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A selection of quotations, excerpts and ideas




 

"Only death cures stupidity." -- Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

 

"Society is, always has been and always will be a structure for the exploitation and oppression of the majority through systems of political force dictated by an élite, enforced by thugs, uniformed or not, and upheld by a willful ignorance and stupidity on the part of the very majority whom the system oppresses." --  Richard K. Morgan, award-winning science fiction writer  


"No purpose is so high that unworthy methods in achieving it can be justified." -- Albert Einstein


"The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist." -- John Maynard Keynes

"Being born and raised in America, the country of freedom and independence, I had always cherished the values and ideals of equality and liberty. I was determined to raise my children with those ideals." -- Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume 1.

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider." -- Francis Bacon (1561-1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Studies," (1597-1625).


"Two things fill the mind with awe and wonder the more often and more steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me...The former view of a countless multitude of worlds annihilates my importance as an animal creature, which must give back to the planet (a mere speck in the universe) the matter from which it came, the matter which is for a little time provided with vital force, we know not how. The latter, on the contrary, infinitely raises my worth as that of an intelligence by my personality, in which the moral law reveals a life independent of the whole world of sense.....a destination which is not restricted to the conditions and limits of this life but reaches into the infinite." -- Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Practical Reason


"The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment." -- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician. "Philosophy and Politics," Unpopular Essays (1950).


"Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigour, and moral courage which it contained."  — John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), British philosopher, economist. On Liberty, ch. 3 (1859).


"Argument ...  does not remove doubt, so that the mind may rest in the sure knowledge of the truth, unless it finds it by the method of experiment.... For if any man who never saw fire proved by satisfactory arguments that fire burns ... his hearer's mind would never be satisfied, nor would he avoid the fire until he put his hand in it ... that he might learn by experiment what argument taught."  -- Roger Bacon (c. 1214-1294), British philosopher, scientist. Opus Maius, pt. 4, ch. 1 (1267).


"You cannot make a theory scientific simply by trying to find facts that might be explained by the theory. You have to try to find facts that could only be explained by the theory, and this means that you should try to show that no rival theory could explain those same events. A theory is meaningfully proposed as a scientific theory only if the proposer is willing to look seriously at rival theories that have some claim to explain the same events, in order to determine whether those theories do not do a better job."  — Jan Garrett, philosophy professor at Western Kentucky University, "The Enigmatic Origins of the Jung Cult" (1999).


"There are those who argue that everything breaks even in this old dump of a world of ours. I suppose these ginks who argue that way hold that because the rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in the winter things are breaking even for both. Maybe so, but I'll swear I can't see it that way." -- The last recorded words of famed Western gunman William Barclay "Bat" Masterson; it was the bit of his newspaper column found on the typewriter he was using at the time of his death on Oct. 25, 1921.


Click here to read a traditional tale with a moral about human nature (and arachnid nature).