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Thread: Favourite quotations

  1. #1
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    Post Favourite quotations

    Wikiquote is an excellent source to do a bit of "quotation surfing". Here are a few that express well my general attitude to life or that I find particularily well-said (The quotations I selected from Churchill are more witty than profound or true).

    Voltaire (1694-1778)

    • To pray to God is to flatter oneself that with words one can alter nature.
    • It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.
    • There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.
    • Such then is the human condition, that to wish greatness for one's country is to wish harm to one's neighbours.
    • Prejudice is an opinion without judgment.
    • Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
    • No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.


    Diderot (1713-1784)

    • From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.
    • Reason is to the philosopher what grace is to the Christian... Other men walk in darkness; the philosopher, who has the same passions, acts only after reflection; he walks through the night, but it is preceded by a torch. The philosopher forms his principles on an infinity of particular observations. He does not confuse truth with plausibility; he takes for truth what is true, for forgery what is false, for doubtful what is doubtful, and probable what is probable. The philosophical spirit is thus a spirit of observation and accuracy.
    • Distance is a great promoter of admiration!
    • Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.
    • There are things I can't force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.
    • To prove the Gospels by a miracle is to prove an absurdity by something contrary to nature.


    Churchill (1874-1965)

    • What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?
    • Never in the field of human conflict has so much, been owed by so many, to so few.
    • He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
    • I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents.
    • If you are going through hell, keep going.
    • Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
    • The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter.
    • The Times is speechless and takes three columns to express its speechlessness.
    • We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm.
    • When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticise or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.
    • When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.
    • You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
    • Bessie Braddock: Sir, you are drunk.
      Churchill: And you, madam, are ugly. But in the morning I shall be sober.

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    I never knew about wikiquote. I like it! I have always loved quotations. It's great when someone has said what you want to say much more eloquently than you ever could. I like Oscar Wilde for wittiness, Henry David Thoreau for truth and Nietzsche for profundity.

    Oscar Wilde
    • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
    • Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
    • There is no sin except stupidity.
    • Only the shallow know themselves.


    Henry David Thoreau
    • The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
    • To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.
    • The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive.
    • I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.


    Friedrich Nietzsche
    • Without art we would be nothing but foreground and live entirely in the spell of that perspective which makes what is closest at hand and most vulgar appear as if it were vast, and reality itself.
    • God is dead! God stays dead! And we killed him.
    • The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.
    • Perhaps man will rise ever higher as soon as he ceases to flow out into a god.
    • I tell you: one must have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star.
    • What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

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    I always like Churchill's response to Lady Astor (I believe...):

    Lady Astor: "If I were your wife, sir, I would give you poison!"

    W.S.C.: " ... and if I were your husband, Madam, ... I would drink it!"

    Not to mention Wilde's (reputed) quote:

    "Either those curtains go ... or I do!" (Moments before he died).

    W

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    Here are a few more :

    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

    • My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities.
    • Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
    • I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime.
    • If I give you a pfennig, you will be one pfennig richer and I'll be one pfennig poorer. But if I give you an idea, you will have a new idea, but I shall still have it, too.
    • Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
    • The only real valuable thing is intuition. The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery.


    Einstein was a deist with a pantheistic penchant, as these quotations show :

    • Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and the spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.
    • My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.


    Yet, some of his remarks could have made of him an atheist, based on the interpretation of his feelings :

    • What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world.
    • There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
    • I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls.


    Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

    • There is no logical impossibility in the hypothesis that the world sprang into being five minutes ago, exactly as it then was, with a population that "remembered" a wholly unreal past. There is no logically necessary connection between events at different times; therefore nothing that is happening now or will happen in the future can disprove the hypothesis that the world began five minutes ago.
    • In adolescence, I hated life and was continually on the verge of suicide, from which, however, I was restrained by the desire to know more mathematics. Now, on the contrary, I enjoy life; I might almost say that with every year that passes I enjoy it more. This is due partly to having discovered what were the things that I most desired and having gradually acquired many of these things. Partly it is due to having successfully dismissed certain objects of desire . . . as essentially unattainable. But very largely it is due to a diminishing preoccupation with myself . . . . I learned to be indifferent to myself and my deficiencies; I came to center my attention increasingly upon external objects.
    • To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level.
    • I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue.
    • I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: 'The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair.' In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.
    • A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
    • In fact the opposition of instinct and reason is mainly illusory. Instinct, intuition, or insight is what first leads to the beliefs which subsequent reason confirms or confutes; but the confirmation, where it is possible, consists, in the last analysis, of agreement with other beliefs no less instinctive. Reason is a harmonising, controlling force rather than a creative one. Even in the most purely logical realms, it is insight that first arrives at what is new.
    • To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.
    • The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
    • Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.
    • There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.

