Favourite Quotes from Various Sources

A compilation of David's favourite quotes.

Background for this Article

Below is presented a collection of quotations from various individuals. The items have been accumulated over the years by David.

A key step toward societal improvement is to relieve ignorance, so we do not have to relive it.
Prad Basu

All men have opinions, but few men think.
George Berkeley

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.
Henry Beston

The Man who pretends to be a modest enquirer into the truth of a self-evident thing is a Knave.
William Blake

Logic is the art of making truth prevail.
La Bruyere

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
Martin Buber

The currently fashionable supposition that the world can be described only by science is due either to a pedestrian conception of what it is to describe or to a romantic view of the powers of science.
Panayot Butchvarov

You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
G. K. Chesterton

The empires of the future are empires of the mind.
Winston Churchill

If Wisdom be attainable, let us not only win but enjoy it.

Isn't man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife by the millions in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billions and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year sends out cards praying for "Peace on Earth."
C. David Coats

The most successful exploiter is the one who makes others feel that he or she has their best interests at heart.
Randall Collins

It is hard to fight against anger: to master it is the mark of a rational man.

Reason is often a more powerful persuader than gold.

...the word is the shadow of the deed.

There is something perhaps something a trifle absurd and obsessive in the need for a "proof" that existence of life is better than its non-existence. It resembles the demand to have it "established by argument" that love is better than hate.
Paul Edwards

If mankind is to survive, we shall require a substantially new manner of thinking.
Albert Einstein

Three rules of work:
1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2. From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Albert Einstein

...propaganda must not concern itself with what is best in man - the highest goals humanity sets for itself, its noblest and most precious feelings. Propaganda does not aim to elevate man, but to make him serve. It must therefore utilize the most common feelings, the most widespread ideas, the crudest patterns, and in so doing place itself on a very low level with regard to what it wants man to do and to what end. Hate, hunger, and pride make better levers of propaganda than do love or impartiality.
Jacques Ellul

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To find the best in others;
To appreciate beauty;
To leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

...there are no beginnings, not even to stories. There are only places where you make an entrance into someone else's life and either stay or turn and go away.
Timothy Findley

You never become a statistic until after the fact.
Murray Freedman (my maternal uncle)

Don't criticize each other while you eat. You can do that after.
Sarah Freedman [my maternal grandmother]

Sometimes doing things the hard way is easier.
Sarah Freedman

When I put food before him my dog eats it; when I throw the stick, he fetches it....Several times, I have tried putting food before him and throwing a stick at the same time; each time he has sought neither the food nor the stick but stood looking at me.
R. G. Frey

Non-violence and truth are inseparable and presuppose one another.
M. K. Gandhi

There is more to life than increasing its speed.
M. K. Gandhi

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
M. K. Gandhi

I am in earnest - I will not equivocate - I will not excuse - I will not retreat a single inch and I will be heard.
William Lloyd Garrison

Much learning does not teach sense.

A moment's thought would have shown him. But a moment is a long time, and thought is a painful process.
A. E. Housman

The end of argument or discussion should be not victory, but enlightenment.
Joseph Joubert

If you are really inquiring you cannot start with a conclusion, and all ideologies are a conclusion.

Or thou might'st better listen to the wind, Whose language is to thee a barren noise, Though it blows legend-laden through the trees.
John Keats

The poetry of earth is never dead.
John Keats

We read fine...things but never feel them to [the] full until we have gone the same steps as the author.
John Keats

[Robert] Nozick (1983), reviewing Regan's The Case for Animal Rights, accuses him of going too far in attributing equal rights to animals, and opts for speciesism but without providing a justification. H. Cohen (1983) replies: "If this is the best that the chairman of the Harvard philosophy department can do, then the case for animal rights must be strong indeed."
Charles Magel

How, after all, did Darwin know which species were the "fittest"? Simply by checking on which ones, in fact, survived. Why not, then use a more exact phrase: "the survival of the survivors"?
Maynard Mack

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does.
Margaret Mead

It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and as if by magic we see a new meaning in it.
Anais Nin

Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do.
Bertrand Russell

I can only say that, while my own opinions as to ethics do not satisfy me, other people's satisfy me still less.
Bertrand Russell

Men at some time are masters of their fates.
William Shakespeare

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
William Shakespeare

150 years ago, they would have thought you were absurd if you advocated for the end of slavery. 100 years ago, they would have laughed at you for suggesting that women should have the right to vote. 50 years ago, they would object to the idea of African Americans receiving equal rights under the law. 25 years ago they would have called you a pervert if you advocated for gay rights. They laugh at us now for suggesting that animal slavery be ended. Some day they won't be laughing.
Gary Smith

Be a good citizen of Earth.
Doris Sztybel [my mother]

For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.
Henry David Thoreau

For lack of attention, a thousand forms of loveliness elude us every day.
Evelyn Underhills

We think in generalities, but we live in detail.
Alfred North Whitehead

And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts...
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth...
William Wordsworth

...take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree
William Butler Yeats

When the Many are reduced to One, to what is the One reduced?
Zen koan

A note on the sexist language in some of these quotations: it occurs in statements written before sexism in language came under scrutiny, and so is reproduced, with the understanding that the authors no doubt intended to refer to females as well as to males. I do not favour sexist language in my own writings, but also do not prefer to censor nor even alter significant historical thoughts that are guilty, perhaps, of conforming to the linguistic conventions of their times.