Contradiction Quotes

Quotes tagged as "contradiction" Showing 1-30 of 146
Georges Bataille
“I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.”
Georges Bataille, Violent Silence: Celebrating Georges Bataille

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

Jeanette Winterson
“What should I do about the wild and the tame? The wild heart that wants to be free, and the tame heart that wants to come home. I want to be held. I don't want you to come too close. I want you to scoop me up and bring me home at nights. I don't want to tell you where I am. I want to keep a place among the rocks where no one can find me. I want to be with you.”
Jeanette Winterson

Thomas Jefferson
“4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ.

...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost...

[Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Naguib Mahfouz
“It's a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
Naguib Mahfouz, Sugar Street

George Orwell
“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink”
George Orwell, 1984

George Orwell
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.”
George Orwell, 1984

Vera Nazarian
“The desert and the ocean are realms of desolation on the surface.

The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust.

The ocean is a place of skin, rich outer membranes hiding thick juicy insides, laden with the soup of being.

Inside out and outside in. These are worlds of things that implode or explode, and the only catalyst that determines the direction of eco-movement is the balance of water.

Both worlds are deceptive, dangerous. Both, seething with hidden life.

The only veil that stands between perception of what is underneath the desolate surface is your courage.

Dare to breach the surface and sink.”
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Thomas A. Edison
“Nature is what we know. We do not know the gods of religions. And nature is not kind, or merciful, or loving. If God made me — the fabled God of the three qualities of which I spoke: mercy, kindness, love — He also made the fish I catch and eat. And where do His mercy, kindness, and love for that fish come in? No; nature made us — nature did it all — not the gods of the religions.

[October 2, 1910, interview in the NY Times Magazine]”
Thomas Edison

Jeanette Winterson
“I like being on my own better than I like anything else, but I can't give up love. Maybe it's the tension between longing and aloneness that I need. My own funicular railway, holding in balance the two things most likely to destroy me.”
Jeanette Winterson, The Powerbook

Friedrich Nietzsche
“One is fruitful only at the cost of being rich in contradictions.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

George Saunders
“In art, and maybe just in general, the idea is to be able to be really comfortable with contradictory ideas. In other words, wisdom might be, seem to be, two contradictory ideas both expressed at their highest level and just let to sit in the same cage sort of, vibrating. So, I think as a writer, I'm really never sure of what I really believe.”
George Saunders

Erwin Schrödinger
“If a man never contradicts himself, the reason must be that he virtually never says anything at all.”
Erwin Schrödinger, What Is Life? with Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches

Criss Jami
“The man who is most aggressive in teaching tolerance is the most intolerant of all: he wants a world full of people too timid and ashamed to really disagree with anything.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Kahlil Gibran
“I have never agreed with my other self wholly. The truth of the matter seems to lie between us.”
Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam

Criss Jami
“Together, we form a necessary paradox; not a senseless contradiction.”
Criss Jami, Healology

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

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“What we agree with leaves us inactive, but contradiction makes us productive.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“BLACK AND WHITE


I was born into
A religion of Light,
But with so many other
Religions and
Philosophies,
How do I know which
ONE
Is right?

Is it not
My birthright
To seek out the light?
To find Truth
After surveying all the proof,
Am I supposed
To love
Or fight?
And why do all those who
Try to guide me,
Always start by dividing
And multiplying me –
From what they consider
Wrong or right?
I thought,
There were no walls
For whoever beams truth and light.
And how can one speak on Light's behalf,
lf all they do
Is act black,
But talk WHITE?”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Ernest Becker
“...Erich Fromm wondered why most people did not become insane in the face of the existential contradiction between a symbolic self, that seems to give man infinite worth in a timeless scheme of things, and a body that is worth about 98¢.”
Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

Madeleine L'Engle
“When I start a new seminar I tell my students that I will undoubtedly contradict myself, and that I will mean both things. But an acceptance of contradiction is no excuse for fuzzy thinking. We do have to use our minds as far as they will take us, yet acknowledge that they cannot take us all the way.”
Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet

“...how absurd human beings are and how magnificent.”
Benjamin Zander

Jay Woodman
“ART

The world is full of confusion and contradiction. We cannot expect to do anything that is absolutely right. We can only measure rightness by the truth within ourselves. And our own truth will never be quite the same as somebody else's. I wish that I could touch you and be sure that it was the right thing to do. I only want to touch you briefly. Just once so that you will know. We are flesh and blood and full of faults. But we are also full of warmth. The world is full of confusion but there is compassion in its midst. communication via simple touch can transmit so much of us in just one minute. Like a painting or a piece of music. I want to touch your soul. I only wish I could be sure it was the right thing to do.”
Jay Woodman, SPAN

Trudi Canavan
“It was impossible to imagine the aloof, dignified, powerful High Lord living as, of all things, a slave.”
Trudi Canavan, The High Lord

Samuel Butler
“Having, then, once introduced an element of inconsistency into his system, he was far too consistent not to be inconsistent consistently, and he lapsed ere long into an amiable indifferentism which to outward appearance differed but little from the indifferentism …”
Samuel Butler

Billy Collins
“I love to move like a mouse inside this puzzle for the body, balancing the wish to be lost with the need to be found.”
Billy Collins, Questions About Angels

Pascal Mercier
“Each of us is several, is man, is a profusion of selves. So that the self who disdains his surroundings is not the same as the self who suffers or takes joy in them. In the colony of our being there are many species of people who think and feel in different ways.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Criss Jami
“One of the biggest contradictions in self-proclaimed open-mindedness is to say that we're all one but when a true bigot comes around tell him we're all different. It's usually the case that neither side is correct. One might have the right to do something, anything, but sure enough, that doesn't mean it's right and a benefit to other people.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Robert McKee
“Angry contradiction of the patriarch is not creativity; it's delinquency calling for attention. Difference for the sake of difference is as empty an achievement as slavishly following the commercial imperative.”
Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting

Charles Darwin
“But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animal, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”
Charles Darwin

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