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Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
Each individual has a universal responsibility to shape institutions to serve human needs.
To be authentic literally means to be your own author.
Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.
We have been trained to think of patterns, with the exception of those of music, as fixed affairs. It is easier and lazier that way but, of course, all nonsense. In truth, the right way to begin to think about the pattern which connects is to think of it as primarily (whatever that means) a dance of interacting parts and only secondarily pegged down by various sorts of physical limits and by those limits which organisms characteristically impose.
A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. 
If you can keep your head when all around you have lost theirs, then you probably haven't understood the seriousness of the situation.
No, no, you're not thinking, you're just being logical. 
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I am confident that those who believe in belief are wrong. That is, we no more need to preserve the myth of God in order to preserve a just and stable society than we needed to cling to the Gold Standard to keep our currency sound. It was a useful crutch, but we've outgrown it. Denmark, according to a recent study, is the sanest, healthiest, happiest, most crime-free nation in the world, and by and large the Danes simply ignore the God issue. We should certainly hope that those who believe in belief are wrong, because belief is waning fast, and the props are beginning to buckle.
When you seem to be listening to my words, they seem to be your words, with me listening.
A sign, or representamen, is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity. It addresses somebody,that is, creates in the mind of that person an equivalent sign, or perhaps a more developed sign. That sign which it creates I call the interpretant of the first sign. The sign stands for something, its object. It stands for that object, not in all respects, but in reference to a sort of idea, which I have sometimes called the ground of the representamen.
... we may say of the receptors, the effectors, of the intellect and the other capacities that they are primarily safety-seeking tools.
You must not hate those who do wrong or harmful things; but with compassion, you must do what you can to stop them — for they are harming themselves, as well as those who suffer from their actions.
You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.
Whether you believe in God or not does not matter much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much; as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life.
Convince me, but without convictions. Convictions no longer convince me.
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. 
I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support of their core beliefs.
I confused things with their names: that is belief.
There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose.
It will happen but it will take time.
I was involved in an extremely good example of oral contraception two weeks ago. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, she said 'no'.
There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.
Reason is non-negotiable. Try to argue against it, or to exclude it from some realm of knowledge, and you've already lost the argument, because you're using reason to make your case. And no, this isn't having "faith" in reason (in the same way that some people have faith in miracles), because we don't "believe" in reason; we use reason.
Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.
There is no society ever discovered in the remotest corner of the world that has not had something that we would consider the arts. Visual arts - decoration of surfaces and bodies - appears to be a human universal.
Happiness doesn’t always come from a pursuit. Sometimes it comes when we least expect it.
The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
Countries with high levels of atheism are . . . the most charitable both in terms of the percentage of their wealth they devote to social welfare programs and the percentage they give in aid to the developing world.
Too little liberty brings stagnation, and too much brings chaos.
There is a growing movement called Humanism, which promotes a non-supernatural basis for meaning and ethics: good without God.
Perhaps there is no such thing as unilateral power. After all, the man in power depends on receiving information all the time from outside. He responds to that information just as much as he causes things to happen... it is an interaction, and not a lineal situation.
Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
A drunk was in front of a judge. The judge says "You've been brought here for drinking. The drunk says "Okay, let's get started.
If we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories. In this way it is only too easy to obtain what appears to be overwhelming evidence in favor of a theory which, if approached critically, would have been refuted.
When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don't care if they are shot themselves.
Mathematics is distinguished from all other sciences except only ethics, in standing in no need of ethics.
PAIN: An uncomfortable frame of mind that may have a physical basis in something that is being done to the body, or may be purely mental, caused by the good fortune of another.
Modern science is characterized by its ever-increasing specialization, necessitated by the enormous amount of data, the complexity of techniques and of theoretical structures within every field. Thus science is split into innumerable disciplines continually generating new subdisciplines. In consequence, the physicist, the biologist, the psychologist and the social scientist are, so to speak, encapusulated in their private universes, and it is difficult to get word from one cocoon to the other.
The greater the level of calmness of our mind, the greater our peace of mind, the greater our ability to enjoy a happy and joyful life.
The visual system of the brain has the organization, computational profile, and architecture it has in order to facilitate the organism's thriving at the four Fs: feeding fleeing, fighting, and reproduction.
To be loved by whom you love is a great luck; to be loved by whom you don't love is an annoyance; not to be loved by whom you love is a misfortune; not to love and not to be loved, a risky situation.
Don't ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance or my kindness for weakness. Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
The only gift is giving to the poor; all else is exchange.
In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.
The European wars of religion were more deadly than the First World War, proportionally speaking, and in the range of the Second World War in Europe. The Inquisition, the persecution of heretics and infidels and witches, they racked up pretty high death tolls.
COMMAND: In computer science, a statement presented by a human and accepted by a computer in such a manner as to make the human feel as if he is in control.
If your heart has peace, nothing can disturb you.
When I speak of reason or rationalism, all I mean is the conviction that we canlearn through criticism of our mistakes and errors, especially through criticism by others, and eventually also through self-criticism. The genuine rationalist does not think that he or anyone else is in possession of the truth; nor does he think that mere criticism as such helps us achieve new ideas. But he does think that, in the sphere of ideas, only critical discussion can help us sort the wheat from the chaff. He is well aware that acceptance or rejection of an idea is never a purely rational matter; but he thinks that only critical discussion can give us the maturity to see an idea from more and more sides and to make a correct judgement of it.
