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Quotes About Critical Thinking

Quotes tagged as "critical-thinking" (showing 1-30 of 105)
Friedrich Nietzsche
“Doubt as sin. — Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature — is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality

Christopher Hitchens
“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”
Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

Adrienne Rich
“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.”
Adrienne Rich

Christopher Hitchens
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him will believeth in anything. - Hitchens 3:16”
Christopher Hitchens

Anaïs Nin
“When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947

C. JoyBell C.
“There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?”
C. JoyBell C.

Miguel Ruiz
“Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system.”
Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Stephen King
“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Bertrand Russell
“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.”
Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays

George Carlin
“Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations that've long since bought and paid for, the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pocket, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and the information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them.”
George Carlin

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
“Nothing is more conductive to peace of mind than not having any opinions at all.”
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, The Waste Books

“We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.”
Arne Tiselius

Josh Lanyon
“If there was one life skill everyone on the planet needed, it was the ability to think with critical objectivity”
Josh Lanyon, Come Unto These Yellow Sands

Thomas Bernhard
“everything is ridiculous if one thinks of death”
Thomas Bernhard

Richard Brinsley Sheridan
“The number of those who undergo the fatigue of judging for themselves is very small indeed.”
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Critic

Bell Hooks
“It is important for this country to make its people so obsessed with their own liberal individualism that they do not have time to think about a world larger than self.”
Bell Hooks, Black Genius: African-American Solutions to African-American Problems

Carl Sagan
“It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension. But if you are able to exercise only one of these modes, whichever one it is, you’re in deep trouble.

If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never learn anything new. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.) But every now and then, maybe once in a hundred cases, a new idea turns out to be on the mark, valid and wonderful. If you are too much in the habit of being skeptical about everything, you are going to miss or resent it, and either way you will be standing in the way of understanding and progress.

On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful as from the worthless ones.”
Carl Sagan

“Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you're thinking in order to make your thinking better.”
Richard W. Paul

Peter Singer
“Philosophy ought to question the basic assumptions of the age. Thinking through, critically and carefully, what most of us take for granted is, I believe, the chief task of philosophy, and the task that makes philosophy a worthwhile activity.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

Pauline Baynes
“Believe what you like, but don't believe everything you read without questioning it.”
Pauline Baynes, Questionable Creatures: A Bestiary

Howard Zinn
“History can come in handy. If you were born yesterday, with no knowledge of the past, you might easily accept whatever the government tells you. But knowing a bit of history--while it would not absolutely prove the government was lying in a given instance--might make you skeptical, lead you to ask questions, make it more likely that you would find out the truth.”
Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times

“Religion has the capacity to silence critical thinking and create blindness in entire groups of people. It can infect the minds of followers so completely as to allow the most egregious sexual acts against children and others to go unchallenged for centuries.”
Darrel Ray, Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality

Edward Abbey
“Orthodoxy is a relaxation of the mind accompanied by a stiffening of the heart.”
Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Søren Kierkegaard
“A poet is not an apostle; he drives out devils only by the power of the devil.”
Søren Kierkegaard, Fear And Trembling / Repetition

Bell Hooks
“One of the major differences I see in the political climate today is that there is less collective support for coming to critical consciousness – in communities, in institutions, among friends.”
Bell Hooks, Talking About a Revolution: Interviews with Michael Albert, Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, bell hooks, Peter Kwong, Winona LaDuke, Manning Marable, Urvashi Vaid, and Howard Zinn

Sting
“If we seek solace in the prisons of the distant past
Security in human systems we're told will always always last
Emotions are the sail and blind faith is the mast
Without the breath of real freedom we're getting nowhere fast."

(History Will Teach Us Nothing)”
Sting, Nothing Like the Sun

Jim Al-Khalili
“For me, I think the greatest achievements of science is to allow humanity to realize that our world is comprehensible. Through science, rational thinking, we can understand how the universe works.”
Jim Al-Khalili

“In a world where critical thinking skills are almost wholly absent, repetition effectively leapfrogs the cognitive portion of the brain. It helps something get processed as truth. We used to call it unsubstantiated buy-in. Belief without evidence. It only works in a society where thinking for one's self is discouraged. That's how we lost our country.”
Laura Bynum, Veracity

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