,

Debate Quotes

Quotes tagged as "debate" Showing 1-30 of 344
Noam Chomsky
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum....”
Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

Christopher Hitchens
“About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?

Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Desmond Tutu
“Don't raise your voice, improve your argument."

[Address at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 November 2004]”
Desmond Tutu

Robert A. Heinlein
“You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Revolt in 2100/Methuselah's Children

Friedrich Nietzsche
“He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

Leigh Bardugo
“Remember our friend Mark?” Wylan winced. “Let’s say the mark is a tourist walking through the Barrel. He’s heard it’s a good place to get rolled, so he keeps patting his wallet, making sure it’s there, congratulating himself on just how alert and cautious he’s being. No fool he. Of course every time he pats his back pocket or the front of his coat, what is he doing? He’s telling every thief on the Stave exactly where he keeps his scrub.”

“Saints,” grumbled Nina. “I’ve probably done that.”

“Everyone does,” said Inej.

Jesper lifted a brow. “Not everyone.”

“That’s only because you never have anything in your wallet,” Nina shot back.

“Mean.”

“Factual.”

“Facts are for the unimaginative,” Jesper said with a dismissive wave.”
Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

Criss Jami
“I don't pretend to know everything; I just only speak on matters I know I'll win.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Robert A. Heinlein
“If you've got the truth you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Noam Chomsky
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
Noam Chomsky

Peter Hitchens
“Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think?”
Peter Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“Time spent arguing is, oddly enough, almost never wasted.”
Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

William Penn
“In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest.”
William Penn

Christopher Hitchens
“Let's say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I'll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years.

Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks 'That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don't lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person.

Why am I glad this is the case? To get to the point of the wrongness of Christianity, because I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one is the most immoral of all, and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can't take your sins away, because I can't abolish your responsibility, and I shouldn't offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There's no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It's just a part of wish-thinking, and I don't think wish-thinking is good for people either.

It even manages to pollute the central question, the word I just employed, the most important word of all: the word love, by making love compulsory, by saying you MUST love. You must love your neighbour as yourself, something you can't actually do. You'll always fall short, so you can always be found guilty. By saying you must love someone who you also must fear. That's to say a supreme being, an eternal father, someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're again a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy.

And that brings me to the final objection - I'll condense it, Dr. Orlafsky - which is, this is a totalitarian system. If there was a God who could do these things and demand these things of us, and he was eternal and unchanging, we'd be living under a dictatorship from which there is no appeal, and one that can never change and one that knows our thoughts and can convict us of thought crime, and condemn us to eternal punishment for actions that we are condemned in advance to be taking. All this in the round, and I could say more, it's an excellent thing that we have absolutely no reason to believe any of it to be true.”
Christopher Hitchens

C.S. Lewis
“Man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn't think of doctrines as primarily "true" or "false," but as "academic" or "practical," "outworn" or "contemporary," "conventional" or "ruthless." Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don't waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong or stark or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That's the sort of thing he cares about.”
C.S. Lewis

Joseph Joubert
“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.”
Joseph Joubert

Anne Osterlund
“Look, Aerin, preparation is only half the challenge of winning a debate.”
“And the other half?”
He had her now. “You have to choose the right side.”
“Your side, you mean.” She bristled.
“No, the losing side.”
“What?”
“Always choose the weaker side.”
“Why would I do that?” Doubt edged her voice, but now she was sitting erect, her feet flat on the floor.
“Because then you have further to go to prove your case.” He eased the feet of his chair down. “In a debate, there are two sides. If both make a good argument, then the less popular side wins because that side had further to go to prove its point. Simple logistics.”
“If you don’t care which side wins.” She frowned.
“It’s a debate. It doesn’t matter which side wins.”
“You mean it doesn’t matter to you.” The tone in her voice unsettled him. Or maybe it was the fact that that her criticism disturbed him at all.
“It’s a class,” he said. “The point is to flesh out the different sides of an argument.”
“And you don’t care if the truth gets lost in the shuffle. Don’t you believe in anything?!”
Anne Osterlund, Academy 7

Stephen Jay Gould
“The most important tactic in an argument next to being right is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without an embarrassing loss of face.”
Stephen Jay Gould

Criss Jami
“Whenever we want to combat our enemies, first and foremost we must start by understanding them rather than exaggerating their motives.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Carl Sagan
“Those at too great a distance may, I am well are, mistake ignorance for perspective.”
Carl Sagan, Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

John Cleese
“The idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is what I absolutely do not subscribe to.”
John Cleese

James Surowiecki
“Diversity and independence are important because the best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or compromise.”
James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds

Joe Abercrombie
“Get what you can with words, because words are free, but the words of an armed man ring that much sweeter.”
Joe Abercrombie, The Heroes

“If you don't agree with me, I have two words for you: shut the fuck up.”
Bill Simmons, The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy

Criss Jami
“The love of conflict is most evident when opposing forces join sides to defeat the peacemaker.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

“The key to holding a logical argument or debate is to allow oneself to understand the other person’s argument no matter how divergent their views may seem.”
Auliq Ice

Craig Ferguson
“I think in our desire to create a better America,we have to have civilized debate in this country and not just yelling.”
Craig ferguson

Vera Nazarian
“Don't bother to argue anything on the Internet. And I mean, ANYTHING.... The most innocuous, innocent, harmless, basic topics will be misconstrued by people trying to deconstruct things down to the sub-atomic level and entirely miss the point.... Seriously. Keep peeling the onion and you get no onion.”
Vera Nazarian

George Saunders
“A culture's ability to understand the world and itself is critical to its survival. But today we are led into the arena of public debate by seers whose main gift is their ability to compel people to continue to watch them.”
George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone

“I'll stop eating steak when you stop killing spiders." Absurdity: comparing cows to spiders. Arachnids are pure evil. They're like a cigarette manufacturer or a terrorist. They're organized religion on eight legs.”
Davey Havok, Pop Kids

Christopher Hitchens
“The usual duty of the “intellectual” is to argue for complexity and to insist that phenomena in the world of ideas should not be sloganized or reduced to easily repeated formulae.”
Christopher Hitchens

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12