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I've never argued that humans are massively hot-wired. What I was trying to point out was that you can't understand how we learn unless you identify the learning mechanisms. And these have some genetic basis.
Life is a movement, a constant movement in relationship; and thought, trying to capture that movement in terms of the past, as memory, is afraid of life.
What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise although the philosophers generally call it recognition!
Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.
The secret of happiness is: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.
We are not thinking machines that feel; rather, we are feeling machines that think.
A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.
Anyone can become angry —that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way —this is not easy.
True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
If you smoke after sex, you're doing it too fast!
It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more.
As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become.
Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
America had, for one thing, lived in anarchy for - until much more recently than Europe. We had the Wild West, where the cliche of the cowboy movies was the nearest sheriff is 90 miles away, and so you had to pack a gun and defend yourself.
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'.
To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin. (Cardinal Bellarmine, 1615, during the trial of Galileo)
The man with a new idea is a Crank until the idea succeeds.
God must love stupid people, he made so many.
All of that is constantly operating when you not only learn, but when you recall. But as you recall in a different light, the weights with which something is more probably going to be or not recalled on the next instance, are going to be changed. So you're constantly changing the way, for instance, synapses are going to fire very easily or not so easily.
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.
But it’s in the nature of progress that it erases its tracks, and its champions fixate on the remaining injustices and forget how far we have come.
Marriage is the waste-paper basket of the emotions.
The secret to humor is surprise.
We see what we see because we miss all the finer details.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
Good example is half a sermon.
Words, I will argue, are the best example of memes, culturally transmitted items that evolve by differential replication—that is, by natural selection.
What you are the world is. And without your transformation, there can be no transformation of the world.
I do not want anything over again. Not even a mother.
You are rich if you have enough money to satisfy all your desires. So there are two ways to be rich: you earn, inherit, borrow, beg, or steal enough money to meet all your desires; or you cultivate a simple lifestyle of few desires; that way you always have enough money.
One problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you more clever, make you more ingenious… Even though our society does not emphasize this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.
Our rulers, who rule our symbols, and so rule a symbolic class of life, impose their own infantilism on our instituitions, educational methods, and doctrines. This leads to maladjustment of the incoming generations which, being born into, are forced to develop under the un-natural (for man) semantic conditions imposed on them. In turn, they produce leaders afflicted with the old animalistic limitations. The vicious circle is completed; it results in a general state of human un-sanity, reflected again in our instituitions. And so it goes, on and on.
General Systems Theory... possibly the model of the world as a great organization can help to reinforce the sense of reverence for the living which we have almost lost.
It requires no great wisdom, it needs only a little reflection, to see that, if we humans radically misconceive the nature of man—if we regard man as being something which he is not, whether it be something higher than man or lower—we thereby commit an error so fundamental and far reaching as to produce every manner of confusion and disaster in individual life, in community life and in the life of the race.
Roads, better harnesses for horses, time-keeping devices, financial instruments like a currency that was recognized everywhere in the kingdom, enforceable contracts - all of this made commerce more appealing than plunder.
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
CONSERVATIVE: A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
It is difficult to imagine a set of beliefs more suggestive of mental illness than those that lie at the heart of many of our religious traditions.
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.
It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.
Sometimes you can observe a lot by watching. 
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.
If all people learned to think in the non Aristotelian manner of quantum mechanics, the world would change so radically that most of what we call "stupidity" and even a great deal of what we consider "insanity" might disappear, and the "intractable" problems of war, poverty and injustice would suddenly seem a great deal closer to solution.
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.
My thinking is first and last and always for the sake of my doing.
The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.
CHRISTIAN: One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbors.
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.
I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.
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.
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.
Teaching is not the mere imparting of knowledge but the cultivation of an inquiring mind.
Life is not a private affair. A story and its lessons are only made useful if shared.
The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows.
When the rich wage war, it's the poor who die.
So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?
If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.
One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.
Peace can come only when there is love.
In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
Go ahead and believe in God, if you like, but don't imagine that you have been given any grounds for such a belief by science.
Only an idiot could think there is a point to any of this.
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
The way to become boring is to say everything. 
Life and 'Mind' are systemic processes.
Theory is when we know everything but nothing works. Praxis is when everything works but we do not know why. We always end up by combining theory with praxis: nothing works and we do not know why.
I learned how to dig a hole in the ground and bury myself so the fire would burn over me. Never had to use it since, but I'm ready.
Why do people believe that there are dangerous implications of the idea that the mind is a product of the brain, that the brain is organized in part by the genome, and that the genome was shaped by natural selection?

There is no one, no matter how wise he is, who has not in his youth said things or done things that are so unpleasant to recall in later life that he would expunge them entirely from his memory if that were possible.
Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.
Desired substance, things, patterns, or sequences of experience that are in some sense "good" for the organism - items of diet, conditions of life, temperature, entertainment, sex, and so forth - are never such that more of the something is always better than less of the something. Rather, for all objects and experiences, there is a quantity that has optimum value. Above that quantity, the variable becomes toxic. To fall below that value is to be deprived.
Up till now [the development of proto-consciousness], we can suppose, nervous systems solved the "Now what do I do?" problem by a relatively simple balancing act between a strictly limited repertoire of actions — if not the famous four F's (fight, flee, feed, or mate), then a modest elaboration of them.
No one wants to die. Even people that wanna go to heaven don't wanna die to ge there.
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.
Love me when I least deserve it, because it's when I need it most.
Sometimes the best way to get someone's attention is to stop giving them yours.
The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.
I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.
The number one failure of leaders is their failure to reproduce other leaders.
Racism, because it favors color over talent, is bad for business.
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds, And binding with briars my joys and desires.
Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level.
Freedom is obedience to self-formulated rules.
There is nothing so pathetic as a bore who claims attention - and gets it
I appeal to the philosophers of all countries to unite and never again mention Heidegger or talk to another philosopher who defends Heidegger. This man was a devil. I mean, he behaved like a devil to his beloved teacher, and he has a devilish influence on Germany. ... One has to read Heidegger in the original to see what a swindler he was.
Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.
When hope is hungry, everything feeds it.
That religion may have served some necessary function for us in the past does not preclude the possibility that it is now the greatest impediment to our building a global civilization.
The first step to finding a solution is to admit that there is a problem.
It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life.
You almost never get the pleasure of seeing that you won the argument in real time. People just don't like to publicly change their minds. They change their minds in private.
There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
A statesman who keeps his ear permanently glued to the ground will have neither elegance of posture nor flexibility of movement.
Ignorance is no excuse once we know that ignorance is the only possible excuse.
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.
2392 quotes