I figured people would appreciate a single page where they could read every quotation in the random quote thing in the sidebar. A small part of the collected wisdom of our forefathers. In some cases, these forefathers are still alive, even.
These are in no particular order—or rather, they’re in the order they’re in the randomiser, which is roughly the order I remembered them in.
“All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”
“I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.”
“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”
“Religion easily — has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man… living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day.
And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time.
But he loves you! He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”
“The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn’t need its brain any more so it eats it. It’s rather like getting tenure.”
“I have a friend who’s an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don’t agree with. He’ll hold up a flower and say, “Look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree. But then he’ll say, “I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull.” I think he’s kind of nutty.
There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.”
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
“There is a further advantage [to hydrogen bombs]: the supply of uranium in the planet is very limited, and it might be feared that it would be used up before the human race was exterminated, but now that the practically unlimited supply of hydrogen can be utilized, there is considerable reason to hope that homo sapiens may put an end to himself, to the great advantage of such less ferocious animals as may survive. But it is time to return to less cheerful topics.”
“If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie.”
–W. Somerset Maugham
“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”
“The road to wisdom?
Well, it’s plain and simple to express:
Err and err and err again
but less and less and less.”
“It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities.”
–H. L. Mencken
“I do not believe that a decay of dogmatic belief can do anything but good. I admit at once that new systems of dogma, such as those of the Nazis and the Communists, are even worse than the old systems, but they could never have acquired a hold over men’s minds if orthodox dogmatic habits had not been instilled in youth. Stalin’s language is full of reminiscences of the theological seminary in which he received his training. What the world needs is not dogma but an attitude of scientific inquiry combined with the belief that the torture of millions is not desirable, whether inflicted by Stalin or by a deity imagined in the likeness of the believer.”
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
“We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.”