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More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
One would have to say "in the end everything is a gag, etc" because everything is infinitely more than just a gag. The same applies to other "is"-statements such as "Laughter is an instant vacation"
Writing is closer to thinking than to speaking.
Agnostics are people who, like myself, confess themselves to be hopelessly ignorant concerning a variety of matters, about which metaphysicians and theologians, both orthodox and heterodox, dogmatize with the utmost confidence.
Do not go where the path may lead; instead go where there is no path and leave a trail.
The problem is not that religious people are stupid. It's not that religious fundamentalists are stupid. I happen to think that you can be so well educated that you can build a nuclear bomb, and still get--and still believe that you will get the 72 virgins in paradise--that is the problem. The problem is that--religion--because it has been sheltered from criticism as it has been--allows people--perfectly sane, perfectly intelligent people--to believe en masse, what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.
Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.
We are all old children.
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
Out of 6 billion humans, the troublemakers are just a handful.
Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.
It is a fallacy of the old schools to divide man into parcels, elements, thoughts, emotions, intuitions, etc. All human faculties consist of an interconnected whole.
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.
Two thousand years of monotheistic brainwashing have caused most Westerners to see polytheism as ignorant and childish idolatry. This is an unjust stereotype.
To understand the whole operation of one’s own mind requires a great deal of insight, a great deal of inquiry without condemnation.
To live: a quite complicated way of dying.
The secret of change consists in concentrating one's energy to create the new, and not to fight against the old.
The best way to resolve any problem in the human world is for all sides to sit down and talk.
Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.
Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.
I am free and that is why I am lost.
You say you love your wife. You depend on her; she has given you her body, her emotions, her encouragement, a certain feeling of security and well-being. Then she turns away from you; she gets bored or goes off with someone else, and your whole emotional balance is destroyed, and this disturbance, which you don’t like, is called jealousy. There is pain in it, anxiety, hate and violence. So what you are really saying is, ‘As long as you belong to me I love you but the moment you don’t I begin to hate you.
You don't get to advertise all the good that your religion does without first scrupulously subtracting all the harm it does and considering seriously the question of whether some other religion, or no religion at all, does better.
You learn something every day if you pay attention.
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.
We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.
The secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
Love consists of overestimating the differences between one woman and another.
Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
The earth has grown a nervous system, and it's us.
Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
Life itself is just a thin coat of paint on the planet, and we hold the paintbrush.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
Consciousness is the one thing in this universe that cannot be an illusion.
The trouble with the Internet is that it's replacing masturbation as a leisure activity.
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.
Human well-being is not a random phenomenon. It depends on many factors - ranging from genetics and neurobiology to sociology and economics. But, clearly, there are scientific truths to be known about how we can flourish in this world. Wherever we can have an impact on the well-being of others, questions of morality apply.
Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.
The harm that I have not done, what harm it has done!
Should one name one central concept, a first principle, of cybernetics, it would be circularity.
One of the surprising discoveries of modern psychology is how easy it is to be ignorant of your own ignorance.
The man accustomed to the ways of society is always outside himself and knows how to live only in the opinions of others. And it is, as it were, from their judgement alone that he draws the sentiment of his own existence.
Young children, who for whatever reason are deprived of the continuous care and attention of a mother or a substitute-mother, are not only temporarily disturbed by such deprivation, but may in some cases suffer long-term effects which persist.
Any organism must be treated as-a-whole; in other words, that an organism is not an algebraic sum, a linear function of its elements, but always more than that. It is seemingly little realized, at present, that this simple and innocent-looking statement involves a full structural revision of our language...
Philosophy is an unusually stubborn attempt to think clearly.
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.
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.
God is on the side of the strongest battalions.
Synaptic summation is the technical term used in neurophysiology for those instances in which some neuron C is fired only by a combination of neurons A and B.
The condemnation of an error is another error.
Some people claim that marriage interferes with romance. There's no doubt about it. Anytime you have a romance, your wife is bound to interfere.
The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.
Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
The boundary between neurology and psychiatry is becoming increasingly blurred, and its only a matter of time before psychiatry becomes just another branch of neurology.
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.
... we may say of the receptors, the effectors, of the intellect and the other capacities that they are primarily safety-seeking tools.
There's the common veneration (not just by the religious) of faith, namely believing something without a good reason.
I'm looking at Sue. Sue's looking at Tom. Tom's looking at Kathy.
History is made by historians. No event becomes a historic event unless historians turn it into one.
Script analysis is then the answer to the problem of human destiny, and tells us (alas!) that our fates are predetermined for the most part, and that free will in this respect is for most people an illusion.
Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
Man's achievements rest upon the use of symbols.... we must consider ourselves as a symbolic, semantic class of life, and those who rule the symbols, rule us.
A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
Life is a continuous flux. Our nonhuman ancestors bred, generation after generation, and incrementally begat what we now deem to be the species homo sapiens - ourselves. There is nothing about our ancestral line or about our current biology that dictates how we will evolve in the future. Nothing in the natural order demands that our descendants resemble us in any particular way. Very likely, they will not resemble us. We will almost certainly transform ourselves, likely beyond recognition, in the generations to come.
All things living are in search of a better world.
People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power.
The love of economy is the root of all virtue.
Invention, using the term most broadly, and imitation, are the two legs, so to call them, on which the human race historically has walked.
In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.
Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands.
Amazing the advances we make in science and the primitive uses we find for them.
Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.
Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem in my opinion to characterize our age.
Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell.
Asking 'Who ought to be the boss?' is like asking 'Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?' Obviously, the man who can sing tenor.
Non arrenderti mai, perché quando pensi che sia tutto finito, è il momento in cui tutto ha inizio.
People will remember not what you said but how you made them feel.
I feel I am free but I know I am not.
In order to learn one must change one’s mind.
Some of the greatest, most revolutionary advances in science have been given their initial expression in attractively modest terms, with no fanfare.
There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions. … It obviously endangers the freedom and the objectivity of our discussion if we attack a person instead of attacking an opinion or, more precisely, a theory.
She says: "I don't ask much. Just treat me like a lady and fuck me like a whore".
In order to disprove the assertion that all crows are black, one white crow is sufficient.
It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
We are all prisoners of our thoughts.
There is no greater need in society than that of gossip. It is the principal means of passing the time, which is one of the first necessities of life.
I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better.
The philosophers have only interpreted the world. The point, however, is to change it.
The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. 
As long as one is escaping from loneliness, there is no essential difference between the worship of God and addiction to alcohol. Socially, there may be a difference; but psychologically, the man who runs away from himself, from his own emptiness, whose escape is his search for God, is on the same level as the drunkard.
I suspect music is auditory cheesecake, an exquisite confection crafted to tickle the sensitive spots of... our mental faculties.
CAT: A lapwarmer with a built-in buzzer.
Nobody really cares if you're miserable, so you might as well be happy.
The history of man is a graveyard of great cultures that came to catastrophic ends because of their incapacity for planned, rational, voluntary reaction to challenge.
From the cradle to the grave, each individual pays for the sin of not being God.
2378 quotes