Random quotes

Quotes in
Sorted by
Author
Subject
Text
2464 quotes  
The game of science is, in principle, without end. He who decides one day that scientific statements do not call for any further test, and that they can be regarded as finally verified, retires from the game.
Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.
Future historians will be able to study at the Jimmy Carter Library, the Gerald Ford Library, the Ronald Regan Library, and the Bill Clinton Adult Bookstore.
The objective level is not words, and cannot be reached by words alone. We must point our finger and be silent, or we will never reach this level.
The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.
Mutual respect is the foundation of genuine harmony.
Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn't care to, or he doesn't exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.
Is this true or only clever? 
It’s a good thing we have gravity or else when birds died they’d just stay right up there. Hunters would be all confused.
We are most of us governed by epistemologies that we know to be wrong.
Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths. Any large-scale human cooperation – whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city or an archaic tribe – is rooted in common myths that exist only in people’s collective imagination.
To treat others ethically is to act out of concern for their happiness and suffering.
If you look in general at people who live in anarchy, they have quite high rates of death from either homicide or warfare or both. Anarchy is one of the main reasons for violence, and it may be the most important.
I don't tell people, 'You're okay the way that you are.' That's not the right story. The right story is, 'You're way less than you could be.'
The whole trend of your previous education and all your habits of thought are bound to make you into opponents of psychoanalysis.
I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings.
Far from being restricted to a limited number of pathological cases, as American theoreticians suggest, the double bind—a contradictory double imperative, or rather a whole network of contradictory imperatives—is an extremely common phenomenon. In fact, it is so common that it might be said to form the basis of all human relationships.

Bateson is undoubtedly correct in believing that the effects of the double bind on the child are particularly devastating. All the grown-up voices around him, beginning with those of the father and mother (voices which, in our society at least, speak for the culture with the force of established authority) exclaim in a variety of accents, "Imitate us!" "Imitate me!" "I bear the secret of life, of true being!" The more attentive the child is to these seductive words, and the more earnestly he responds to the suggestions emanating from all sides, the more devastating will be the eventual conflicts. The child possesses no perspective that will allow him to see things as they are. He has no basis for reasoned judgements, no means of foreseeing the metamorphosis of his model into a rival. This model's opposition reverberates in his mind like a terrible condemnation; he can only regard it as an act of excommunication. The future orientation of his desires—that is, the choice of his future models—will be significantly affected by the dichotomies of his childhood. In fact, these models will determine the shape of his personality.

