"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."
"Always deal with people of principle. Favor them and win their favor. Their very rectitude ensures they will treat you well even when they oppose you, for they act like who they are, and it is better to fight with good-minded people than to conquer the bad. There is no way to get along with villainy, for it feels no obligation to behave rightly... This is why there is no true friendship among villains, and their fine words cannot be rusted; for they do not spring from honor. Avoid the person who has no honor, for if he esteems not honor, he esteems not virtue. And honor is the throne of integrity."
"If the whole world is a stage, I want better lighting."
"There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist."
"The only thing people really have in common is that they are all going to die."
"I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom"
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
"When in doubt, tell the truth."
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all"
"The majority is never right."
"There have never been any 'Good Old Days,' there have just been days."
"The answer to 'Why?' is always 'Money.'"
"The two real political parties in America are the Winners and the Losers. The people don't acknowledge this. They claim membership in two imaginary parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, instead."
"If somebody says, 'I love you,' to me, I feel as though I had a pistol pointed at my head. What can anybody reply under such conditions but that which the pistol-holder requires? 'I love you, too.'"
"What war has always been is a puberty ceremony. It's a very rough one, but you went away a boy and came back a man, maybe with an eye missing or whatever but godammit you were a man and people had to call you a man thereafter."
"Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error of judgment."
"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."
"An optimist believes that we are in the best of all possible worlds, a pessimist fears that they are right."
"What the Gospels actually said was: don't kill anyone until you are absolutely sure they aren't well connected."
"I would defend the liberty of concenting adult creationists to practice whatever intellectual perversions they like in the privacy of their own homes; but it is also necessary to protect the young and innocent."
"An agnostic is an atheist who has lost his nerve."
"A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets."
"Our forefathers made one mistake. What they should have fought for is representation without taxation."
"Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood."
"Premenstrual syndrome: Just before their periods, women behave the way men do all the time."
"If I was a religious person, I would consider creationism nothing less than blasphemy. Do its adherents imagine that God is a cosmic hoaxer who has created that whole vast fossil record for the sole purpose of misleading mankind?"
"The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity."
"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."
The sermon was based on what he claimed was a well-known fact, that there were no Atheists in foxholes. I asked Jack what he thought of the sermon afterwards, and he said, 'There's a Chaplain who never visited the front.'"
"Any time I see a person fleeing from reason and into religion, I think to myself, There goes a person who simply cannot stand being so goddamned lonely anymore."
"[Tax...] The man who produces while others dispose of his product is a slave."
"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane."
"The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history."
"The nice thing about citing god as an authority is that you can prove anything you set out to prove."
"I've never understood how God could expect His creatures to pick the one true religion by faith - it strikes me as a sloppy way to run a universe."
"The Bible is such a gargantuan collection of conflicting values that anyone can prove anything from it."
"A religion is sometime a source of happiness, and I would not deprive anyone of happiness. But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak, not for the strong. The great trouble with religion - any religion - is that a religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith, cannot thereafter judge those propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak certainty of reason- but one cannot have both."
"When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you may not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything--you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him."
"Stupidity is the only true capital crime."
"Beware of altruism. It is based on self-deception."
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh."
"The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."
"God created women to tame man."
"If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent Him."
"Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do."
"The truth is the one thing that nobody will believe."
"Of all the strange 'crimes' that human beings have legislated out of nothing, 'blasphemy' is the most amazing - with 'obscenity' and 'indecent exposure' fighting it out for second place."
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."
"Animals can be driven insane by placing too many of them into too small a space. Man is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself."
"God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills." "The Earth is far too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all it's eggs in." "All these machines are beginning to make us look fools. Before long they'll start to disobey us without [anybody] interfering with their circuits. And then they'll start ordering us about - they're logical, after all, they won't stand any nonsense. When that happens, there won't be a thing we can do about it. We'll just have to say to the dinosaurs: 'Move over a bit - here comes Homo sap!' And the transistor shall inherit the earth."
"Insults are like drinks; they affect one only if accepted"
"If you pray hard enough, you can make water run uphill. How hard? Why, hard enough to make water run uphill, of course!"
"It's hard nowadays to find an honest man who stays bought."
"There are three stages to every argument, dispute or anything of the type. They are as follows: 1) "It's impossible, don't waste my time." 2) "It's possible, but not worth doing." 3) "I told you it was a good idea all along."
"His remarks, though rather spiteful, had been true; and sometimes there is nothing more annoying than the truth."
"The person one loves never really exists, but instead is a projection focused through the lens of the mind onto the screen it fits least distortion." "I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
"Conformity should not be underestimated as an influence on individual behaviour. Humans are especially gregarious creatures. They would sooner adopt a consensual fallacy than stand out from the crowd.”
