When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
The act of self-denial seems to confer on us the right to be harsh and merciless toward others.
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.
A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.
True loyalty between individuals is possible only in a loose and relatively free society.
It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible.
I've always been a true believer that if men had babies, nobody would be trying to tell them what they can and can't do with their bodies.
Everybody is a True Believer. Everybody has a little nugget they're convinced of that is the opposite of the nugget on the other side. And they're convinced it's fact.
The technique of a mass movement aims to infect people with a malady and then offer the movement as a cure.
To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.
It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations -- past and present -- are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual's hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millenia.
The greatest weariness comes from work not done.
Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for lost faith in ourselves.
Self-contempt, however vague, sharpens our eyes for the imperfections of others. We usually strive to reveal in others the blemishes we hide in ourselves.
An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.
Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self-esteem. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.
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.
A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business.
The true believer is rewarded in every thing, even in affliction.
The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is that the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance.
A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding.
Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden.
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