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Laws are the spider's webs which, if anything small falls into them they ensnare it, but large things break through and escape.
Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.
A sense of concern for others gives our lives meaning; it is the root of all human happiness
There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.
an idealist is a hypocrite, because he is always trying to become what he is not, instead of being and understanding what he is.
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin -- more even than death.... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation.
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.
Identity is invariably false to facts.
The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.
No one knows what the nongenetic causes of individuality are. Perhaps people are shaped by modifications of genes that take place after conception, or by haphazard fluctuations in the chemical soup in the womb or the wiring up of the brain or the expression of the genes themselves.
Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification. 
Better never begin; once begun, better finish.
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.
He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet. 
First-order cybernetics is the science of observed systems; Second-order cybernetics is the science of observing systems.
Our knowledge can be only finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.
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.
How we pay attention to the present moment...determines the character of our experience and...the quality of our lives.
Not only is there no God, but try finding a plumber on Sunday.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
A statesman who keeps his ear permanently glued to the ground will have neither elegance of posture nor flexibility of movement.
Only sick music makes money today.
Terrorizzare i bambini con l'immagine dell'inferno, considerare la donna una creatura inferiore: è cosa buona per l'umanità?
Doctor, I have a ringing in my ears. -- Don't answer!
An eye for beauty locks onto faces that show signs of health and fertility - just as one would predict if it had evolved to help the beholder find the fittest mate.
The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.
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.
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Thought forms in the soul in the same way clouds form in the air.
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.
I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.
The fact that a theory so vague, so insufficiently verifiable, and so far from the criteria otherwise applied in 'hard' science has become a dogma can only be explained on sociological grounds.
A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
Out of 6 billion humans, the troublemakers are just a handful.
The rules of the universe that we think we know are buried deep in our processes of perception.
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.
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.
We do not know enough about how the present will lead into the future.
It's likely that taboo words are stored in the right hemisphere of the brain. Massive left hemisphere strokes or the entire surgical removal of the left hemisphere can leave people with no articulate speech other than the ability to swear, spout cliches and song lyrics.
Marrying means to halve one's rights and double one's duties.
Most people are afraid to stand alone; they are afraid to think things out for themselves, afraid to feel deeply, to explore and discover the whole meaning of life.
Friendship is a pact, a convention. Two beings tacitly promise never to broadcast what each really thinks of the other. A kind of alliance based on compromises. When one of them publicly calls attention to the other's defects, the pact is declared null and void, the alliance broken. No friendship lasts if one of the partners ceases to play the game. In other words, no friendship tolerates an exaggerated proportion of honesty.
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.
Freedom is not free.
Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.
Mathematics is distinguished from all other sciences except only ethics, in standing in no need of ethics.
Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.
Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.
Like this gas tank, you are overflowing with preconceptions, full of useless knowledge. You hold many facts and opinions, yet know little of yourself. Before you can learn, you'll have to first empty your tank.
I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.
Many of those who tried to enlighten were hanged from the lampposts.
The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
If something good happens to a Christian—he feels some bliss while praying, or he sees some positive change his life—we're told that God is good. But when children by the tens of thousands are torn from their parents’ arms and drowned, we are told god is mysterious.
Pain is a relatively objective, physical phenomenon; suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens. Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is... The only problem in your life is your mind's resistance to life as it unfolds.
I HAVE no patience with the hypothesis occasionally expressed, and often implied, especially in tales written to teach children to be good, that babies are born pretty much alike, and that the sole agencies in creating differences between boy and boy, and man and man, are steady application and moral effort. It is in the most unqualified manner that I object to pretensions of natural equality. The experiences of the nursery, the school, the University, and of professional careers, are a chain of proofs to the contrary.
The organized community or social group which gives to the individual his unity of self may be called “the generalized other.” The attitude of the generalized other is the attitude of the whole community. Thus, for example, in the case of such a social group as a ball team, the team is the generalized other in so far as it enters—as an organized process or social activity—into the experience of any one of the individual members of it.
Happiness comes when you are doing something because you really love to do it, and not because it gives you riches or makes you a prominent person.
A little hypocrisy and a little compromise oils the wheels of social life.
The emotions triggered by fiction are very real.
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.
War is God's way of teaching Americans geography. 
When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefiting others, one needs to be engaged, involved. This is action out of compassion.
Why is it surprising that scientists might have long hair and wear cowboy boots? In fields like neuroscience, where the events you are recording are so minute, I suspect scientists cultivate a boring, reliable image. A scientist with a reputation for flamboyance might be suspect.
The demand to be safe in relationship inevitably breeds sorrow and fear. This seeking for security is inviting insecurity. Have you ever found security in any of your relationships? Have you? Most of us want the security of loving and being loved, but is there love when each one of us is seeking his own security, his own particular path? We are not loved because we don't know how to love.
When your suffering is a little greater than my suffering I feel that I am a little cruel.
What we see depends on mainly what we look for.
I'd never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.
Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.
The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.
Science in the past (and partly in the present), was dominated by one-sided empiricism. Only a collection of data and experiments were considered as being ‘scientific’ in biology (and psychology); forgetting that a mere accumulation of data, although steadily piling up, does not make a science.
Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
The wise man must remember that while he is a descendant of the past, he is a parent of the future.
Illusions, however weakened and unmasked by reason, still remain and form the chief part of our life.
I am a philosopher, not a scientist, and we philosophers are better at questions than answers.
The topic of compassion is not at all religious business; it is important to know it is human business, it is a question of human survival.
I listen to all these complaints about rudeness and intemperateness, and the opinion that I come to is that there is no polite way of asking somebody: have you considered the possibility that your entire life has been devoted to a delusion? But that’s a good question to ask. Of course we should ask that question and of course it’s going to offend people. Tough.
There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose.
It is terrible to see how a single unclear idea, a single formula without meaning, lurking in a young man's head, will sometimes act like an obstruction of inert matter in an artery, hindering the nutrition of the brain and condemning its victim to pine away in the fullness of his intellectual vigor and in the midst of intellectual plenty.
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.
A leader who keeps his ear to the ground allows his rear end to become a target.
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.
Without deviation, progress is not possible.
The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.
Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, skeptically of skepticism.
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
Indeed, religion allows people to imagine that their concerns are moral when they are highly immoral - that is, when pressing these concerns inflicts unnecessary and appalling suffering on innocent human beings. This explains why Christians like yourself expend more "moral" energy opposing abortion than fighting genocide. It explains why you are more concerned about human embryos than about the lifesaving promise of stem-cell research. And it explains why you can preach against condom use in sub-Saharan Africa while millions die from AIDS there each year.
The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.
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.
People fashion their God after their own understanding. They make their God first and worship him afterwards.
The neurosis in which the search for safety takes its clearest form is in the compulsive-obsessive neurosis. Compulsive- obsessives try frantically to order and stabilize the world so that no unmanageable, unexpected or unfamiliar dangers will ever appear.
There is no real independent self, aloof from other human beings, inspecting the world, inspecting other people. You are, in fact, connected not just via Facebook and Internet, you're actually quite literally connected by your neurons.
In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
120 million of us place the big bang 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Sumerians learned to brew beer.
Who lacks armament should avoid argument.
2463 quotes