"To know everything, and yet know nothing, is to become God."
"Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other sins are invented nonsense. Hurting yourself is not sinful-just stupid."
"Philosophy... guranteed to teach you nothing. Despite centuries of effort, not one single problem of philosophy has ever been solved."
"Throw caution to the wind... at least as long as the wind doesn't throw it back at you."
"Piety does not equal horse sense."
"Someone should tell all of Yahweh's followers that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch."
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom always to tell the difference."
"Women are more practical than men, biology forces it on them."
"It is far, far better to have a bastard in the house than an unemployed son-in-law"
"No one had ever told her, and she had not yet discovered, that whenever one asked theirself 'Am I in love', the answer is always 'No.'" "What underclass? I mean you know, what underclass? Do you know any of them? Do they have automobiles? Most of them probably do. Do most of them have television sets? Do most of them have telephones? Well, if they can afford automobiles, they can afford computers. And since they have television sets, they already have access to communications technology. And since they have telephones, they can talk to one another. Wherein are they deprived?"
"Whenever somebody comes up with a good idea, there's somebody else who has never had a good idea in his life who stands up and says, "Oh, you can't do that because the bicycle manufacturers will go out of business." Well, that's too bad."
"It may be that our purpose on this planet is not to worhip God, but to create him."
"Sure, Man created God in his own image, but what other choice did he have?"
"I want a divorce; I dream of a divorce. I was never sure I wanted to get married. But I always knew I wanted a divorce."
"The Russians loved the czar as long as they could. right up until the last minute."
"When we went to war, we had two fears. One was that we'd get killed. The other was that we might have to kill someone."
"It was true that he wore no wedding ring, but that means little nowadays. Almost as little, as any hotel proprieter will tell you, as does the reverse."
"It's just theories. Human beings can't help making them, but the fact is that theories are just fantasies. And they change. When America was a new country, people believed in something called phlogiston. you know what that is? No? Well, it doesn't matter, because it wasn't real anyway. They also believed that the earth was only a few thousand years old. Now we believe the earth is four billion years old, and we believe in photons and electrons, and we think human behavior is controlled by things like ego and self-esteem. We think those beliefs are more scientific and better. "Aren't they?" "They're still just fantasies. They're not real. Have you ever seen a self-esteem? Can you bring me one on a plate? How about a photon? Can you bring me one of those?" "No, but..." "And you never will, because those things don't exist. No matter how seriously people take them, a hundred years from now, people will look back at us and laugh. They'll say 'You know what people used to believe? They believed in photons and electrons. Can you imageine anything so silly? They'll have a good laugh, because by then there will be newer and better fantasies."
"Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past"
"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows."
"If all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth."
"If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death."
"Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else"
"Sanity is not statistical."
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"
"If it can go wrong, it will"
"I'm a scientific expert; that means I know nothing about absolutely everything."
"Nature always balances her books."
"All human plans were subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe."
"When you did not know what you were looking for, it was important to avoid all prejudices and preconceptions; something that at first sight seemed irrelevant, or even nonsensical, might turn out to be a vital clue."
"The human mind has an astonishing capacity to adapt; after a while, even the incredible becomes commonplace."
Computer programming: "A business where if something works, it's obsolete."
"It is a good principle in science not to believe any 'fact' -- however well attested -- until it fits into some accepted frame of reference. Occasionally, of course, an observation can shatter the frame and force the construction of a new one, but that is extremely rare. Galileos and Einsteins seldom appear more than once per century, which is just as well for the equanimity of mankind."
"Only Time is universal; Night and Day are merely quaint local customs."
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
"It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety."
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right !"
"To succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well."
"Any dogma, primarily based on faith and emotionalism, is a dangerous weapon to use on others, since it is almost impossible to guarantee that the weapon will never be turned on the user."
"Only a lie that wasn't ashamed of itself could possibly succeed."
"The closer to the truth, the better the lie, and the truth itself, when it can be used, is the best lie."
"All humanity could share a common insanity and be immersed in a common illusion while living in a common chaos. That can't be disproved, but we have no choice but to follow our senses."
"Acting like a bully doesn't make you less helpless. It just makes you a helpless bully."
"If we only obey those rules that we think are just and reasonable, then no rule will stand, for there is no rule that some will not think is unjust and unreasonable."
"No punishment I give you will ever be as bad as the punishment you will give yourself if you become a known liar."
"Hindsight is always twenty-twenty."
"Everything is obvious in retrospect"
"For whatever godlike powers and principalities lurked beyond the stars, for ordinary human beings at least, only two things mattered: love and death"
"Everything can be counterfeited ... some things take more doing than others."
"It's easier to tell the truth ... than to keep track of a pack of lies."
