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When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.
When you attach a label make sure it can come off because things can change.
The romantic contrast between modern industry that “destroys nature” and our ancestors who “lived in harmony with nature” is groundless. Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to their extinctions. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of life.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
Philosophy is an unusually stubborn attempt to think clearly.
Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.
We are not thinking machines that feel; rather, we are feeling machines that think.
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. 
Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home
if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies.
Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Look around at how people want to get more out of life than they put in. A man of value will give more than he receives.
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
Obedience simulates subordination as fear of the police simulates honesty.
I want to make clear only that words are not the things spoken about, and that there is no such thing as an object in absolute isolation.
To make changes you have to make some enemies, but you also have to be careful not too make too many enemies. He made far too many enemies.
Bigamy: Marrying a pretty girl and a good cook !
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.
Of necessity, the autobiographical self is not just about one individual but about all the others that an individual interacts with. Of necessity, it incorporates the culture in which the interactions took place.
To compare is the very nature of a mind that is not awake to discover what is true.
Man is the only animal which esteems itself rich in proportion to the number and voracity of its parasites.
The problem with religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.
Happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors.
It is often asserted that discussion is only possible between people who have a common language and accept common basic assumptions. I think that this is a mistake. All that is needed is a readiness to learn from one's partner in the discussion, which includes a genuine wish to understand what he intends to say. If this readiness is there, the discussion will be the more fruitful the more the partner's backgrounds differ.
Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.
Never argue with idiots... They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.
My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition. 
Invention, using the term most broadly, and imitation, are the two legs, so to call them, on which the human race historically has walked.
You wound and you will wound again. Because you wound and then you go away. You do not stay with the wound.
Understanding a person does not mean condoning; it only means that one does not accuse him as if one were God or a judge placed above him.
The description is not the described; I can describe the mountain, but the description is not the mountain, and if you are caught up in the description, as most people are, then you will never see the mountain.
An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens. 
Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear.
Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.
I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.
We have Christians against Muslims against Jews. They're making incompatible claims on real estate in the Middle East as though God were some kind of omniscient real estate broker parsing out parcels of land to his chosen flock. People are literally dying over ancient literature.
There is no sincerer love than the love of food.
One can live without ever having seen oneself, without knowing the color of one’s skin.
If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.
Emotion consists of a very well orchestrated set of alterations in the body that has, as a general purpose, making life more survivable by taking care of a danger, of taking care of an opportunity, either/or, or something in between.
Love is blind, but marriage restores its sight.
Do illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?
Logic cannot model causal systems, and paradox is generated when time is ignored [as in logic].
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Silence is sometimes the best answer.
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.
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.
Amazing the advances we make in science and the primitive uses we find for them.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
Religion, like love and music, is natural. But so are smoking, war, and death.
Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.
The woof and warp of all thought and all research is symbols, and the life of thought and science is the life inherent in symbols; so that it is wrong to say that a good language is important to good thought, merely; for it is the essence of it.
DARLING: The popular form of address used in speaking to a member of the opposite sex whose name you cannot at the moment remember.
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.
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."
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.
If in this moment I were to go mad, my madness would consist of sitting always with my eyes staring, my mouth open, and my hands between my knees, without laughing or crying, or even moving except for sheer necessity. I haven't the least urge to conceive a desire, not even for death. . . . This is the first time that noia [boredom or spleen] not only presses and tires me but harries and rips like the sharpest pain.
We do not know enough about how the present will lead into the future.
I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.
Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a thelogically defensible reading of the Bible.
Trump can run for president with no political experience but I need a masters and 5 years experience for an entry level job.
The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization. 
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.
When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways–either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.
Mathematics is distinguished from all other sciences except only ethics, in standing in no need of ethics.
I do not envy God.
The condemnation of an error is another error.
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.
Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action
It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right - especially when one is right.
For every major problem in this nation there is a simple solution--and it is wrong.
When you starve with a tiger, the tiger starves last.
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.
I think that this is the first war in history that on the morrow the victors sued for peace and the vanquished called for unconditional surrender.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
True compassion is helping people help themselves.
If a man is pictured chopping off a woman's breast, it only gets a R rating, but if, God forbid, a man is pictured kissing a woman's breast, it gets an X rating. Why is violence more acceptable than tenderness?
Darwin's idea of natural selection makes people uncomfortable because it reverses the direction of tradition.
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
I've had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me and the second one didn't.
Islam, at the moment, is the motherlode of bad ideas.
Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.
An idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it.
I didn’t plan to become an atheist. I didn’t even want to become an atheist. It’s just that I had no choice. If I’m being honest with myself.
I hate victims who respect their executioners.
The love of economy is the root of all virtue.
A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
People only see what they are prepared to see.
You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
No people can be both ignorant and free.
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.
A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn't.
It is easier to stay out than get out.
Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
2465 quotes