Deep philosophical thoughts [Sunday, Dec. 03, 2006, 7:46 pm]
Before book-selling time arrives, I thought I'd post a few quotes I've read in my philosophy books this semester. Even if I don't always agree with the general ideas presented by certain philosophers, they come up with thought-worthy quotes often enough.
"...when a dog sees someone it does not know, it gets angry even before anything bad happens to it. But when it knows someone, it welcomes him, even if it has never received anything good from him. Have you never wondered at that?"
"Shall we carelessly allow our children to hear any old stories made up by just anyone, then, and to take beliefs into their souls that are, for the most part, the opposite of the ones we think they should hold when they are grown up?"
"...do you think there is any way to prevent someone from associating with something he admires without imitating it?"
"Education is not what some people boastfully declare it to be. They presumably say they can put knowledge into souls that lack it, as if they could put sight into blind eyes."
"And since in this life greater rewards are often granted to vices than to virtues, few would prefer what is right to what is useful, if they neither feared God nor anticipated an afterlife."
"...all the objections typically bandied about by the atheists to assail the existence of God always depend either on ascribing human emotions to God, or on arrogantly claiming for our minds such power and wisdom that we attempt to determine and grasp fully what God can and ought to do."
"But I see what is happening: my mind loves to wander and does not yet permit itself to be restricted within the confines of truth."
"This being the case, it is appropriate to ask further whether I myself who have this idea [of God] could exist, if such a being did not exist."
"...it occurs to me first that there is no reason to marvel at the fact that God should bring about certain things, the reasons for which I do not understand. Nor is his existence therefore to be doubted because I happen to experience other things of which I fail to grasp why and how he made them."
"...it is certain that I am really distinct from my body, and can exist without it."
~Rene Descartes' "Meditations on First Philosophy
"...in political and philosophical theories as well as in persons, success discloses faults and infirmities which failure might have concealed from observation."
"They have occupied themselves rather in inquiring what things society ought to like or dislike than in questioning whether its likings or dislikings should be a law to individuals."
"If we would know whether or not it is desirable that a proposition should be believed, is it possible to exclude the consideration of whether or not it is true?"
"We often hear the teachers of all creeds lamenting the difficulty of keeping up in the minds of believers a lively apprehension of the truth which they nominally recognize, so that it may penetrate the feelings and acquire a real mastery over the conduct. No such difficulty is complained of while the creed is still fighting for its existence;"
"Both teachers and learners go to sleep at their post as soon as there is no enemy in the field. . .The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful is the cause of half their errors. A contemporary author has well spoken of 'the deep slumber of a decided opinion.' . . . Do the fruits of conquest perish by the very completeness of the victory?"
"Persons of genius are...more individual than any other people - less capable, consequently, of fitting themselves, without hurtful compression, into any of the small number of molds which society provides in order to save its members the trouble of forming their own character."
"A general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government - whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation..."
~John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty"
"The machine accommodates itself to the weakness of the human being in order to make the weak human being into a machine."
~Karl Marx's "Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844"
"For so long everyone has wanted to hold on to the belief that the United States is a class-free society - that anyone who works hard enough can make it to the top. Few people stop to think that in a class-free society there would be no top."
"Students who considered themselves socialists were not so much interested in the poor as they were desirous of leading the poor, of being their guides and saviors."
"Mass media has fostered this sense of lack in both those who have abundant privilege and those who have little. If privileged people feel "lack," there is no reason they should feel accountable to those who are truly needy."
"The starving in a foreign country are always more interesting than the starving who speak your language, who might want to eat at your table, find shelter in your house, or share your job."
~Bell Hooks' "Class matters: where we stand"
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009