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    my favourite quote came from Alan Arkin, when he played Inspector Clouseau, saying to one of the villains in the movie, "There is a time to be serious and a time not to be serious and this is not one of them..." This seems to be the way life in America appears to have fallen down towards in recent years

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    Bertrand Russel!

    One of my all time favorite persons, I think.

    Here are some of mine:

    "A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire

    "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
    -Groucho Marx

    "Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy."
    -George Carlin

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    Ralpho Waldo Emerson:

    -I hate qoutations. Tell me what you know.

    -To laugh often and much; to win respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

    -Who you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.

    -Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

    -To be great is to be misunderstood.

    "A girl child ain't safe in a family of men."
    Sophia
    From The Color Purple

    Can't think of anymore quotes that I like at the moment.

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    Some more of my favorite quotes:

    Malcom X:

    -You're not supposed to be so blind to patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or says it.

    -You don't have a peacful revolution. You don't have turn-the-other-cheek revolution. There's not such thing as non-violent revolution. Revolution is bloody. Revolution is hostile. Revolution knows no compromise. Revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in it's way.

    -History is a people's memory, and without a memory, a man is demoted to the lower animals.

    Alice Walker:

    -I'm always amazed that people will actually choose to sit in front of a televison and just be savaged by stuff that belittles their intelligence.

    -No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.

    -Nobody is as powerful as you make them out to be.

    -The most important question in the world is "Why is the child crying?"

    -In search of my mothers garden, I have found my own.

    -Yes, mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. This is your greatest gift to me.

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    oooo NICE, Quotations!!!!!!!!!!!

    I just changed my nick on Msn, into a Quote from James dean:

    "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."

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    "Know yourself" unknown

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    "I try not to think with my gut."

    -Carl Sagon, when asked what his "gut feeling" was about a question.

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    "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." -- Jesus Christ

    "Finding truth can be like finding a worm in your apple. Better to have the whole thing stare you in the face than to swallow half!" -- Moishe Rosen

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    lmao @ your last one, Pararousia!

    A couple from Lemmy from Motorhead (yeah, I know, my machine won't let me make umlauts. ):

    Interviewer: Why is volume so important?
    Lemmy: Because I'm deaf.



    He also said: "There are great benefits to be had from going through the pain barrier - you come through the other side absolutely pain-free with no hair and all your fingernails gone".


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    Quote Originally Posted by mad pierrot
    "Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy."
    -George Carlin
    i love anything George...

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    Not exactly my favorite quotes- For most I just did various searches on figures I like, or some quotes I found interesting regardless of source. Most of the books where my favorite quotations actually are are in my house and not with me in college.

    General

    Aldo Leopold

    •"A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority." (Round River- it'd probably make better sense in context)

    •"In human history, we have learned (I hope) that the conqueror role is eventually self-defeating. Why? Because it is implicit in such a role that the conqueror knows, ex cathedra, just what makes the community clock tick, and just what and who is valuable, and what and who is worthless, in community life. It always turns out that he knows neither, and this is why his conquests eventually defeat themselves." (A Sand County Almanac)

    J. Baird Callicott

    •"Ethics and society or community are correlative" (The Conceptual Foundation of the Land Ethic)

    Henry David Thoreau

    •Kings and queens who wear a suit but once, though made by some tailor or dress-maker to their majesties, cannot know the comfort of wearing a suit that fits. They are no better than wooden horses to hang the clean clothes on. (Walden)

    on racism and hate

    •"It was hard for me to do the show (All American Girl) because a lot of people didn't even understand the concept of Asian-American. I was on a morning show, and the host said, 'Awright, Margaret, we're changing over to an ABC affiliate! So why don't you tell our viewers in your native language that we're making that transition?' So I looked at the camera and said, 'Um, they're changing over to an ABC affiliate.'" (Margaret Cho)

    •The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.... The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. (Martin Luther King, Jr)

    Miscellaneous

    •I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. (Martin Luther King, Jr)

    •One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. (Martin Luther King, Jr)

    •The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers. (Denis Diderot)

    •It is not human nature we should accuse but the despicable conventions that pervert it. (Denis Diderot)

    •What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? (Jean Jacques Rousseau)

    •People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little. (Jean Jacques Rousseau)

    •"The only vice which cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy." (William Hazlitt)

    Quotes from previous posts that I enjoyed

    •Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. (Albert Einstein)

    •I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime. (Albert Einstein)

    •I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: 'The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair.' In these words he epitomized the history of the human race. (Bertrand Russell)

    •A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconciously translates what he hears into something he can understand. (Bertrand Russell)

    •You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. (Winston Churchill)

    Novels

    Douglas Adams

    •"Ah," said Arthur, "this is obviously some strange usage of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of." (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    •[Ford:] "It's unpleasantly like being drunk."
    [Arthur:] "What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"
    [Ford:] "You ask a glass of water." (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    •[Ford:] "Life," he said, "is like a grapefruit."
    [creature:] "Er, how so?"
    [Ford:] "Well, it's sort of orangey-yellow and dimpled on the outside, wet and squidgy in the middle. It's got pips inside, too. Oh, and some people have half a one for breakfast." (So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish)

    •The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't. (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    •For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons. (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    Richard Adams

    •"El-ahrairah, your people cannot rule the world, for I will not have it so. All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed." (Watership Down- one of my all time favorite novels!)

