A.C. Grayling A.C. Grayling > Quotes


A.C. Grayling quotes (showing 1-23 of 23)

“It takes a certain ingenuous faith - but I have it - to believe that people who read and reflect more likely than not come to judge things with liberality and truth.”
A.C. Grayling, The Heart of Things: Applying Philosophy to the 21st Century
“Middle age has been defined as what happens when a person's broad mind and narrow waist change places.”
A.C. Grayling, The Heart of Things: Applying Philosophy to the 21st Century
“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.”
A.C. Grayling
“If there is a deity of the kind imagined by votaries of the big mail-order religions such as Christianity and Islam, and if this deity is the creator of all things, then it is responsible for cancer, meningitis, millions of spontaneous abortions everyday, mass killings of people in floods and earthquakes-and too great mountain of other natural evils to list besides. It would also,as the putative designer of human nature, ultimately be responsible or the ubiquitous and unbeatable human propensities for hatred, malice, greed, and all other sources of the cruelty and murder people inflict on each other hourly.”
A.C. Grayling
“People should be left to believe what they like, so long as they harm no one else. Apart from normal expectations of politeness, it is not however clear why people should require their personal beliefs to be treated with special sensitivity by others, to the point that if others fail to tip-toe respectfully around them they will start throwing bombs.”
A.C. Grayling
“Just as modern motorways have no room for ox-carts or wandering pedestrians, so modern society has little place for lives and ways that are too eccentric.”
A.C. Grayling, The Meaning of Things: applying philosophy to life
“...mastery of the emotions is fundamental to a virtuous life.”
A.C. Grayling, Life, Sex and Ideas: The Good Life without God
“Misuse of reason might yet return the world to pre-technological night; plenty of religious zealots hunger for just such a result, and are happy to use the latest technology to effect it.”
A.C. Grayling, The Heart of Things: Applying Philosophy to the 21st Century
“Behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Does it pass by you?
Do not stop it. Is it not yet come? Do not stretch your desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. Do this with regard to children, to a spouse, to public post, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy guest at the feast of life.”
A.C. Grayling
“Eagleton has spent his life inside two mental boxes, Catholicism and Marxism, of both of which he is a severe internal critic—that is, he frequently kicks and scratches at the inside of the boxes, but does not leave them. Neither are ideologies that loosen their grip easily, and people who need the security of adherence to a big dominating ideology, however much they kick and scratch but without daring to leave go, hold on to it every bit as tightly as it holds onto them. The result is of course strangulation, but alas not mutual strangulation: the ideology always wins.”
A.C. Grayling
“The wise say that our failure is to form habits: for habit is the mark of a stereotyped world,”
A.C. Grayling, The Good Book: A Humanist Bible
“Those who think that modern times are wickeder than previous times are apt to identify the cause as the weakening of a sense of moral law, associated with the departure of religious traditions of morality as a social influence... Such views give comfort to apologists for religion, who fasten on the implication that to revive a culture of moral concern people must be encouraged back into churches. But this reprises the usual muddle that getting people to accept as true... such propositions as that at a certain historical point a virgin gave birth, that the laws of nature were arbitrarily suspended so that, for example, water turned into wine, that several corpses came to life (and so forth), will somehow give them a logical reason for living morally (according to the attached view of what is moral - e.g. not marrying if you can help it, not divorcing if you do, and so forth again). It is scarcely needful to repeat that the morality and the metaphysics here separately at stake do not justify or even need one another, and that the moral questions require to be grounded and justified on their own merits in application to what they concern, namely, the life of human beings in the social setting.”
A.C. Grayling, What Is Good?
“. . .the most important philosophical question we can each ask ourselves is, ‘Do I or do I not wish to commit suicide?’ If we say, ‘No I do not,’ as most of us would, it is because we have reasons for living, or at the very least real hope that we can find such reasons. Then the next question is: what are the reasons I personally have for saying ‘No’ to that question? The answer contains the meaning of my life.”
