RSSCategory: Quotes

More of my favorite quotes

January 7, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

I’ve collected hundreds of quotes at this site. Here is a batch of my newest favorites:

“The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all … The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands – the ownership and control of their livelihoods – are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”
― Helen Keller, Rebel Lives: Helen Keller

“The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.”
– Tom Waits

The atheist is free to concentrate on the fate of this world — whether that means visiting a friend in a hospital or advocating for tougher gun control laws — without trying to square things with an unseen overlord in the next. Atheists do not want to deny religious believers the comfort of their faith. We do want our fellow citizens to respect our deeply held conviction that the absence of an afterlife lends a greater, not a lesser, moral importance to our actions on earth.
Susan Jacoby – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/opinion/sunday/the-blessings-of-atheism.html?pagewanted=all

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
– Arthur Schopenhauer

“We’ve bought into the idea that education is about training and “success”, defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.”
– Chris Hedges

“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes ‘

I swore never to be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.
– Elie Weisel

When he was asked if he hated Germans, Elie Weisel replied, “the children of murderers aren’t murderers, just children.”

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”
– Alvin Toffler

Committee–a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
Fred Allen (1894 – 1956)

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
– Jeannette Rankin (1880 – 1973)

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.
– Elbert Hubbard

“When inventing a god, the most important thing is to claim it is invisible, inaudible and imperceptible in every way. Otherwise, people will become skeptical when it appears to no one, is silent and does nothing.” – Anonymous
― Alvin Toffler

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.
– Ansel Adams

Omnipotent God chooses not to use his power to simply forgive humankind, but instead implements a solution which requires that he impregnate a teen girl in order to give birth to himself so he can have himself slaughtered to save human beings from the Hell that he created. He then decides to communicate his scheme through conflicting accounts penned decades later by anonymous authors and subjectively handed down by flawed translators who can’t even agree on the interpretation of “virgin.”
– anon

Share

Read More

35 Founding Father quotes conservative Christians won’t like

July 7, 2013 | By | Reply More

There are 35 of these inconvenient quotes at Addicting Information. Here are the first five:

1. “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
~George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

2. “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
~George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792

3. “We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition… In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.”
~George Washington, letter to the members of the New Church in Baltimore, January 27, 1793

4. “The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”
~John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788

5. “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
~1797 Treaty of Tripoli signed by John Adams

Share

Read More

African proverbs

April 27, 2013 | By | Reply More

I’ve often posted on quotes, but a friend recently sent me a link to a big collection of African proverbs. Lots of wisdom in these words, and here are some of my favorites:

To get lost is to learn the way. ~ African proverb

He who learns, teaches. ~ Ethiopian proverb

You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win. ~ African proverb

You learn how to cut down trees by cutting them down. ~ Bateke proverb

Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone. ~Moroccan Proverb

Traveling is learning. ~Kenyan Proverb

Peace is costly but it is worth the expense. ~Kenyan proverb

War has no eyes ~ Swahili saying

There can be no peace without understanding. ~Senegalese proverb

If you can’t resolve your problems in peace, you can’t solve war. ~ Somalian proverb

He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk. ~ Malawian proverb

A large chair does not make a king. ~ Sudanese proverb

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. ~ Bondei proverb

It takes a village to raise a child. ~ African proverb

Cross the river in a crowd and the crocodile won’t eat you. ~ African proverb

Hold a true friend with both hands. ~ African proverb

Show me your friend and I will show you your character. ~ African proverb

Bad friends will prevent you from having good friends. ~ Gabon proverb

Make some money but don’t let money make you. ~ Tanzania

The rich are always complaining. ~ Zulu

Money can’t talk, yet it can make lies look true. ~ South Africa

What you give you get, ten times over. ~ Yoruba

The surface of the water is beautiful, but it is no good to sleep on. ~Ghanaian Proverb

You are beautiful, but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty. ~Congolese Proverb

Three things cause sorrow to flee; water, green trees, and a beautiful face. ~Moroccan Proverb

A beautiful thing is never perfect. ~Egyptian Proverb

Youth is beauty, even in cattle. ~Egyptian Proverb

Share

Read More

Another batch: my favorite quotes

March 31, 2013 | By | Reply More

Here’s another batch of quotes I have been collecting. It’s a constantly growing collection, supplemented by my personal review of anything I happen to read. I realize that this collection is getting quite large. Here’s the latest batch:

“Live and let live,” writes a clear-headed Austrian officer,
“is no device for an army. Contempt for one’s own comrades, for
the troops of the enemy, and, above all, fierce contempt for
one’s own person, are what war demands of every one. Far better
is it for an army to be too savage, too cruel, too barbarous,
than to possess too much sentimentality and human reasonableness.”
– William James. From The Varieties of Religious Experience.

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.”
― Ivan Illich

“If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people, including me, would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”
-Hunter Thompson

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
― William Wilberforce

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!”
-Hunter Thompson

“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
-Leonardo da Vinci

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”
H. P. Lovecraft (1890 – 1937), “The Call of Cthulhu”,

“Public speaking is the art of diluting a two-minute idea with a two-hour vocabulary.”
Evan Esar (1899 – 1995)

[More . . . ]

Share

Read More

About systemic ignorance

March 24, 2013 | By | Reply More

Yes, this is ironic . . .

