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Some of My Favorite Quotes

First six seven special quotes:

2 3 MLKs:

We shall have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.

We are responsible not only for the lies we speak but for the truths we fail to speak.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

2 "minorities":

Josh Billings:
As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.

Abraham Joshua Heschel:
All that is left is to us is our being horrified at the loss of our sense of horror.

2 self-deception:

Brooks Atkinson:
People everywhere enjoy believing things that they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know.

Aldous Huxley:
We lie to ourselves in order that we may still have the excuse of ignorance, the alibi of stupidity and incomprehension, possessing which we can continue with a good conscience to commit and tolerate the most monstrous crimes.

Second six special quotes:

3 (lack of) action quotes:

R. Buckminster Fuller:
You never change things by fighting existing reality. To change something, build a new model which makes the existing models obsolete.

Edmund Burke:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

William Hazlitt:
The least little pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness than the destruction of millions of our fellow beings.

3 word quotes:

G. K. Chesterton:
We don't need a censorship of the press. We have a censorship by the press.

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

Judge of a man by his questions, rather than by his answers.

Third six quotes: Legal documents:


Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- Article 3:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 6, also, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 16:
Everyone has a right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 7, also, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 26 (partial):
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

3 Other:

Convention on the Rights of the Child:
[T]he child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth...

American Convention on Human Rights:
Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception.

5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.


4 General:

James Feibleman:
A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.

Theodore Parker:
The heresy of one age is the orthodox belief and "only infallible rule" of the nest.

Friedrich Nietzsche:
Faith: Not wanting to know what is true.

All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.

4 God's existence:

God's only excuse is that he doesn't exist.

Clarence Darrow:
I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose.

Clarence Darrow:
I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment, to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure -- that is all that agnosticism means.

Julian Huxley:
God, equally with gods, angels, demons, spirits and other small spiritual fry, is a human product, arising inevitably from a certain kind of ignorance and a certain degree of helplessness with respect to man's external environment.

4 Bad religion:

If there is a God, atheism must seem to him as less of an insult than religion

Blaise Pascal:
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

Steven Weinberg:
With or without religion you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

Bishop Desmond Tutu:
When the missionaries first came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.

3 Bible:

J.R. Ackerly:
I am halfway through Genesis, and quite appalled by the disgraceful behavior of all the characters involved, including God.

H.L. Mencken:
The book of Genesis, a farrago of nonsense so wholly absurd that even Sunday-school scholars have to be threatened with Hell to make them accept it.

George Bernard Shaw:
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.

+ 5:

George Bernard Shaw:
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

Robert G. Ingersoll:
Why should I allow that same God to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown His own?

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.

Stephen Roberts:
I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?


Bosnian saying:
Those who lie for you will lie against you.

Ashanti saying:
One falsehood spoils a thousand truths.

They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth.

Arthur Shopenhauer:
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second, it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.

Friedrich Nietzsche:
The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception.


Benjamin Rottman:
Why do grown-ups always say "Don't hit", and then they go out and start a big war.

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

Joseph Stalin:
One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.


A.J.P. Taylor:
All change in history, all advance, comes from the nonconformists. If there had been no troublemakers, no Dissenters, we should still be living in caves.

George Bernard Shaw:
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Social Responsibility:

William Wilberforce:
You can choose to look away, but you can never again say that you did not know.

Martin Luther King, Jr.:
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers.

B.D. Colen:
How is the person who considers abortion to be murder any different from the Pole who knew what was going to happen at Auschwitz? If the Pole was morally obligated to attempt to save lives, isn’t the person who opposes abortion under the same obligation?

Pastor Neimoeller:
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out -- because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out-- because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out-- because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Bertolt Brecht:
They say to me, "Eat and drink. Be glad you have it."
But how can I eat and drink if I snatch what I eat from the starving
and my glass of water belongs to someone dying of thirst?
And yet I eat and drink.

C. Everett Koop:
At a time when we are pleading with foreign governments to stop the export of cocaine, it is the height of hypocrisy for the United States to export tobacco.


Albert Einstein:
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

George Bernard Shaw:
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

2 Poems:

The Man He Killed
                        Thomas Hardy

Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have set us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

I shot him dead because—
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; although

He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand like—just as I—
Was out of work—had sold his traps—
No other reason why.

Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat, if met where any bar is,
Or help to half a crown.

Pity for Poor Africans
                        William Cowper

I own I am shock'd at the purchase of slaves,
And fear those who buy them and sell them are knaves;
What I hear of their hardships, their tortures, and groans
Is almost enough to draw pity from stones.

I pity them greatly, but I must be mum,
For how could we do without sugar and rum?
Especially sugar, so needful we see?
What? give up our desserts, our coffee, and tea!

Or, try some more light-hearted quotes.