Quotes About Contradictions

Quotes tagged as "contradictions" (showing 1-30 of 40)
Marian Keyes
“why can't we love the right people? what is so wrong with us that we rush into situations to which we are manifestly unsuited, which will hurt us and others? why are we given emotions which we cannot control and which move in exact contradiction to what we really want? we are walking conflicts, internal battles on legs.”
Marian Keyes, The Other Side of the Story

Thomas Jefferson
“...it is not to be understood that I am with him [Jesus] in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist, he takes the side of spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentance toward forgiveness of sin. I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it... Among the sayings & discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence: and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.

[Letter to William Short, 13 April 1820]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

E.E. Cummings

"If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn't a lie,
Life would be delight,--
But things couldn't go right
For in such a sad plight
I wouldn't be I.

If earth was heaven and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
There might be some sense
But I'd be in suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn't be you.

If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
Things would seem fair,--
Yet they'd all despair,
For if here was there
We wouldn't be we.”
E.E. Cummings

Y.B. Mangunwijaya
“Indonesia ini memang negeri yang unik, penuh dengan hal-hal yang seram serius, tetapi penuh dagelan dan badutan juga. Mengerikan tapi lucu, dilarang justru dicari dan amat laku, dianjurkan, disuruh tetapi malah diboikot, kalah tetapi justru menjadi amat populer dan menjadi pahlawan khalayak ramai, berjaya tetapi keok celaka, fanatik anti PKI tetapi berbuat persis PKI, terpeleset tetapi dicemburui, aman tertib tetapi kacau balau, ngawur tetapi justru disenangi, sungguh misterius tetapi gamblang bagi semua orang. Membuat orang yang sudah banyak makan garam seperti saya ini geleng-geleng kepala tetapi sekaligus kalbu hati cekikikan. Entahlah, saya tidak tahu. Gelap memprihatinkan tetapi mengandung harapan fajar menyingsing......(menyanyi) itulah Indonesia. Menulis kolooom selesai.
["Fenomena PRD dll," dalam Politik Hati Nurani, hlm. 28].”
Y.B. Mangunwijaya

John Green
“‎These little contradictions are in all of us. They're in me at least. And so I forgot that I had been awake for 30 hours and kept walking, grateful to be a little boat full of water, still floating.”
John Green

Ashly Lorenzana
“Drugs don't really fix anything, except for everything.”
Ashly Lorenzana

Richard Kadrey
“Being able to embrace contradictions is a sign of intelligence.
Or insanity.”
Richard Kadrey, Butcher Bird: A Novel of The Dominion

Antonio Tabucchi
“I've always been drawn to tormented people full of contradictions.”
Antonio Tabucchi

Ayn Rand
“Your emotional capacity is an empty motor, and your values are the fuel with which your mind fills it. If you choose a mix of contradictions, it will clog your motor, corrode your transmission and wreck you on your first attempt to move with a machine which you, the driver, have corrupted.”
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Alan Sokal
“Each religion makes scores of purportedly factual assertions about everything from the creation of the universe to the afterlife. But on what grounds can believers presume to know that these assertions are true? The reasons they give are various, but the ultimate justification for most religious people’s beliefs is a simple one: we believe what we believe because our holy scriptures say so. But how, then, do we know that our holy scriptures are factually accurate? Because the scriptures themselves say so. Theologians specialize in weaving elaborate webs of verbiage to avoid saying anything quite so bluntly, but this gem of circular reasoning really is the epistemological bottom line on which all 'faith' is grounded. In the words of Pope John Paul II: 'By the authority of his absolute transcendence, God who makes himself known is also the source of the credibility of what he reveals.' It goes without saying that this begs the question of whether the texts at issue really were authored or inspired by God, and on what grounds one knows this. 'Faith' is not in fact a rejection of reason, but simply a lazy acceptance of bad reasons. 'Faith' is the pseudo-justification that some people trot out when they want to make claims without the necessary evidence.

But of course we never apply these lax standards of evidence to the claims made in the other fellow’s holy scriptures: when it comes to religions other than one’s own, religious people are as rational as everyone else. Only our own religion, whatever it may be, seems to merit some special dispensation from the general standards of evidence.