Richard Nixon on freedom of information

Share

Read More

Consumerism quote

March 10, 2013 | By | Reply More

You never know where your life style will be challenged. Here’s a quote I spotted on a parked car a few months ago:

IMG_8610

Share

Read More

William James, on the effect of repetition

March 1, 2013 | By | Reply More

William james

Daniel Kahneman discusses the “mere exposure effect” in his 2011 book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. Humans tend to like the things to which they are repeatedly exposed.

Share

Read More

More of my favorite quotes

January 27, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

I’ve been collecting quotes for years. Here are many of my favorites. See below for my most recent favorites:

“I want an avowed atheist in the White House. When time comes to push that button, I want whoever’s making the decision to understand that once it’s pushed, it’s over. Finito. They’re not gonna have lunch with Jesus. Won’t be deflowering 72 virgins on the great shag carpet of eternity, or reincarnated as a cow. I want someone making that decision who believes life on this Earth isn’t just a dress rehearsal for something better — but the only shot we get.”
― Quentin R. Bufogle

“There was a footpath leading across the fields to New Southgate, and I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics.”
—Bertrand Russell

“Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles.”
-Mark Twain

“One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn’t require religion at all.”
― Arthur C. Clarke

“No man treats a motorcar as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not attribute its annoying behaviour to sin; he does not say, “You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go.” He attempts to find out what is wrong and to set it right. An analogous way of treating human beings is, however, considered to be contrary to the truths of our holy religion.”
– Bertrand Russell in “The Doctrine of Free Will”

“Historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.”
Howard Zinn

“It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘Try to be a little kinder.”
― Aldous Huxley, Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics & the Visionary Experience

“To refrain from an act is no less an act than to commit one.”
—Sir Charles Sherrington

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
Dorothy Parker, (attributed)

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To change one’s life start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.”
William James.

Share

Read More

New collection of quotes

January 19, 2013 | By | Reply More

I collect lots of quotes, periodically posting them here at DI (follow this link for many dozens of quote postings). Here is my latest offering:

“The tragedy of life is not death ..but what we let die inside of us while we live.”
Norman Cousins

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”
Albert Einstein

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings…”
Lao Tzu

“I want an avowed atheist in the White House. When time comes to push that button, I want whoever’s making the decision to understand that once it’s pushed, it’s over. Finito. They’re not gonna have lunch with Jesus. Won’t be deflowering 72 virgins on the great shag carpet of eternity, or reincarnated as a cow. I want someone making that decision who believes life on this Earth isn’t just a dress rehearsal for something better — but the only shot we get.”
― Quentin R. Bufogle

“There was a footpath leading across the fields to New Southgate, and I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics.”
—Bertrand Russell

“Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles.”
-Mark Twain

“One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn’t require religion at all.”
― Arthur C. Clarke

“No man treats a motorcar as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not attribute its annoying behaviour to sin; he does not say, “You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go.” He attempts to find out what is wrong and to set it right. An analogous way of treating human beings is, however, considered to be contrary to the truths of our holy religion.”
– Bertrand Russell in “The Doctrine of Free Will”

“Historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.”
Howard Zinn

“It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘Try to be a little kinder.”
― Aldous Huxley, Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics & the Visionary Experience

“To refrain from an act is no less an act than to commit one.”
—Sir Charles Sherrington

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
Dorothy Parker, (attributed)

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To change one’s life start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.”
William James.

“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
― Thomas Paine, The Crisis

“I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.”
– Audrey Hepburn

“Once consequentialism is properly formulated, it is hard to see how anyone, Kant included, could fail to be a consequentialist.”
—R. M. Hare

“My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”
—Thomas Paine

“The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces.”
—Philip Zimbardo

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
Mark Twain

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Frederick Douglass

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.”
~Bertrand Russell

“Whoever doesn’t flare up at someone who’s angry wins a battle hard to win.”
-The Buddha

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Joseph Campbell

“Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”
Howard Zinn

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time

“There is the past and its continuing horrors: violence, war, prejudices against those who are different, outrageous monopolization of the good earth’s wealth by a few, political power in the hands of liars and murderers, the building of prisons instead of schools, the poisoning of the press and the entire culture by money. It is easy to become discouraged observing this, especially since this is what the press and television insist that we look at, and nothing more. But there is also the bubbling of change under the surface of obedience: the growing revulsion against endless wars, the insistence of women all over the world that they will no longer tolerate abuse and subordination. There is civil disobedience against the military machine, protest against police brutality directed especially at people of color.”
Howard Zinn (in the 1999 version of A People’s History of the United States):

“Iowa is so flat you can watch your dog run away for three days.”
Quote from Reddit:

“The highest compliment one can give a writer is not to say that one wholeheartedly agrees with his observations, but that he provoked — really, forced — difficult thinking about consequential matters and internal questioning of one’s own assumptions, often without quick or clear resolution.”
Glenn Greenwald

Share

Read More