Philosophical thoughts

NB: The citations below have been taken from this Facebook page. I will add to them with my own selection of citations in addition to more taken from the above page. The additions will be at the top after this is posted, so as to make it easier for those who have already seen it. And by the way this is my pre-existing collection of citations in political philosophy. DS

Pain make man think. Thought make man wise. Wisdom make life endurable – Sakini, in John Patricks The Tea House of the August Moon

Humility is not a peculiar habit of self-effacement, rather like having an inaudible voice; it is self-less respect for reality and one of the most difficult and central of all virtues. – Iris Murdoch in The Sovereignty of Good

Fascist and Nazi totalitarianism do not occur because a Hitler or Mussolini decides to seize power. When a nation is psychologically and spiritually empty, totalitarianism comes in to the fill the vacuum; and the people sell their freedom as a necessity for getting rid of the anxiety which is too great to bear any longer. ~Rollo May: Man’s Search for Himself

The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim. ~Gustave Le Bon: The Crowd: Study of the Popular Mind

The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats. ~Aldous Huxley: Crome Yellow

Democracy is a con game. It’s a word invented to placate people to make them accept a given institution. All institutions sing, ‘We are free.’ The minute you hear ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’, watch out because in a truly free nation, no one has to tell you you’re free. ~Jacque Fresco: The Best that Money Can’t Buy: Beyond Politics, Poverty, & War

The individual ceases to be himself; he adopts entirely the kind of personality offered to him by cultural patterns; and he therefore becomes exactly as all others are and as they expect him to be. The person who gives up his individual self and becomes an automaton, identical with millions of other automatons around him, need not feel alone and anxious any more. But the price he pays, however, is high; it is the loss of his self. ~Erich Fromm: The Fear of Freedom

The first thing to realize is that most people go through life with a whole world of beliefs that have no sort of rational justification, and that one man’s world of beliefs is apt to be incompatible with another man’s, so that they cannot both be right. People’s opinions are mainly designed to make them feel comfortable; truth, for most people is a secondary consideration. ~Bertrand Russell: The Art of Philosophizing and other Essays

It’s tragic how few people ever possess their souls before they die. Nothing is more rare in any man, than an act of his own. It is quite true. Most people are other people. ~Oscar Wilde: The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde