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God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
We are not retreating - we are advancing in another direction.
When your suffering is a little greater than my suffering I feel that I am a little cruel.
The same failure of liberalism is evident in Western Europe, where the dogma of multiculturalism has left a secular Europe very slow to address the looming problem of religious extremism among its immigrants. The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists.
To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization.
Advertising - the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
The shape of the response must meet the shape of the trouble.
We cannot learn real patience and tolerance from a guru or a friend. They can be practiced only when we come in contact with someone who creates unpleasant experiences. According to Shantideva, enemies are really good for us as we can learn a lot from them and build our inner strength.
Even though its common knowledge these days, it never ceases to amaze me that all the richness of our mental life - all our feelings, our emotions, our thoughts, our ambitions, our love life, our religious sentiments and even what each of us regards us his own intimate private self - is simply the activity of these little specks of jelly in your head, in your brain. There is nothing else.
All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.
I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
We will see that the greatest problem confronting civilization is not merely religious extremism: rather, it is the larger set of cultural and intellectual accommodations we have made to faith itself.
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
A lady came up to me on the street, pointed at my suede jacket and said, "Don't you know a cow was murdered for that jacket?" I said "I didn't know there were any witnesses. Now I'll have to kill you too".
In God we trust; all others must pay cash.
Good or bad, everything we do is our best choice at that moment.
Love is blind, but marriage restores its sight.
Amazing the advances we make in science and the primitive uses we find for them.
It is in vain to hope to please all alike. Let a man stand with his face in what direction he will, he must necessarily turn his back on one half of the world.
Your fears are not walls, but hurdles. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquering of it.
Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.
An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.
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.
What we see depends mainly on what we look for
Wherever there is a conscious mind, there is a point of view.
Having been unpopular in high school is not a just cause for book publication.
Yes, metaphor. That's how the whole fabric of mental interconnections holds together. Metaphor is right at the bottom of being alive.
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
A poll conducted by The Washington Post found that 80 percent of Katrina's survivors claim that the event only strengthened their faith in God.
The process of testing claims is called science. Now, If you have a claim that can't be tested thats what we call pseudo-science. The difference between pseudo-science and science is whether or not you can test it.
You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
The only link between the verbal and objective world is exclusively structural, necessitating the conclusion that the only content of all "knowledge" is structural. Now structure can be considered as a complex of relations, and ultimately as multi-dimensional order. From this point of view, all language can be considered as names for unspeakable entities on the objective level, be it things or feelings, or as names of relations. In fact... we find that an object represents an abstraction of a low order produced by our nervous system as the result of a sub-microscopic events acting as stimuli upon the nervous system.
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas).
Irrespective of whether we are believers or agnostics, whether we believe in God or karma, moral ethics is a code which everyone is able to pursue.
To seek wisdom rather than truth. It is more within our grasp.
The beauty of reason is that it can always be applied to understand failures of reason.
Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.
Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
We are beginning to play with ideas of ecology, and although we immediately trivialize these into commerce or politics, there is at least an impulse still in the human breast to unify and thereby sanctify the total natural world, of which we are.... There have been, and still are, in the world many different and even contrasting epistemologies which have been alike in stressing an ultimate unity, and, although this is less sure, which have also stressed the notion that ultimate unity is aesthetic. The uniformity of these views gives hope that perhaps the great authority of quantitative science may be insufficient to deny an ultimate unifying beauty. I hold to the presupposition that our loss of the sense of aesthetic unity was, quite simply, an epistemological mistake.
One is still what one is going to cease to be and already what one is going to become. One lives one's death, one dies one's life.
Don't cut what you can untie.
Free speech is not just another value. It's the foundation of Western civilization.
History is the study of the world's crime.
Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.
An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens. 
If we, who live outside asylums, act as if we lived in a fictitious world- that is to say, if we are consistent with our beliefs- we cannot adjust ourselves to actual conditions, and so fall into many avoidable semantic difficulties. But the so-called normal person practically never abides by his beliefs, and when his beliefs are building for him a fictitious world, he saves his neck by not abiding by them. A so-called "insane" person acts upon his beliefs, and so cannot adjust himself to a world which is quite different from his fancy.
To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself.
The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments.
There is no history of mankind, there is only an indefinite number of histories of all kinds of aspects of human life. And one of these is the history of political power. This is elevated into the history of the world. But this, I hold, is an offence against every decent conception of mankind.
Religion is just mind control.
With stupidity and sound digestion man may front much.
To have intelligence there must be freedom, and you cannot be free if you are constantly being urged to become like some hero, for then the hero is important and not you.
