QUOTEoftheDay

Friday
Jul222011

Isaac Asimov

"I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."
--Free Inquiry (Spring 1982)

"Don't you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don't you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death?
No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no.
One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out "Don't you believe in anything?"
"Yes", I said. "I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I'll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be."

--The Roving Mind

Wednesday
Jul202011

George Orwell

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

"In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."

"No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer."

"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting."

 

Tuesday
Jul192011

William Shakespeare

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages."

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. "

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Monday
Jul182011

Aristotle

"Nature does nothing uselessly."

"Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are highly cultivated in their minds and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities."

"The young have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things—and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning.... All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything; they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else."

Sunday
Jul172011

Haruki Murikami

"First, about the mind. You tell me there is no fighting or hatred or desire in the Town. That this is a beautiful dream, and I do want your happiness. But the absence of fighting or hatred or desire also means the opposites do not exist either. No joy, no communion, no love. Only where there is disillusionment and depression and sorrow does happiness arise; without the despair of loss, there is no hope."
--Hard-Boiled Wonderland & The End of The World

"But who can say what's best? That's why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives."
--Norwegian Wood

"Whether you take the doughnut hole as a blank space or as an entity unto itself is a purely metaphysical question and does not affect the taste of the doughnut one bit."
--A Wild Sheep Chase

"Mediocrity is like a spot on your shirt, it never comes off."
--Dance, Dance, Dance

 

Friday
Jul152011

Carl Sagan

"The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true. We have a method, and that method helps us to reach not absolute truth, only asymptotic approaches to the truth — never there, just closer and closer, always finding vast new oceans of undiscovered possibilities. Cleverly designed experiments are the key."

--"Wonder and Skepticism", Skeptical Enquirer Volume 19, Issue 1, (January-February 1995)

"The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky."

--Cosmos, 1980

Thursday
Jul142011

Richard Dawkins

Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.

Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that.

Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun.

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

Tuesday
Jul122011

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

There are no facts, only interpretations.

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

 

 

Monday
Jul112011

Linus Pauling

  • I realized that more and more I was saying, "It seems to me that we have come to the time war ought to be given up. It no longer makes sense to kill 20 million or 40 million people because of a dispute between two nations who are running things, or decisions made by the people who really are running things. It no longer makes sense. Nobody wins. Nobody benefits from destructive war of this sort and there is all of this human suffering. And Einstein was saying the same thing of course. So that is when we decided — my wife and I — that first, I was pretty effective as a speaker. Second, I better start boning up, studying these other fields so that nobody could stand up and say, "Well, the authorities say such and such "
Saturday
Jul092011

"History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there."

"My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests."


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

George Santayana