A.C. Grayling, The God Argument: The Case against Religion and for Humanism
“The media no longer hesitate to whip up lurid anxieties in order to increase sales, in the process undermining social confidence and multiplying fears.”
A.C. Grayling, Life, Sex and Ideas: The Good Life without God
“The notion that evil is non-rational is a more significant claim for Eagleton than at first appears, because he is (in this book [On Evil] as in others of his recent 'late period' prolific burst) anxious to rewrite theology: God (whom he elsewhere tells us is nonexistent, but this is no barrier to his being lots of other things for Eagleton too, among them Important) is not to be regarded as rational: with reference to the Book of Job Eagleton says, 'To ask after God's reasons for allowing evil, so [some theologians] claim, is to imagine him as some kind of rational or moral being, which is the last thing he is.' This is priceless: with one bound God is free of responsibility for 'natural evil'—childhood cancers, tsunamis that kill tens of thousands—and for moral evil also even though 'he' is CEO of the company that purposely manufactured its perpetrators; and 'he' is incidentally exculpated from blame for the hideous treatment meted out to Job.”
A.C. Grayling
“Just as modern motorways have no room for ox-carts or wandering pedestrians, so modern society has little place for lives and ways that are too eccentric”
A.C. Grayling, The Meaning of Things: Applying Philosophy to Life
“If the world is to have a future, it lies in the hands of women. At time of this writing nearly half of all women in the Middle East are illiterate; millions in poor countries are shackled to the most basic daily urgencies of finding water and feeding children; the majority of the world's women exist in various forms of bondage to necessity, to poverty, and to men. (2007)”
A.C. Grayling, Toward the Light of Liberty: The Struggles for Freedom and Rights That Made the Modern Western World
“there are very few who can think, but every man wants to have an opinion; and what remains but to take it ready-made from others, instead of forming opinions for himself?”
A.C. Grayling, The Art of Always Being Right: The 38 Subtle Ways of Persuation
“Future generations may or may not judge Wittgenstein to be one of the great philosophers. Even if they do not, however, he is sure always to count as one of the great personalities of philosophy. From our perspective it is easy to mistake one for the other; which he is time will tell.”
A.C. Grayling
“I to je zapravo sustina proslavljanja Dana sv. Valentina:san o ljubavi. Zivot bi zaista bio gorak kada se san nikada ne bi ostvario ili kada nasa najvaznija zivotna iskustva ljubavi - storge, pragma, ludus, agape - ne bi bila dovoljno trajna i cvsta da nas spasu kad nas zahvati oluja erosa i manije - donoseci nam blazenstvo i ostavljajuci pustos za sobom.”
A.C. Grayling, The Meaning of Things: Applying Philosophy to Life
“I once had a published written debate with a religious apologist who, after I had argued the standard line that the idea of a loving and merciful deity is inconsistent with the fact of natural evil, said this meant his god was not all-powerful, and therefore was not to blame because it could not stop natural evil from occuring. This is a different tack from the more robust one that says natural evil is a response to humanity's moral evil. What this latter view in effect argues is that because of (say) Hitler's wrongdoings, thousands of babies deserve to be drowned in tsunamis.”
A.C. Grayling, The God Argument: The Case against Religion and for Humanism
“Nationalism as a thesis confuses (almost always deliberately) certain legitimate desires with illegitimate ones. People like to run their own affairs, and most people value the culture they were raised in, are proud of its achievements and wish it well; a significant degree of their sense of personal and group identity derives from it. All this is unexceptionable. But nationalists try to persuade their fellows that the existence of other groups and cultures somehow represents a challenge, and sometimes a threat, to what the natives of the home culture value. (From: Toward the Light of Liberty)”
A.C. Grayling
“Perhaps worse still is what liberal societies might do to themselves in the face of this new and different threat [of terrorism]. They begin, by small but dangerous increments, to cease to be as liberal as they once were. They begin to restrict their own hard-won rights and freedoms as a protection against the crminial minority who attempt (and as we thus see, by forcing liberty to commit suidcide, succed in doing) to terrorise society.”
A.C. Grayling, Toward the Light of Liberty: The Struggles for Freedom and Rights That Made the Modern Western World


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