Find out what it means to die - not physically, that's inevitable - but to die to everything that is known, to die to your family, to your attachments, to all the things that you have accumulated, the known, the known pleasures, the known fears. Die to that every minute and you will see what it means to die so that the mind is made fresh, young, and therefore innocent, so that there is incarnation not in a next life, but the next day.
If the myth of pure evil is that evil is committed with the intention of causing harm and an absence of moral considerations, then it applies to very few acts of so-called 'pure evil' because most evildoers believe what they are doing is forgivable or justifiable.
Unlike statements of fact, which require no further work on our part, lies must be continually protected from collisions with reality.
Most sociopolitical hierarchies lack a logical or biological basis – they are nothing but the perpetuation of chance events supported by myths.
The talkative man speaks from his mouth, the eloquent man speaks from his heart.
As people age, they confuse changes in themselves with changes in the world, and changes in the world with moral decline—the illusion of the good old days.
One of the effects of civilization is to diminish the rigour of the application of the law of natural selection. It preserves weakly lives that would have perished in barbarous lands.
To suppose universal laws of nature capable of being apprehended by the mind and yet having no reason for their special forms, but standing inexplicable and irrational, is hardly a justifiable position. Uniformities are precisely the sort of facts that need to be accounted for. Law is par excellence the thing that wants a reason. Now the only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature, and for uniformity in general, is to suppose them results of evolution.
When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
Follow the three R's: - Respect for self. - Respect for others. - Responsibility for all your actions.
Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.
If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
We are all prisoners of our thoughts.
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
It's likely that taboo words are stored in the right hemisphere of the brain. Massive left hemisphere strokes or the entire surgical removal of the left hemisphere can leave people with no articulate speech other than the ability to swear, spout cliches and song lyrics.
To love is human, but to marry is diabolical.
Anything that contradicts experience and logic should be abandoned.
Ignorance is no excuse once we know that ignorance is the only possible excuse.
The problem that religious moderation poses for all of us is that it
I'm not perfect... But I'm enough.
Faith, if it is ever right about anything, is right by accident.
I listen to all these complaints about rudeness and intemperateness, and the opinion that I come to is that there is no polite way of asking somebody: have you considered the possibility that your entire life has been devoted to a delusion? But that’s a good question to ask. Of course we should ask that question and of course it’s going to offend people. Tough.
Generality is, indeed, an indispensable ingredient of reality; for mere individual existence or actuality without any regularity whatever is a nullity. Chaos is pure nothing.
The important thing is first to find out what you are afraid of, to understand it and not run away from it.
Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.
BUREAUCRACY: A giant mechanism operated by pygmies.
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.
Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.
The real, then, is that which, sooner or later, information and reasoning would finally result in, and which is therefore independent of the vagaries of me and you. Thus, the very origin of the conception of reality shows that this conception essentially involves the notion of a COMMUNITY, without definite limits, and capable of a definite increase of knowledge.
Our initial sensory data are always "first derivatives," statements about differences which exist among external objects or statements about changes which occur either in them or in our relationship to them. Objects and circumstances which remain absolutely constant relative to the observer, unchanged either by his own movement or by external events, are in general difficult and perhaps always impossible to perceive. What we perceive easily is difference and change and difference is a relationship.
Violence and religion have often gone together, but it's not a perfect correlation, and it doesn't have to be a permanent connection, because religions themselves change.
Let’s not pretend that things will change if we keep doing the same things. A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation. For all crises bring progress. Creativity is born from anguish, just like the day is born form the dark night. It’s in crisis that inventiveness is born, as well as discoveries made and big strategies.
He who overcomes crisis, overcomes himself, without getting overcome. He who blames his failure to a crisis neglects his own talent and is more interested in problems than in solutions. Incompetence is the true crisis.
The greatest inconvenience of people and nations is the laziness with which they attempt to find the solutions to their problems. There’s no challenge without a crisis. Without challenges, life becomes a routine, a slow agony. There’s no merit without crisis. It’s in the crisis where we can show the very best in us. Without a crisis, any wind becomes a tender touch.
To speak about a crisis is to promote it. Not to speak about it is to exalt conformism. Let us work hard instead. Let us stop, once and for all, the menacing crisis that represents the tragedy of not being willing to overcome it.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
Hard sciences are successful because they deal with the soft problems; soft sciences are struggling because they deal with the hard problems.
The days of the digital watch are numbered.
A man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.
I continue to be fascinated by the fact that feelings are not just the shady side of reason but that they help us to reach decisions as well.
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
Cognitive psychology tells us that the unaided human mind is vulnerable to many fallacies and illusions because of its reliance on its memory for vivid anecdotes rather than systematic statistics.
Darwin's idea of natural selection makes people uncomfortable because it reverses the direction of tradition.
Beware, no matter his faith, the man who presumes to tell you what God wants.
Once, the governing human metaphor was pastoral or agricultural, and it clarified, and so preserved in human care, the natural cycles of birth, growth, death, and decay. But modern humanity's governing metaphor is that of the machine. Having placed ourselves in charge of creation, we began to mechanize both the creation itself and our conception of it. We began to see the whole creation merely as raw material, to be transformed by machines into a manufactured Paradise.
That which does not destroy us makes us stronger.
An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
The traditional view of purpose says it comes from on high, from God, from the Creator. Darwin's idea of natural selection makes people uncomfortable because it reverses the direction of tradition. Whereas people used to think of meaning coming from on high and being ordained from the top down, now we have Darwin saying, "No, all of this design can happen, all of this purpose can emerge from the bottom up without any direction at all."
I write because it’s a sort of meditation, and my only superficial peace. Writing takes me to the point where I can harmonize with what is disturbing.
2464 quotes