If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry
Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
You're a prisoner of your own illusions - about yourself and about the world.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation.
ARCHITECTURE: The art of how to waste space.
To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.
But I hold that he who teaches that not reason but love should rule opens up the way for those who rule by hate.
We are all prisoners of our thoughts.
A rationalist, as I use the word, is a man who attempts to reach decisions by argument and perhaps, in certain cases, by compromise, rather than by violence. He is a man who would rather be unsuccessful in convincing another man by argument than successful in crushing him by force, by intimidation and threats, or even by persuasive propaganda.
Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.
I believe in equality. Equality for everybody. No matter how stupid they are or how superior I am to them.
It is of first-class importance that our answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx should be in step with how we conduct our civilisation, and this should in turn be in step with the actual workings of living systems.
It is also true that the less competent a person is in a given domain, the more he will tend to overestimate his abilities. This often produces an ugly marriage of confidence and ignorance that is very difficult to correct for.
What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.
I know what I have given you, I do not know what you have received.
To understand the whole operation of one’s own mind requires a great deal of insight, a great deal of inquiry without condemnation.
When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
Earlier fundamental work of Whitehead, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Whorf, etc., as well as my own attempt to use this earlier thinking as an epistemological base for psychiatric theory, led to a series of generalizations: That human verbal communication can operate and always does operate at many contrasting levels of abstraction. These range in two directions from the seemingly simple denotative level (“The cat is on the mat”). One range or set of these more abstract levels includes those explicit or implicit messages where the subject of discourse is the language. We will call these metalinguistic (for example, “The verbal sound ‘cat’ stands for any member of such and such class of objects”, or “The word, ‘cat’ has no fur and cannot scratch”). The other set of levels of abstraction we will call metacommunicative (e. g., “My telling you where to ?nd the cat was friendly”, or “This is play”). In these, the subject of discourse is the relationship between the speakers. It will be noted that the vast majority of both metalinguistic and metacommunicative messages remain implicit; and also that, especially in the psychiatric interview, there occurs a further class of implicit messages about how metacommunicative messages of friendship and hostility are to be interpreted.
Logic cannot model causal systems, and paradox is generated when time is ignored [as in logic].
Modern theory is about objects lower than man; even stars, being common things, are lower than man.
The boundary between neurology and psychiatry is becoming increasingly blurred, and its only a matter of time before psychiatry becomes just another branch of neurology.
We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.
I am asking myself what is fear: not what I am afraid of. I lead a certain kind of life; I think in a certain pattern; I have certain beliefs and dogmas and I don't want those patterns of existence to be disturbed because I have my roots in them. I don't want them to be disturbed because the disturbance produces a state of unknowing and I dislike that. If I am torn away from everything I know and believe, I want to be reasonably certain of the state of things to which I am going. So the brain cells have created a pattern and those brain cells refuse to create another pattern which may be uncertain. The movement from certainty to uncertainty is what I call fear.
There are many matters and many circumstances in which consciousness is undesirable and silence is golden, so that secrecy can be used as a marker to tell us that we are approaching the holy.
All civilized nations must unite in condemnation of a theology that now threatens to destabilize much of the earth.
We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
If you aren't just brought up in your tribe but interact with other people either directly or vicariously, through journalism and literature, you see what life is like from other points of view and are less likely to demonize them or dehumanize others and more likely to empathize with them.
There are times when I catch myself believing that there is such a thing as something; which is separate from something else.
Everybody likes a compliment.
It is terrible that we all die and lose everything we love; it is doubly terrible that so many human beings suffer needlessly while alive. That so much of this suffering can be directly attributed to religion—to religious hatreds, religious wars, religious delusions and religious diversions of scarce resources—is what makes atheism a moral and intellectual necessity.
Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom, which is the ending of fear.
The shadows: some hide, others reveal.
I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.
The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.
Play is the establishment and exploration of relationship.
The secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for.
So live that you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.
The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.
He who dares not offend cannot be honest.
You can change your life with a simple shift of attention. But to make that simple shift, you have to find your heart. It's the only way. Accept yourself, then transcend yourself.
Science, like art, religion, commerce, warfare, and even sleep, is based on presuppositions.
In the fetus, or a really young child, all the different brain areas are connected to each other, diffusely. And as the brain develops, the excess connections are turned off, so you get very specialized areas. So most people have really specialized talents. What happens in creative people is this pooling doesn't take place.
PURITANISM: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
The present non-aristotelian system is based on fundamental negative premises; namely, the complete denial of 'identity.'
2463 quotes