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Philosophers

Faith means not wanting to know what is true.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Miracles are propitious accidents.
George Santayana


The idea is that of the earth not only becoming covered by myriads of grains of thought but becoming enclosed in a single thinking envelope so as to form, functionally, no more than a single vast grain of thought on the sidereal scale...
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.
Ralph Waldo Emerson 84


In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
Erasmus


It is better, of course, to know useless things than to know nothing.
—Seneca


My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.
Bertrand Russell


Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.
—René Descartes


The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.
—Aristotle

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The more you own, the more you know you don’t own.
—Aristotle Onasis attributed without substantiation


Sometimes the dabblings seem to come together for no clear reason.
—Roger Penrose


One cannot conceive anything so strange and implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another.
—René Descartes


Religion is all right, so long as you don’t take it too seriously.
—Paul Kurtz 21


The harm that theology has done is not to create cruel impulses, but to give them the sanction of what professes to be a lofty ethic, and to confer an apparently sacred character upon practices which have dome down from more ignorant and barbarous ages.
—Bertrand Russell


All movements go too far.
Bertrand Russell


Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves.
—Albert Camus


Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.
—Bertrand Russell


One cannot step twice into the same river.
—Heraclitus

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Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.
—William James


The world would be astonished if it knew how great a proportion of its brightest ornaments, of those most distinguished ever in popular estimation for wisdom and virtue, are complete sceptics in religion.
John Stuart Mill 70


A good mind possesses a kingdom.
—Seneca


We think in generalities, but we live in detail.
—Alfred North Whitehead


Not by wrath does one kill, but by laughter. Come let us kill the spirit of gravity.
Friedrich Nietzsche


If I were granted omnipotence, and millions of years to experiment in, I should not think Man much to boast of as the final result of all my efforts.
Bertrand Russell


Lord, make me chaste, but not yet.
—Augustine of Hippo


Invention is the mother of necessity.
Thornstein Veblen


Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer


We do not do what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are—that is the fact.
—Jean-Paul Sartre

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So difficult to show the various meaning and imperfections of words when we have nothing else but words to do it by.
John Locke 102


Religion could not have arisen had it not been for the fact of death.
—Arthur Schopenhauer


Wit is educated insolence.
—Aristotle


The unexpected connection is more powerful than one that is obvious.
—Heraclitus


Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.
Friedrich Nietzsche


There is no great genius without some touch of madness.
—Seneca


No man treats a motor car 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 set it right.
Bertrand Russell SOURCE


Truth emerges from the clash of adverse ideas.
John Stuart Mill


I think, therefore I am.
—René Descartes


A scholar is just a library’s way of making another library.
—Daniel C. Dennett

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The real Antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity.
—Eric Hoffer


What good could talking to yourself do, if you already know what you intended to say?
—Daniel C. Dennett


The total absence of humor from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature.
—Alfred North Whitehead


By nature’s kindly disposition most questions which it is beyond a man’s power to answer do not occur to him at all.
George Santayana 


The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
—Allan Bloom


There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.
Bertrand Russell


That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
John Stuart Mill


And I wish no one to believe anything I have written, unless he is personally persuaded by the evidence of reason.
—René Descartes


The “silly question” is the first intimation of some totally new development.
—Alfred North Whitehead

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The errors of great men are venerable because they are more fruitful that the truths of little men.
Friedrich Nietzsche


There is no slavery but ignorance. Liberty is the child of intelligence.
—Robert G. Ingersoll


Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire.
Friedrich Nietzsche


From a scientific point of view, we can make no distinction between the man who eats little and sees heaven and the man who drinks much and sees snakes.
Bertrand Russell


All art is but imitation of nature.
—Seneca


If the king loves music, there is little wrong in the land.
Mencius


In the thick of active life, there is more need to stimulate fancy than to control it.
George Santayana


When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I havefinished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
—Buckminster Fuller


The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won’t keep. Something must be done about them. When the idea is new, its custodians have fervor, live for it, and if need be, die for it.
—Alfred North Whitehead


There has been only one Christian and he died on the cross.
Friedrich Nietzsche 22

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Sanity is a madness put to good uses.
George Santayana


Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good.
Friedrich Nietzsche


That which opposes produces a benefit.
—Heraclitus


Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
Bertrand Russell


A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
—Aristotle


The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
Bertrand Russell



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