And here, it seems to me, is the crux of the conflict between religion and science. Not the religious rejection of specific scientific theories (be it heliocentrism in the 17th century or evolutionary biology today); over time most religions do find some way to make peace with well-established science. Rather, the scientific worldview and the religious worldview come into conflict over a far more fundamental question: namely, what constitutes evidence.

Science relies on publicly reproducible sense experience (that is, experiments and observations) combined with rational reflection on those empirical observations. Religious people acknowledge the validity of that method, but then claim to be in the possession of additional methods for obtaining reliable knowledge of factual matters — methods that go beyond the mere assessment of empirical evidence — such as intuition, revelation, or the reliance on sacred texts. But the trouble is this: What good reason do we have to believe that such methods work, in the sense of steering us systematically (even if not invariably) towards true beliefs rather than towards false ones? At least in the domains where we have been able to test these methods — astronomy, geology and history, for instance — they have not proven terribly reliable. Why should we expect them to work any better when we apply them to problems that are even more difficult, such as the fundamental nature of the universe?

Last but not least, these non-empirical methods suffer from an insuperable logical problem: What should we do when different people’s intuitions or revelations conflict? How can we know which of the many purportedly sacred texts — whose assertions frequently contradict one another — are in fact sacred?”
Alan Sokal

Albert Einstein
“During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man's own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favor by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes. Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just, and omnibeneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, help, and guidance; also, by virtue of its simplicity it is accessible to the most undeveloped mind. But, on the other hand, there are decisive weaknesses attached to this idea in itself, which have been painfully felt since the beginning of history. That is, if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?

(Albert Einstein, Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A 1934 Symposium published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941; from Einstein's Out of My Later Years, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970, pp. 26-27.)”
Albert Einstein

Aravind Adiga
“Now there are some, and I don't just mean Communists like you, but thinking men of all political parties, who think that not many of these gods actually exist. Some believe that none of them exist. There's just us and an ocean of darkness around us. I'm no philosopher or poet, how would I know the truth? It's true that all these gods seem to do awfully little work - much like our politicians - and yet keep winning reelection to their golden thrones in heaven, year after year. That's not to say I don't respect them, Mr. Premier! Don't you ever let that blasphemous idea into your yellow skull. My country is the kind where it pays to play it both ways: the Indian entrepreneur has to be straight and crooked, mocking and believing, sly and sincere, at the same time.”
Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger

“The Tausennigan Ob'enn warlords look like cuddly teddy-bears?"

"Yes, they do, and they'd cheerfully exterminate your entire race for making that observation!"

"I guess that explains their rich military history, then.”
Howard Tayler, The Tub of Happiness

Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi
“You claim that the evidentiary miracle is present and available, namely, the Koran. You say: 'Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one.' Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter. … By God what you say astonishes us! You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: 'Produce something like it'‽”
Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi

Sheri S. Tepper
“I will raise up prophets to make conflicting pronouncements that inevitably will be garbled in transcription, resulting in mutually exclusive definitions of orthodoxy from which the open-minded will flee in dismay.”
Sheri S. Tepper, The Visitor

C.S. Lewis
“If we are free to delete all inconvenient data we shall certainly have no theological difficulties; but for the same reason no solutions and no progress.... The troublesome fact, the apparent absurdity which can't be fitted into any synthesis we have yet made, is precisely the one we must not ignore.”
C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

Ashim Shanker
“Their quarry had been cornered in his defenses and their bloodlust was such that they were likely to pay top Julep to watch him escape, so that he might be brutalized and killed before their very eyes, as this was much more gratifying to them than simply watching justice be enacted. They, too, understood that societal constructs for justice were moderate gratification, at best, as they were empty and subject to contradictions and compromises steeped in moral relativism and an unconditional dependence upon overblown semantics that made the law a mockery of itself. As for the ideologies that these hollow systems of jurisprudence sought to define and uphold: these could easily be subjugated through a meticulous analysis of the trivial components of one statute or another. The rule of law had failed them. What the people wanted, in its stead, was rather simple: moral absolutes. Good versus evil. And evil was not to be simply prevailed over. Evil was to be dominated and effectively eliminated, because as long as it was able to while away the time somewhere—in some sweaty prison cell, far away, staring out the barred window with a wry smile, as it plotted its next offensive on the Common Good, a sense of wholeness could not be achieved.”
Ashim Shanker, Don't Forget to Breathe