If desire is allowed its own bent, its mimetic nature will almost always lead it into a double bind. The unchanneled mimetic impulse hurls itself blindly against the obstacle of a conflicting desire. It invites its own rebuffs and these rebuffs will in turn strengthen the mimetic inclination. We have, then, a self-perpetuating process, constantly increasing in simplicity and fervor. Whenever the disciple borrows from his model what he believes to be the "true" object, he tries to possess that truth by desiring precisely what this model desires. Whenever he sees himself closest to the supreme goal, he comes into violent conflict with a rival. By a mental shortcut that is both eminently logical and self-defeating, he convinces himself that the violence itself is the most distinctive attribute of this supreme goal! Ever afterward, violence will invariably awaken desire...
I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. I will be rich by myself, and not by borrowing.
Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.
When you deal with something like compassion for physical pain, which we know is very, very old in evolution - we can find evidence for it in nonhuman species - the brain processes it at a faster speed. Compassion for mental pain took many seconds longer.
The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.
I'm looking at Sue. Sue's looking at Tom. Tom's looking at Kathy.
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.
As I said, relationship has true significance only when it is a process of self-revelation, when it is revealing oneself in the very action of relationship. But most of us do not want to be revealed in relationship.
If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.
People today sometimes get uncomfortable with empirical claims that seem to clash with their political assumptions, often because they haven't given much thought to the connections.
If our well-being depends upon the interaction between events in our brains and events in the world, and there are better and worse ways to secure it, then some cultures will tend to produce lives that are more worth living than others; some political persuasions will be more enlightened than others; and some world views will be mistaken in ways that cause needless human misery.
A marriage is likely to be called happy if neither party ever expected to get much happiness out of it.
Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness.
These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that.
We are permitted to suppose that the relatively small size of the female brain depends in part upon her physical inferiority and in part upon her intellectual inferiority.
It seems that cybernetics is many different things to many different people. But this is because of the richness of its conceptual base; and I believe that this is very good, otherwise cybernetics would become a somewhat boring exercise. However, all of those perspectives arise from one central theme; that of circularity. When, perhaps a half century ago, the fecundity of this concept was seen, it was sheer euphoria to philosophize, epistemologize, and theorize about its unifying power and its consequences and rami?cation on various ?elds. While this was going on, something strange evolved among the philosophers, the epistemologists and, the theoreticians. They began to see themselves more and more as being included in a larger circularity; maybe within the circularity of their family; or that of their society and culture; or even being included in a circularity of cosmic proportions!
I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
Marriage is the waste-paper basket of the emotions.
There are more copies than originals among people.
Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic.
To err is human. To blame someone else is politics.
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much of life. So aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
The perpetrators of the Inquisition - the torturers, informers, and those who commanded their actions - were ecclesiastics of one rank or another. They were men of God - popes, bishops, friars, and priests.
All of the violence that doesn't occur doesn't get reported on the news.
There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.
We have names for people who have many beliefs for which there is no rational justification. When their beliefs are extremely common we call them ‘religious’; otherwise, they are likely to be called ‘mad’, ‘psychotic’ or ‘delusional’...
Three elements go to make up an idea. The first is its intrinsic quality as a feeling. The second is the energy with which it affects other ideas, an energy which is infinite in the here-and-nowness of immediate sensation, finite and relative in the recency of the past. The third element is the tendency of an idea to bring along other ideas with it.
It's beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.
The wise legislator will only rarely initiate a new rule of behaviour; more usually he will confine himself to affirming in law what has already become the custom of the people.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.
If you ask for something you have to say "Please", if you want to get something you have to please.
Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives.
The only way to deal with an unfree world si to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
The worst of all deceptions is self-deception.
Poverty is the mother of crime.
I don't know what makes you so dumb, but it works!
The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.
A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.
If you disagree with yourself, you are always right.
As our own peace of mind grows, so the atmosphere around us becomes more peaceful.
Time is nature's way of making sure everything doesn't happen at once.
We should chiefly depend not upon that department of the soul which is most superficial and fallible (our reason), but upon that department that is deep and sure, which is instinct.
Art works because it appeals to certain faculties of the mind. Music depends on details of the auditory system, painting and sculpture on the visual system. Poetry and literature depend on language.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
She says: "I don't ask much. Just treat me like a lady and fuck me like a whore".
I'd always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live - that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.
There are two types of poor people, those who are poor together and those who are poor alone. The first are the true poor, the others are rich people out of luck.
Among the perquisites of freedom is the freedom of people to screw up their own lives.
So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?
The earth is my body, my head is in the stars. (From the film "Harold and Maude")
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.
Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.
It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.
To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.
In times when the government imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also the prison.
When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.
The masses are the opium of religion.
Once there was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time is called the Dark Ages.
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
We do not know enough about how the present will lead into the future.
If premarital sex is a sin, who is the victim?
The only good in man is his young feelings and his old thoughts.
The truth that we must finally confront is that Islam contains specific notions of martyrdom and jihad that fully explain the character of Muslim violence.
I want to thank everybody for making this day necessary.
A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals the secret of some hidden treasure.
There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government. 
Through a narrow window we can see only part of the sky, and not the whole vastness, the magnificence of it.
The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time. 
The earth is not my home, I'm just passing by
When you seem to be listening to my words, they seem to be your words, with me listening.
You can never understand love, unless you fall in love. This is valid for eve ry living system. You cannot attempt to understand something of which you are not a part.
No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Humor is also a way of saying something serious.
I shall argue that the problem of grace is fundamentally a problem of integration and what is to be integrated is the diverse parts of the mind - especially those multiple levels of which one extreme is called 'consciousness' and the other the 'unconscious'.
If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.
The moral truth here is obvious: anyone who feels that the interests of a blastocyst just might supersede the interests of a child with a spinal cord injury has had his moral sense blinded by religious metaphysics.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
2464 quotes