Observations I

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“He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.”
– Sir William Drummond
“Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.”
– H. L. Mencken
“Faith is, at one and the same time, absolutely necessary and altogether impossible.”
– Stanislaw Lem
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.”
– Ernest Benn
“If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.”
– Professor Irwin Corey
“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.”
– Bertrand Russell
“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”
– A.A. Milne
“When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.”
– Marquis de la Grange
“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.”
-Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865),
“It is a fine thing to establish one’s own religion in one’s heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.”
– D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930)
“The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.”
– Eric Hoffer (1902 – 1983)
“For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.”
– H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)
“A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.”
– James Feibleman
“The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.”
– Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821 – 1890)
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
– Steven Weinberg (1933 – )
“A cult is a religion with no political power.”
– Tom Wolfe (1931 – )
“Angels dancing on the head of a pin dissolve into nothingness at the bedside of a dying child.”
– Waiter Rant, Waiter Rant weblog, 06-21-05
“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.”
– George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)
“Men willingly believe what they wish.”
– Julius Caesar (100 BC – 44 BC), De Bello Gallico
“I never cease being dumbfounded by the unbelievable things people believe.”
– Leo Rosten (1908 – )
“Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.”
-Dan Barker, “Losing Faith in Faith”

“Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakeable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.”
– Richard Dawkins (1941 – ), “The Root of All Evil”, Channel 4 UK, 2006
“We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
– Richard Dawkins (1941 – ), “The Root of All Evil”, UK Channel 4, 2006
“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.”
– Chuck Palahniuk (1962 – ), Invisible Monsters, 1999
“I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.”
– Wilson Mizner (1876 – 1933)
“Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.”
-Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914), The Devil’s Dictionary
“Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.”
– Amy Lowell (1874 – 1925)
“I believe that if it were left to artists to choose their own labels, most would choose none.”
– Ben Shahn (1898 – 1969)
“Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.”
– Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)
“Works of art, in my opinion, are the only objects in the material universe to possess internal order, and that is why, though I don’t believe that only art matters, I do believe in Art for Art’s sake.”
– E. M. Forster (1879 – 1970)
“Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.”
– Eugene Delacroix (1798 – 1863)
“Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.”
– Christopher Hampton
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.”
– Dale Carnegie
“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”
– Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007)
“Criticism comes easier than craftsmanship.”
-Zeusix(~400 BC), from Pliny the Elder, Natural History
“An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.”
– Bonnie Friedman, in New York Times
“Art is made to disturb. Science reassures.”
– Georges Braque .
“There is in every village, a torch – the teacher; and an extinguisher, the clergyman.”
-Victor Hugo
“My work is a game, a very serious game.”
– M. C. Escher

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May 29, 2015

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