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Quote Author Cited
The fundamental basis of ethics must be chosen in some non-scientific way. Richard P. Feynman
We will never have 100 percent certainty except in hindsight. Tom Steyer
Values are rooted in a basic optimism about life and a faith in free will. Barack Obama
free will is a theologian's artifice. Friedrich Nietzsche
We must be proud of not being needles and threads in the hands of fate as it sews the motley cloth of history.... We know that this cloth is not sewn without us.... And that is not all. We can change the pattern of the carpet. Alexander Herzen
All that is solid melts into air. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. Karl Marx
If a triangle could speak, it would say, in like manner, that God is eminently triangular, while a circle would say that the divine nature is eminently circular. Thus each would ascribe to God its own attributes, would assume itself to be like God, and look on everything else as ill-shaped. Baruch Spinoza
Happily I had very early learned the fallacy of building much on logic and verbal argument. Single sets of truths I knew to be as little conclusive in theology as in physics; and, in one as in the other, no theory to be worth anything, however plausibly backed up with Scripture texts or facts, which was not gathered bona fide from the analysis of all the attainable phenomena, and verified wherever possible by experiment. James Anthony Froude
Vulgarized knowledge characteristically gives birth to a feeling that everything is understandable and explained. It is like a system of bridges built over chasms. One can travel boldly ahead over these bridges, ignoring the chasms. It is forbidden to look down into them; but that, alas, does not alter the fact that they exist. Czeslaw Milosz
If I am all mankind, are they themselves without me? Czeslaw Milosz
We need the self-confidence to admit that at best we possess only a partial understanding of the truth, which can be enlarged by refining our views in light of new arguments, new circumstances and new insights. But this requires us to listen to others, to weigh their arguments with care, and maybe even to learn from them. Peter Wehner
There are truths to be discovered, but they are complex and many-sided; the best way to get to them is by engaging contrary ideas in a manner approximating dialogue. Harry Clor
The Edwardians were preoccupied with the concept of progress, which they defined as measurable, scientific, and technical. But what about a word to describe progress in areas that defy any meaningful metric, such as love or elegance or amusement or mercy? Denis Boyles
Be careful of hubris about ideas—especially your own. Remember always, that there is one commonality between all the good ideas that were ever created and all the bad ideas: The people you created them thought that they were good ideas. Lewis D. Eigen
I’m ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable. Leonard Cohen
We must be ready for the moment—the disasters, the joys and the sorrows. Leonard Cohen
What is the world for if you can't make it up the way you want it. Toni Morrison
Must the past be prologue? Stephen Kotkin
Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice. Baruch Spinoza
I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them. Baruch Spinoza
We cannot infer that because sciences of things divine and human are full of controversies and quarrels, therefore their whole subject-matter is uncertain ; for there have been many persons so enamoured of contradiction, as to turn into ridicule geometrical axioms. Baruch Spinoza
In practical life we are compelled to follow what is most probable ; in speculative thought we are compelled to follow truth. A man would perish of hunger and thirst, if he refused to eat or drink, till he had obtained positive proof that food and drink would be good for him. But in philosophic reflection this is not so. On the contrary, we must take care not to admit as true anything, which is only probable. For when one falsity has been let in, infinite others follow. Baruch Spinoza
If you find the light of Scripture clearer than the light of reason (which also is given us by divine wisdom), you are doubtless right in your own conscience in making your reason yield. For my part, since I plainly confess that I do not understand the Scriptures, though I have spent many years upon them, and since I know that when once I have a firm proof I cannot by any course of thought come to doubt of it, I rest wholly upon that which my understanding commends to me, without any suspicion that I am deceived therein, or that the Scriptures, even though I do not search them, can speak against it. For one truth cannot conflict with another. Baruch Spinoza
If in any case I did find error in that which I have collected from my natural understanding, I should count it good fortune, since I enjoy life, and endeavour to pass it not in weeping and sighing, but in peace, joy, and cheerfulness, and from time to time climb thereby a step higher. Baruch Spinoza
This impels me ... to set forth briefly my opinion on the question, whether the world was made by chance.... I therefore say, as I have said already, that the world is a necessary effect of the divine nature, and that it has not been made by chance. Baruch Spinoza