Criss Jami
“Man has 2 common problems with God: the one is that there is evil in the world; the other is that free will is limited. The one, he is charging that the world is too evil; the other is that it is not evil enough.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Ashim Shanker
“The passage that he had found in the book had been riddled with ambiguities and contradictions only reserved for those most valiant in overriding their legalistic forbearance into a necessary frenzy that would allow them to suitably work up a case for one side or the other on how the Law, without the possibility of misinterpretation, states If ABC, then DEF—or for the sake of acknowledging the counterargument first as a courtroom tactic, the case might also be made that the Law states the antithesis of the aforementioned If ABC, then DEF, but gives allowance within reasonable parameters for a provisional XYZ to be granted in exceptional cases. And thus, it was a matter not so much of making one’s case in a clear and logical sense, but one for the lawyers to battle out in the arena of pathos, as it was clearly the emotional pleas that could evoke a sense of sympathy in the courtroom and overturn otherwise painstaking endeavors at using the tools at hand to make pleas based upon incontrovertible facts.”
Ashim Shanker, Don't Forget to Breathe

Thomas Paine
“I have now gone through the examination of the four books ascribed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; and when it is considered that the whole space of time, from the crucifixion to what is called the ascension, is but a few days, apparently not more than three or four, and that all the circumstances are reported to have happened nearly about the same spot, Jerusalem, it is, I believe, impossible to find in any story upon record so many and such glaring absurdities, contradictions, and falsehoods, as are in those books. They are more numerous and striking than I had any expectation of finding, when I began this examination, and far more so than I had any idea of when I wrote the former part of 'The Age of Reason.”
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Ludwig Feuerbach
“[Theology is a] web of contradictions and delusions.”
Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity

“A true god surely cannot have been born of a girl, nor died on the gibbet, nor be eaten in a piece of dough... [or inspired] books, filled with contradictions, madness, and horror.”
Voltaire, The Works: Voltaire

“I feel more like I am in the Middle East than in any recognizable part of Europe. There really are wild dogs everywhere, and they cry all night long. There is a least a miserable, bohemian glamour to the life here. There are a ton of outdoor cafes with people smoking and drinking rakia. Gypsies leading dancing bears around on leashes, attractive people, glue-sniffing teenage gangs - contradictions everywhere. My email is hard-wired into a big, gaping hole in the apartment wall and ants and little spiders keep crawling out. I am trying to keep an open mind.”
Annie Ward, The Making of June

Barbara Kingsolver
“The urge to lie is produced by the contradictions in our lives. We are made to declare love for our country, while it tramples our rights and dignity.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna

Anne Frank
“Little bundle of contradictions”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Reza Aslan
“For every well-attested, heavily researched, and eminently authoritative argument made about the historical Jesus, there is an equally well-attested, equally researched, and equally authoritative argument opposing it.”
Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

“How would I know what Jesus would have done? That fella was a mass of contradictions as far as I can see. One minute he says to turn the other cheek, the next minute he's having a big strop and kicking over lads' market stalls. He says blessed are the meek and he goes around shouting and roaring the odds to everyone. He rises from the dead and then shags off a few weeks later and leaves his buddies in the shit.”
Donal Ryan, The Spinning Heart

Karen Joy Fowler
“So the studies don't back me up. There'll always be more studies. We'll change our minds and I'll have been right all along until we change our minds again, send me back to being wrong.”
Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Brian Spellman
“Allow me to contradict my clarifications and in no time we'll get to the bottom of nothing.”
Brian Spellman

Jaron Lanier
“My choice is to be engaged even if that means I am tainted. I live with contradictions, in accordance with the human condition, but do my best not to forget what absurdities are involved.”
Jaron Lanier

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