In the year 2006, a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get seventy-two virgins in Paradise.
It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.
The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.
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.
If the rich could hire someone else to die for them, the poor would make a wonderful living.
Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.
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.
Yes, metaphor. That's how the whole fabric of mental interconnections holds together. Metaphor is right at the bottom of being alive.
CYNIC: A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
A truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively or hurt you.
Out of 6 billion humans, the troublemakers are just a handful.
Love is not a sentiment, not romanticism, not dependent on something, and that state is extremely arduous and difficult to understand, or to be in—because our minds are always interfering, limiting, encroaching upon its functioning. Therefore it is important to understand first the mind and its ways; otherwise we shall be caught in illusions, caught in words and sensations that have very little significance.
The distinction between responsible moral agents and beings with diminished or no responsibility is coherent, real, and important.
To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.
The behaviour of an individual can be understood only in terms of the behavior of the whole social group of which he is a member, since his individual acts are involved in larger, social acts which go beyond himself and which implicate the other members of that group.
Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.
The truth is, that common-sense, or thought as it first emerges above the level of the narrowly practical, is deeply imbued with that bad logical quality to which the epithet metaphysical is commonly applied; and nothing can clear it up but a severe course of logic.
If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
That which does not destroy us makes us stronger.
Life and DeathLife and Death
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
The only good in man is his young feelings and his old thoughts.
We are struggling with language. We are engaged in a struggle with language.
Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
Information technologyInformation technology
Our knowledge can be only finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.
If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever.
Tell a devout Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence what so ever.
ADMIRATION: Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.
A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.
Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs Italian, the mechanics German, the lovers French and is all organized by the Swiss.
Hell is where the police are German, the chefs British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss is all organized by the Italians.
Happy is the man who is nothing.
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.
We may be seeing a coming together of the humanities and the science of human nature.
Human natureHuman nature
He who does not fill his world with phantoms remains alone.
Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want.
Another peculiar characteristic of the human organism when it is dominated by a certain need is that the whole philosophy of the future tends also to change. For our chronically and extremely hungry man, Utopia can be defined very simply as a place where there is plenty of food.
You learn something every day if you pay attention.
Talent develops in tranquillity, character in the full current of human life.
A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn't.
If faith cannot be reconciled with rational thinking, it has to be eliminated as an anachronistic remnant of earlier stages of culture and replaced by science dealing with facts and theories which are intelligible and can be validated.
It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.
Listen with Ease. Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds—which means really that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change that comes without your volition, without your asking; and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.
In a deep river there is richness and many fish can live; but the shallow pool is soon dried up by the strong sun, and nothing remains except mud and dirt. For most of us, love is an extraordinarily difficult thing to understand because our lives are very shallow.
Rigor alone is paralytic death, but imagination alone is insanity.
The only gift is giving to the poor; all else is exchange.
We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.
The art of photography is all about directing the attention of the viewer.
To convince someone of the truth, it is not enough to state it, but rather one must find the path from error to truth.
Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness.
Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom, which is the ending of fear.
If you are afraid of being lonely, don't try to be right.
Right and WrongRight and Wrong
The way to change others’ minds is with affection, and not anger.
A sense of humor is just common sense dancing.
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.
In heaven all the interesting people are missing.
If man were immortal he could be perfectly sure of seeing the day when everything in which he had trusted should betray his trust, and, in short, of coming eventually to hopeless misery. He would break down, at last, as every good fortune, as every dynasty, as every civilization does. In place of this we have death.
We are here to make another world.
World improvementWorld improvement
Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.
Why is it when we talk to God we're praying -- but when God talks to us, we're schizophrenic?
No one can be perfectly free till all are free; no one can be perfectly moral till all are moral; no one can be perfectly happy till all are happy.
What we see depends on mainly what we look for.
Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.
The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
The big print giveth and the small print taketh away.
Hell isn't other people. Hell is yourself.
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.
The best for me, perhaps, would be if I could lie down one evening and not wake up again.
Faith, if it is ever right about anything, is right by accident.
CELEBRITY: One who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
Our craving for generality has [as one] source … our preoccupation with the method of science. I mean the method of reducing the explanation of natural phenomena to the smallest possible number of primitive natural laws; and, in mathematics, of unifying the treatment of different topics by using a generalization. Philosophers constantly see the method of science before their eyes, and are irresistibly tempted to ask and answer in the way science does. This tendency is the real source of metaphysics, and leads the philosopher into complete darkness. I want to say here that it can never be our job to reduce anything to anything, or to explain anything. Philosophy really is “purely descriptive.”
You can't get attention of one who focused on himself.
My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.
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.
Reading the Socratic dialogues one has the feeling: what a frightful waste of time! What's the point of these arguments that prove nothing and clarify nothing?
Living systems are units of interactions; they exist in an ambience. From a purely biological point of view they cannot be understood independently of that part of the ambience with which they interact: the niche; nor can the niche be defined independently of the living system that specifies it.
Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.
If you desire to dig a well to reach water, your efforts are more fruitful if you dig one 100-foot-deep hole than if you dig ten holes each 10 feet deep.
A sane society is that which corresponds to the needs of man — not necessarily to what he feels to be his needs, because even the most pathological aims can be felt subjectively as that which the person wants most; but to what his needs are objectively, as they can be ascertained by the study of man. It is our first task then, to ascertain what is the nature of man, and what are the needs which stem from this nature.
Someone stole all my credit cards, but I won't report it. The thief spends less than my wife.
I have always had this view about the modern education system: we pay attention to brain development, but the development of warmheartedness we take for granted.
You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.
Members of weakly religious families get, of course, no religious training from any source outside the family.
Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.
Your fears are not walls, but hurdles. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquering of it.
It is now no mystery that some quite influential 'philosophers' were 'mentally' ill.
A woman's mind is cleaner than a man's....she changes it more often !!
If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.
In the 1970s, many intellectuals had become political radicals. Marxism was correct, liberalism was for wimps, and Marx had pronounced that 'the ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.'
The hours of your life are the most valuable currency you will ever have. How will you spend them?
A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished.
...love is not synonymous with sex. Sex may be studied as a purely physiological need. Ordinarily sexual behavior is multi-determined, that is to say, determined not only by sexual but also by other needs, chief among which are the love and affection needs. Also not to be overlooked is the fact that
the love needs involve both giving and receiving love.
Poverty becomes a marvellously beautiful thing when the mind is free of society. One must become poor inwardly for then there is no seeking, no asking, no desire, no - nothing! It is only this inward poverty that can see the truth of a life in which there is no conflict at all.
Everyone who has eyes to see can see that if the God of Abraham exists, He is an utter psychopath--and the God of Nature too. If you can't see these things just by looking, you have simply closed your eyes to the realities of our world.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
There is a savage beast in every man, and when you hand that man a sword or spear and send him forth to war, the beast stirs.
There was no doubt that this poor man [William Blake] was mad, but there is something in the madness of this man which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott.
You cannot give to people what they are incapable of receiving.
Human relationsHuman relations
Man is born as a freak of nature, being within nature and yet transcending it. He has to find principles of action and decision making which replace the principles of instincts. he has to have a frame of orientation which permits him to organize a consistent picture of the world as a condition for consistent actions. He has to fight not only against the dangers of dying, starving, and being hurt, but also against another anger which is specifically human: that of becoming insane. In other words, he has to protect himself not only against the danger of losing his life but also against the danger of losing his mind.