Beauty, my dear Sir, is not so much a quality of the object beheld, as an effect in him who beholds it. If our sight were longer or shorter, or if our constitution were different, what now appears beautiful to us would seem misshapen, and what we now think misshapen we should regard as beautiful. The most beautiful hand seen through the microscope will appear horrible. Some things are beautiful at a distance, but ugly near; Baruch Spinoza
Truth is a standard both of itself and of falsity. Baruch Spinoza
My purpose is to explain, not the meaning of words, but the nature of things. Baruch Spinoza
They [philosophers] conceive of men, not as they are, but as they themselves would like them to be Baruch Spinoza
"Spinoza did not seek to found a sect, and he founded none"; yet all philosophy after him is permeated with his thought. Will Durant
How much do I love that noble man More than I could tell with words I fear though he'll remain alone With a holy halo of his own. Albert Einstein
Following World War II, the world mostly shared values about human rights, democracy and so forth. Many believed then that Western liberal ideas would be universal. But today it is not the case that we share the same values. If you look at Russia, China, Turkey—and even inside our societies—people have different concepts about how to organize big societies. Typically in Western society, the individual is protected against the collective. But increasingly, the collective is protected against the individual. And even inside our own society, the question arises more and more about how much should you defend the collective against the individual? What is the right balance? Klaus Schwab
Human affairs are governed by such a variety of whimsical circumstances, that we should always be prepared to stand the shock of that disappointment which the best concerted measures are constantly subject to. Samuel Johnston
Changing a political system is not a question of contesting and polemicizing, but of blowing everything up. Julius Evola
There are no modern successful societies that do not deal with the issues raised by Populists and Fabianists but also avoid going to one of these extremes. The modern battle for power in democartic socities is between Populism and Fabianism. Lewis D. Eigen
Every human being has the right to live. It is our duty to acknowledge that right by providing for it. In a natural state of society it would take care of itself. As matters are now it must be deliberately provided for. Prestonia Mann Martin
To work in a treadmill all one's life, to wear oneself to the bone all one's days, is not conducive to the outflowering of genius. If we desire a real crop of great art, great poetry, great thinking, we must provide the proper conditions. Prestonia Mann Martin
The final goal of all human endeavor is the development of the human soul. Walther Rathenau
The cure for materialism is to have enough for everybody. When people are sure of having what they need, they cease to think about it. Uncertainty chains the mind to anxiety. We can make the acquiring of the necessities of life a mere incident. The ideal of industry is a world in which people will have a chance to use their brains and will not be occupied from morning till night with the business of getting a livelihood. The true end of industry is to liberate the mind and body from the drudgery of existence Henry Ford
Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed. Richard John Neuhaus
Science is true, whether you believe it or not. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Western Humanism does not ask the fundamental questions about the meaning and limits of personal experience. Humsniists leave aside the mysteries of contingency and transitoriness, for the certainties of research, production, consumption. Michael Novak
Do not overthrow the custom that has made it all the way to you. Leon Wieseltier
There is never any precedent until it happens for the first time. Chesley Sullenberger
There is a cleansing humility about doubt. Richard Holloway
Too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. Jimmy Carter
Transcendentalists like Emerson were searching for unity in nature, but resisted what seemed to them the blinkered reliance on deductive reasoning and empirical research enforced by encroaching science. Andrea Wulf
The fates will lead you to the future or drag you there. Seneca the Younger
Trying to fight misogyny using juridical moral notions is a bit like trying to fight fire with oxygen. It might work on a small scale — we do manage to blow out matches and candles, after all. But when we try to scale up the strategy, it is liable to backfire. We would be trying to put out a fire while feeding right into it. Kate Manne
Misogyny should be understood as the ‘law enforcement’ branch of a patriarchal order, which has the overall function of policing and enforcing its governing ideology. Sexism wears a lab coat, misogyny goes on witch hunts. . . . Sexism is bookish; misogyny is combative. Sexism has a theory; misogyny wields a cudgel. Kate Manne
The noblest art is that of making others happy. P. T. Barnum
I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of. Michel de Montaigne
The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. Will Durant
All the better; they do not force me to do anything that I would not have done of my own accord if I did not dread scandal. But since they want it that way, I enter gladly on the path that is opened to me, with the consolation that my departure will be more innocent than was the exodus of the early Hebrews from Egypt. Baruch Spinoza
It is always better to be inefficient and correct than to be incorrect and efficient. Srini Devadas