    Frank Herbert

    •I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. (Dune, Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear)

    •Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It's shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad'Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson. (Dune)

    •He was warrior and mystic, ogre and saint, the fox and the innocent, chivalrous, ruthless, less than a god, more than a man. There is no measuring Muad'Dib's motives by ordinary standards. In the moment of his triumph, he saw the death prepared for him, yet he accepted the treachery. Can you say he did this out of a sense of justice? Whose justice, then? Remember, we speak now of the Muad'Dib who ordered battle drums made from his enemies' skins, the Muad'Dib who denied the conventions of his ducal past with a wave of the hand, saying merely: "I am the Kwisatz Haderach. That is reason enough." (Dune)

    •There are problems in this universe for which there are no answers. (Dune Messiah)

    •I was baptized in sand and it cost me the knack of believing. Who trades in faiths anymore? Who'll buy? Who'll sell? (Dune Messiah)

    •There are many degrees of sight and many degrees of blindness. (Dune Messiah)

    •You comfort me with thorns. (Dune Messiah)

    •Ideas are most to be feared when they become actions. (Dune Messiah)

    •A creature who has spent his life creating one particular representation of his selfdom will die rather than become the antithesis of that representation. (Dune Messiah)

    Neil Gaiman

    •"I am honor-bound to warn you to stay on the path through the castle. Straying from the path could mean your destruction. ... You killed my friend, woman. Stray from your path." (The Kindly Ones)

    Wilfred Owen (one of my favorite poets :))

    •If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    (from Dulce et decorum est)
    Last edited by lastmagi; 10-11-05 at 08:07.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lastmagi
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.
    That has to be one of the most misquoted. They always miss 'The old Lie'.

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    • Tolerance is mother of mediocrity
    • Ignorance is not an excuse


    This illustrates my position about ignorance and religiousness.

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    I Wonder Who Said.......

    Life sucks, and then you die.

    Some days it seems to fit.

    Frank


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    "Quando la società cambia le parole vuol dire che qualcosa di grave sta maturando..."

    When society changes vocabulary something bad is about to happen.

    A. Gramsci

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    Quote Originally Posted by cursore
    "Quando la società cambia le parole vuol dire che qualcosa di grave sta maturando..."

    When society changes vocabulary something bad is about to happen.

    A. Gramsci
    Does that include the "politically correct" in the US, or the change of meaning of political terms like "liberal" also in the US ?

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    I would like to quote an eminent J-refian, our own Nana007, who has shared with us the valuable insight that:

    "There is a time in every man's life when he gets tired of PVC, bondage gear, dresses, and makeup".

    Now that is worth remembering, guys... and girls.

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    Alice Walker:

    People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are willing to remain actual fools.

    "I try to teach my heart not to want things it can't have."

    What the mind doesn't understand, it worships or fears.

    Zora Neale Hurston:

    No matter how far a person can go to the horizon it still way beyond you.

    Research is formalized curiosity, it's poking and prying with a purpose.

    There is something about poverty that smells like death.

    Anne Rice:

    To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself

    Evil is always possible. Goodness is a difficulty.

  23. #23
    Silent Assassin Achievements:
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    Country: United States



    One of my favorite quotes is actually from a video game believe it or not. I've altered it a bit in the past, but it pretty much has the same meaning to me regardless. Here is the original quote:

    "There is one lesson that I had taken from Gontriono, trust no one, but never forget those who put their trust in you. Forget the past I'll never find peace there. So I'll just find justice myself, and I'll choose the truth that I like."

    Doc

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    very far removed Southerner-Viking; explains a lot




    I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.
    - John Milton (1608-1674) Areopagitica.

    In short - put up or shut up.

  25. #25
    Suzumiya Haruhi follower Achievements:
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    Wow, there a some great ones here. Some of my favorites are:

    The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights. -J Paul Getty

    We experience moments absolutely free from worry. These brief respites are called panic. -Cullen Hightower.

    Nice guys finish last, but we get to sleep in. - Evan Davis

    Someday we'll look back on this moment and plow into a parked car - Evan Davis

    There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you. - Will Rogers

    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. - Will Rogers

    People say common sense will fix things, but sense has not always been common - Chuck D

    Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else? - James Thurber

    Forecasting is very difficult, especially if it's about the future. -Edgar R. Fiedler

    As you journey through life take a minute every now and then to give a thought for the other fellow. He could be plotting something. - Hagar the Horrible

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