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My Favorite Philosophical Quotes

The following is a small collection of some of my favorite philosophical quotes. These are one I've chosen not because I agree with the ideas suggested (although that is certainly true in some cases), but because they are likely to stimulate some serious though if they are pondered a bit.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Arthur Schopenhauer

The only secure knowledge is that I exist. - Rene Descartes

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn't make any sense. - Rumi

- We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves. - John Locke

- Listening to your own mind gives you "good reasons" why you should be fearful over unexpected events is just like being friends with someone who thinks it's funny to find new ways to hurt you! - Guy Finley

- Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. - Buddha

- The most useful tools are often the most dangerous as well. This is certainly true of the words we use, which help point us towards the truth and perhaps just as often, away from it. - Steve Gillman

- Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such. - Henry Miller

- As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. It subverts science and saps the intellect. - Richard Dawkins

- Consider a man riding a bicycle. Whoever he is, we can say three things about him. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. Most important of all, we know that if, at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle, he will fall off it. That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things. - William Golding

There is no such thing as a necessary evil. If it is truly evil it isn't necessary. If it is truly necessary it can't be evil. - Steve Gillman

The stream of thinking has enormous momentum that can easily drag you along with it. Every thought pretends that it matters so much. - Eckhart Tolle

Rational people don't wait for science to prove things. Should we have stopped breathing until the value of oxygen was proven? Stopped eating until the digestive process was explained? Experience comes before science. - Steve Gillman

We know very little, and yet it is astonishing that we know so much, and still more astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power. - Bertrand Russell

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. - Dalai Lama


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