"People will believe anything on the news."
"Crime is a matter of definition, a definition usually provided by those who win the war."
"History, contrary to what most believe, is not static"
"Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong."
"We have now sunk to a depth at which the re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."
"Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open."
"A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular."
"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. They they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
"The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is besides the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech."
"The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself"
"Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistence of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now."
"Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats."
"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others"
"To accept civilisation as it is practically means accepting decay."
"Throughout recorded time . . . there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude towards one another, have varied from age to age: but the essential structure of society has never altered. Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other. The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable."
"The 'Communism' of the English intellectual is something explicable enough. It is the patriotism of the deracinated."
"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."
"No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimetre nearer."
"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity."
"The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun."
"Myths which are believed in tend to become true."
"Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception."
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face- forever."
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible."
"Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing."
"No one can look back on his schooldays and say with truth that they were altogether unhappy."
"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."
"Progress and reaction have both turned out to be swindles. Seemingly, there is nothing left but quietism- robbing reality of its terrors by simply submitting to it."
"Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise."
"We of the sinking middle class . . . may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose but our aitches."
"To say "I accept" in an age like our own is to say that you accept concentration-camps, rubber truncheons, Hitler, Stalin, bombs, aeroplanes, tinned food, machine guns, putsches, purges, slogans, Bedaux belts, gas-masks, submarines, spies, provocateurs, press-censorship, secret prisons, aspirins, Hollywood films and political murder."
"A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him."
"All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand."
"All the 'good men' I know are either dead or in jail"
"Some facts should be suppressed, or, at least, a just sense of proportion should be observed in treating them."
"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius."
"Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones."
"A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it."
"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really merely commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the planning, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chain of events, working through generations and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable."
"From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other."
"We aren't decadent, but our children will be"
"Man never really abandons it's ancient tools"
"Our ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature."
"I never guess. It is a shocking habit- destructive to the logical faculty."
"I can never bring you to realize the importance of sleeves, the suggestiveness of thumb-nails, or the great issues that may hang from a boot-lace."
"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
"We haven't seen interstellar travellers for the same reason that we don't build coal-powered spaceships, because there are much better ways of doing the job"
"Trying to perform two difficult jobs at once was a very good recipe for achieving neither."
"The only real problem in life, an ancient philosopher once said, is deciding what to do next"
"There would always be people to whom reality is not good enough, and would want to try something better"
"It was futile to dream about missed opportunities"
"The human race will never know happiness, as long as the words 'If only' can still be spoken"
"For power and happiness were incompatible"
"He could speculate forever, and get nowhere"
"Though the knowledge might be overwhelming, the price of ignorance could be extinction."
"We should respect the past, butn not worship it"
"Now the old question arises: where do we go from here?"
"Civilization needs long-range goals"
"All knowledge was a double-edged sword"
"In the long-run, a man could only obey the promptings of that mysterious entity called Conscience and hope that the outcome would not be too disasterous."
"Society will always need some warning system to spot malcontents before they can cause real trouble. I only doubt if any system will really work, when it's needed"
"Unfortunately the law has nothing to do with justice. It is merely a method for dispute resolution"
"If you don't know history, you don't know anything"
"I'm not interested in the future, I'm interested in the future of the future"
"Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory does not understand it"
"Nobody understands quantum theory"
"The glory of the past is an illusion. So is the glory of the present"
"Risk everything, or gain nothing"
"Nothing in the world is as certain as death"
"There's really only one way of learning anything properly, and that's by actually going out and doing the job"
"...the human brain having an astonishing tendency for self-deceit"
"He merely had that feeling-that most men experience at one time or another in their lives-that he didn't understand women as well as he thought he did."
"Like all aphorisms, it was only half true"
"As a politician, he had the fatal defect of the totally honest man"
"It was an interesting problem: could one make up for lack of moral courage by proving physical bravery?"
"The fact that he had forgotten somethning so obvious was, he realized, a rather bad sign; it suggested that he was becoming stupid. However, if he was intelligent enough to know that he was becoming stupid things could not be too bad..."
"The British have two religions: cricket and the Royal Family. Never attempt to critize either"
"This eminently practical advice... was all that ordinary man had ever given him. Only philosophers were interested in unanswerable questions"
"Even when drunk, he had an old-fashioned prejudice against starting conversations with himself"
"It was never easy, even at the best times, to amicably decide which of the two men was to commit suicide"
"He often argued that human intelligence was more trouble than it was worth. It was more destructive than creative, more confusing than revealing, more discouraging than satisfying, more spiteful than charitable."
"Pointing at the mud on someone's fins doesn't improve your own chances of swimming"
"That might start a revolution, and revolutions were notorious as bad risks"