to deal with man as a product of evolution, with society as a product of evolution, and with moral phenomena as products of evolution.
Some of us, for better or worse, develop very stable, consistent, and largely predictable machineries of self. But in others, the self machinery is more flexible and more open to unexpected turns.
I confused things with their names: that is belief.
An employee within an organization will advance to his or her level of incompetence and remain there.
The creature that wins against its environment destroys itself.
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Science probes; it does not prove.
More than any other time in history, mankind now faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
A falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest.
If I use the word consciousness, in our lab, in our institute, what we mean is the special quality of mind, the special features that exist in the mind, that permit us to know, for example, that we, ourselves, exist, and that things exist around us.
Observation without evaluation is the highest form of intelligence.
Life is a continuous flux. Our nonhuman ancestors bred, generation after generation, and incrementally begat what we now deem to be the species homo sapiens - ourselves. There is nothing about our ancestral line or about our current biology that dictates how we will evolve in the future. Nothing in the natural order demands that our descendants resemble us in any particular way. Very likely, they will not resemble us. We will almost certainly transform ourselves, likely beyond recognition, in the generations to come.
Biologically, life is not maintenance or restoration of equilibrium but is essentially maintenance of disequilibria, as the doctrine of the organism as open system reveals. Reaching equilibrium means death and consequent decay. Psychologically, behaviour not only tends to release tensions but also builds up tensions; if this stops, the patient is a decaying mental corpse in the same way a living organism becomes a body in decay when tensions and forces keeping it from equilibrium have stopped.
Say what we will, death is the best thing nature has found to please everyone. With each of us, everything vanishes, everything stops forever. What an advantage, what an abuse! Without the least effort on our part, we own the universe, we drag it into our own disappearance. No doubt about it, dying is immoral...
Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think.
A marriage is likely to be called happy if neither party ever expected to get much happiness out of it.
The easiest kind of relationship for me is with ten thousand people. The hardest is with one.
CELEBRITY: One who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
There are those who don’t believe in God and yet do good. There are those who believe in God and kill for that belief; those who prepare for war because they claim they want peace, and so on. So one has to ask oneself what need there is to believe at all in anything, though this doesn’t deny the extraordinary mystery of life. But belief is a word, a thought, and this is not the thing, anymore than your name is actually you.
Through experience you hope to touch the truth of your belief, to prove it to yourself, but this belief conditions your experience. It isn’t that the experience comes to prove the belief, but rather that the belief begets the experience. Your belief in God will give you the experience of what you call God. You will always experience what you believe and nothing else.
I think therefore I seem to be.
Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.
CONFERENCE: A gathering of important people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.
Am I living in a way which is deeply satisfying to me, and which truly expresses me?
It seems evident that everything which exists in nature, is natural, no matter how simple or complicated a phenomenon it is; and on no occasion can the so-called 'supernatural' be anything else than a completely natural law, though it may, at the moment, be above and beyond the present understanding.
Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.
I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've propbably misunderstood what I've said.
A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are for.
One of the surprising discoveries of modern psychology is how easy it is to be ignorant of your own ignorance.
It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.
Language mavens commonly confuse their own peeves with a worsening of the language.
There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started out with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet which fails so regularly, as love.
Are you listening to the ones who keep quiet?
If it were not for hopes, the heart would break.
What one does, one becomes.
If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding.
Sleep is the best meditation.
The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting.
Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.
Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day.
We have a responsibility to look after our planet. It is our only home.
An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.
To ask the 'right' question is far more important than to receive the answer. The solution of a problem lies in the understanding of the problem; the answer is not outside the problem, it is in the problem.
It will happen but it will take time.
I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it.
Two thousand years of monotheistic brainwashing have caused most Westerners to see polytheism as ignorant and childish idolatry. This is an unjust stereotype.
If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.
Special-interest publications should realize that if they are attracting enough advertising and readers to make a profit, the interest is not so special.
Although you may not always be able to avoid difficult situations,you can modify the extent to which you can suffer by how you choose to respond to the situation.
We must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.
The hypothesis of God is a peculiar one, in that it supposes an infinitely incomprehensible object, although every hypothesis, as such, supposes its object to be truly conceived in the hypothesis.
I am a philosopher, not a scientist, and we philosophers are better at questions than answers.
The greatest task before civilization at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men.
Don't find fault, find a remedy.
The only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature and for uniformity in general is to suppose them results of evolution. This supposes them not to be absolute, not to be obeyed precisely.
The means have murdered the end.
The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.
To me, body and mind are different aspects of specific biological processes.
Politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
God must love the common man, he made so many of them.
One of the greatest challenges facing civilization in the twenty-first century is for human beings to learn to speak about their deepest personal concerns-about ethics, spiritual experience, and the inevitability of human suffering-in ways that are not flagrantly irrational. We desperately need a public discourse that encourages critical thinking and intellectual honesty. Nothing stands in the way of this project more that the respect we accord religious faith.
There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
For one thing, before the 20th century, there were plenty of genocides. We tend to forget about them, partly because they weren't as well documented and partly because, until recently, people didn't care. We used euphemisms like 'sackings' and 'sieges' instead of calling them 'genocides.'
The organized community or social group which gives to the individual his unity of self may be called “the generalized other.” The attitude of the generalized other is the attitude of the whole community. Thus, for example, in the case of such a social group as a ball team, the team is the generalized other in so far as it enters—as an organized process or social activity—into the experience of any one of the individual members of it.
With stupidity and sound digestion man may front much.
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
It is better to be hated for what one is, than loved for what one is not.
The poor, by thinking unceasingly of money, reach the point of losing the spiritual advantages of non-possession, thereby sinking as low as the rich.
An open heart is an open mind.
There is a fundamental confusion between the notion of the older 'semantics' as connected with a theory of verbal 'meaning' and words defined by words, and the present theory of 'general semantics' where we deal only with neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic living reactions of Smith, Smith, etc., as their reactions to neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic environments as environments.
You can't say civilization isn't advancing, in every war they kill you in a new way.
To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.
Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside? Children don’t usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day.
I want to thank everybody for making this day necessary.
If you analyze well your most poetic impressions and imaginings -- the ones that most exalt you and pull you outside of yourself and of the real world -- you would find that they and the pleasure they cause (at least after childhood) consist totally or chiefly in remembrance.
The successful person places more attention on doing the right thing rather than doing things right.
Chance alone is at the source of all novelty, all creation in the biosphere.
When your suffering is a little greater than my suffering I feel that I am a little cruel.
We are free to burn the Qur’an or any other book, and to criticize Muhammad or any other human being. Let no one forget it.
Truth is what works.
Whenever you can, count.
No, no, you're not thinking, you're just being logical. 
People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don't find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner." I don't try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.
You are just an insecure little girl in desperate need of attention.
Islam, at the moment, is the motherlode of bad ideas.
Grant me patience, O Lord, but hurry!
Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.
What do I care about Jupiter? Justice is a human issue, and I do not need a god to teach it to me.
You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity. 
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
If everyone could learn that what is right for me does not make it right for anyone else, the world would be a much happier place.
Weather forecast for tonight: dark.
The characteristic of life does not lie in a distinctiveness of single life processes. [Lebensvorgänge], but rather in a certain order among all the processes.
... the fallacy of attributing to one cause what is due to many causes.
Man created God in his own image
Failures are divided into two classes--those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.
2468 quotes