“An invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started.”
“Once a country is habituated to liars, it takes generations to bring the truth back.”
“You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.”
—Henri Frederic Amiel.
“Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm but the harm does not interest them.”
—T S Eliot.
“Blind faith in your leaders, or in anything, will get you killed.”
“Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is. Our pride remembers it forever.”
“History as usually written is quite different from history as usually lived. The historian records the exceptional because it is interesting.”
“We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don’t care for.”
—Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach.
“Whenever ‘A’ attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon ‘B’, ‘A’ is most likely a scoundrel.”
“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 behavior 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.
“Men rarely (if ever) managed to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.”
—-Robert A. Heinlein.
“It is almost impossible to carry the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody’s beard.” -Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
“In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.”
— -Czeslaw Milosz.
“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”
“People change and forget to tell each other.”
“The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.”
“Sin is geographical.”
“In small matters trust the mind, in large ones the heart.”
“Lots of times you have to pretend to join a parade in which you’re not really interested in order to get where you’re going.” -Christopher Morley.
“Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.”
“Man can be the most affectionate and altruistic of creatures, yet he’s potentially more vicious than any other. He is the only one who can be persuaded to hate millions of his own kind whom he has never seen and to kill as many as he can lay his hands on in the name of his tribe or his God.”
—- -Benjamin Spock.
“Neither great poverty nor great riches will hear reason.”
“All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All, separated from government, are compatible with liberty.”
“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”
“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.”
—Booker T. Washington.
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”
“Had we but world enough, and time, / This coyness, Lady, were no crime.”
“We take our bearings, daily, from others. To be sane is, to a great extent, to be sociable.”
“Religions are not revealed: they are evolved. If a religion were revealed by God, that religion would be perfect in whole and in part, and would be as perfect at the first moment of its revelation as after ten thousand years of practice. There has never been a religion that fulfills those conditions.”
“You can sometimes count every orange on a tree but never all the trees in a single orange.”