Absurdity Quotes

Quotes tagged as "absurdity" Showing 1-30 of 199
George Carlin
“Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.”
George Carlin

Theodore J. Kaczynski
“Imagine a society that subjects people to conditions that make them terribly unhappy then gives them the drugs to take away their unhappiness. Science fiction It is already happening to some extent in our own society. Instead of removing the conditions that make people depressed modern society gives them antidepressant drugs. In effect antidepressants are a means of modifying an individual's internal state in such a way as to enable him to tolerate social conditions that he would otherwise find intolerable.”
Theodore Kaczynski

Samuel Beckett
“I can't go on, I'll go on.”
Samuel Beckett, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On: A Samuel Beckett Reader

Albert Einstein
“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”
Albert Einstein

Carl Sagan
“The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.”
Carl Sagan

Clive Barker
“I think that God that we have created and allowed to shape our culture through, essentially Christian theology is a pretty villainous creature. I think that one of the things that male patriarchal figure has done is, allowed under it's, his church, his wing, all kinds of corruptions and villainies to grow and fester. In the name of that God terrible wars have been waged, in the name of that God terrible sexism has been allowed to spread. There are children being born all across this world that don't have enough food to eat because that God, at least his church, tells the mothers and fathers that they must procreate at all costs, and to prevent procreation with a condom is in contravention with his laws. Now, I don't believe that God exists. I think that God is creation of men, by men, and for men. What has happened over the many centuries now, the better part of two thousand in fact, is that that God has been slowly and steadily accruing power. His church has been accruing power, and the men who run that church, and they are all men, are not about to give it up. If they give it up, they give up luxury, they give up comfort.”
Clive Barker

H.P. Lovecraft
“We all know that any emotional bias -- irrespective of truth or falsity -- can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value.... If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.”
H.P. Lovecraft, Against Religion: The Atheist Writings of H.P. Lovecraft

Albert Camus
“Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable.”
Albert Camus

Arthur Schopenhauer
“We can regard our life as a uselessly disturbing episode in the blissful repose of nothingness.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

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

David Walliams
“In Britain, a cup of tea is the answer to every problem.
Fallen off your bicycle? Nice cup of tea.
Your house has been destroyed by a meteorite? Nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
Your entire family has been eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex that has travelled through a space/time portal? Nice cup of tea and a piece of cake. Possibly a savoury option would be welcome here too, for example a Scotch egg or a sausage roll.”
David Walliams, Mr Stink

Catherynne M. Valente
“We all live inside the terrible engine of authority, and it grinds and shrieks and burns so that no one will say: lines on maps are silly.”
Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Christopher Hitchens
The quality you most admire in a man? Courage moral and physical: 'anima'—the ability to think like a woman. Also a sense of the absurd.

The quality you most admire in a woman? Courage moral and physical: “anima”—the ability to visualize the mind and need of a man. Also a sense of the absurd.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“They say that Caliph Omar, when consulted about what had to be done with the library of Alexandria, answered as follows: 'If the books of this library contain matters opposed to the Koran, they are bad and must be burned. If they contain only the doctrine of the Koran, burn them anyway, for they are superfluous.' Our learned men have cited this reasoning as the height of absurdity. However, suppose Gregory the Great was there instead of Omar and the Gospel instead of the Koran. The library would still have been burned, and that might well have been the finest moment in the life of this illustrious pontiff.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Sciences and Arts and Polemics

Samuel Johnson
“Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.”
Samuel Johnson, The Rambler

Karl Lagerfeld
“Absurdity and anti—absurdity are the two poles of creative energy.”
Karl Lagerfeld

Shannon L. Alder
“Some stories have to be written because no one would believe the absurdity of it all.”
Shannon L. Alder

Douglas Adams
“He almost danced to the fridge, found the three least hairy things in it, put them on a plate and watched them intently for two minutes. Since they made no attempt to move within that time he called them breakfast and ate them. Between them they killed a virulent space disease he'd picked up without knowing it in the Flargathon Gas Swamps a few days earlier, which otherwise would have killed off half the population of the Western Hemisphere, blinded the other half, and driven everyone else psychotic and sterile, so the Earth was lucky there.”
Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Criss Jami
“Absurdity is the ecstasy of intellectualism.”
Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

Albert Camus
“Thus I draw from the absurd three consequences, which are my
revolt, my freedom, and my passion. By the mere activity of
consciousness I transform into a rule of life what was an invitation
to death—and I refuse suicide.”
Albert Camus

André Breton
“The mind, placed before any kind of difficulty, can find an ideal outlet in the absurd. Accommodation to the absurd readmits adults to the mysterious realm inhabited by children.”
Andre Breton

Julio Cortázar
“We no longer believe because it is absurd: it is absurd because we must believe.”
Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

John Calvin
“It would be the height of absurdity to label ignorance tempered by humility "faith"!
(Institutio III.2.3)”
John Calvin

Benjamin Franklin
“The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary.”
Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

“Feeling confronted with the absurdity of life may sometimes nurture a personal satisfaction for those who like to set a paramount task or to create a compassionate mission. In so doing, the seal of absurdity becomes less unbearable, while it confers them a ‘Sisyphus’ status that transmutes them into heroes of human resilience. (“Sisyphus on the hill.)”
Erik Pevernagie

Arthur Schopenhauer
“There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

John  Adams
“A pleasant morning. Saw my classmates Gardner, and Wheeler. Wheeler dined, spent the afternoon, and drank Tea with me. Supped at Major Gardiners, and engag'd to keep School at Bristol, provided Worcester People, at their ensuing March meeting, should change this into a moving School, not otherwise. Major Greene this Evening fell into some conversation with me about the Divinity and Satisfaction of Jesus Christ. All the Argument he advanced was, 'that a mere creature, or finite Being, could not make Satisfaction to infinite justice, for any Crimes,' and that 'these things are very mysterious.'
(Thus mystery is made a convenient Cover for absurdity.)

[Diary entry, February 13 1756]”
John Adams, Diary and Autobiography of John Adams: Volumes 1-4, Diary (1755-1804) and Autobiography

Christopher Hitchens
“If you were offered the chance to live your own life again, would you seize the opportunity? The only real philosophical answer is automatically self-contradictory: 'Only if I did not know that I was doing so.' To go through the entire experience once more would be banal and Sisyphean—even if it did build muscle—whereas to wish to be young again and to have the benefit of one's learned and acquired existence is not at all to wish for a repeat performance, or a Groundhog Day. And the mind ought to, but cannot, set some limits to wish-thinking. All right, same me but with more money, an even sturdier penis, slightly different parents, a briefer latency period… the thing is absurd. I seriously would like to know what it was to be a woman, but like blind Tiresias would also want the option of re-metamorphosing if I wished. How terrible it is that we have so many more desires than opportunities.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Albert Camus
“Accepting the absurdity of everything around us is one step, a necessary experience: it should not become a dead end. It arouses a revolt that can become fruitful”
Albert Camus

George Orwell
“The words kept coming back to him, statement of a mystical truth and a palpable absurdity.”
George Orwell, 1984

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