Self Delusion Quotes

Quotes tagged as "self-delusion" (showing 1-30 of 61)
Rick Riordan
“Humans see what they want to see.”
Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief

Jodi Picoult
“Sometimes, when you don't ask questions, it's not because you are afraid that someone will lie to your face. It's because you're afraid they'll tell you the truth.”
Jodi Picoult

Sophie Kinsella
“The trouble with giving yourself a pep talk is, that deep down you know it's all bullshit.”
Sophie Kinsella, Remember Me?

Voltaire
“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.”
Voltaire

Ludwig Wittgenstein
“Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Amy Tan
“I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them.”
Amy Tan, Saving Fish from Drowning

Jodi Picoult
“You can fool yourself, you know. You'd think it's impossible, but it turns out it's the easiest thing of all.”
Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts

Christopher Hitchens
“Even if it were possible to cast my horoscope in this one life, and to make an accurate prediction about my future, it would not be possible to 'show' it to me because as soon as I saw it my future would change by definition. This is why Werner Heisenberg's adaptation of the Hays Office—the so-called principle of uncertainty whereby the act of measuring something has the effect of altering the measurement—is of such importance. In my case the difference is often made by publicity. For example, and to boast of one of my few virtues, I used to derive pleasure from giving my time to bright young people who showed promise as writers and who asked for my help. Then some profile of me quoted someone who disclosed that I liked to do this. Then it became something widely said of me, whereupon it became almost impossible for me to go on doing it, because I started to receive far more requests than I could respond to, let alone satisfy. Perception modifies reality: when I abandoned the smoking habit of more than three decades I was given a supposedly helpful pill called Wellbutrin. But as soon as I discovered that this was the brand name for an antidepressant, I tossed the bottle away. There may be successful methods for overcoming the blues but for me they cannot include a capsule that says: 'Fool yourself into happiness, while pretending not to do so.' I should actually want my mind to be strong enough to circumvent such a trick.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Richard Feynman
“Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves.”
Richard Feynman

James Baldwin
“It is rare indeed that people give. Most people guard and keep; they suppose that it is they themselves and what they identify with themselves that they are guarding and keeping, whereas what they are actually guarding and keeping is their system of reality and what they assume themselves to be.”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

“It's funny, in a human kind of way, how we can convince ourselves that we're in control at the very moment we are beginning to lose it.”
William C. Moyers

Margaret Atwood
“Even an obvious fabrication is some comfort when you have few others.”
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

“We all know dogmatists who are more concerned about holding their opinions than about investigating their truth. ... if they are mistaken, they will never discover it; they have condemned themselves to perpetual error. Human beings (including myself) sometimes use their beliefs for wish-fulfillment. Too often we believe what we want to be true.”
David L. Wolfe, Epistemology: The Justification Of Belief

Charles Dickens
“All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pretences did I cheat myself. Surely a curious thing. That I should innocently take a bad half-crown of somebody else's manufacture, is reasonable enough; but that I should knowingly reckon the spurious coin of my own make, as good money!”
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Christopher Hitchens
“[O]ne has to have endured a few decades before wanting, let alone needing, to embark on the project of recovering lost life. And I think it may be possible to review 'the chronicles of wasted time.' William Morris wrote in The Dream of John Ball that men fight for things and then lose the battle, only to win it again in a shape and form that they had not expected, and then be compelled again to defend it under another name. We are all of us very good at self-persuasion and I strive to be alert to its traps, but a version of what Hegel called 'the cunning of history' is a parallel commentary that I fight to keep alive in my mind.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Christopher Isherwood
“A veteran, calm and assured, he pauses for a well-measured moment in the doorway of the office and then, boldly, clearly, with the subtly modulated British intonation which his public demands of him, speaks his opening line, 'Good morning!'
And the three secretaries - each of them a charming and accomplished actress in her own chosen style - recognise him instantly, without even a flicker of doubt, and reply 'Good morning' to him. (There is something religious here, like responses in church; a reaffirmation of faith in the basic American dogma, that it is, always, a Good Morning. Good, despite the Russians and their rockets, and all the ills and worries of the flesh. For of course we know, don't we, that the Russians and the worries are not real? They can be unsought and made to vanish. And therefore the morning can ve made to be good. Very well then, it is good.”
Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man

Joan Bauer
“Mom has the Touch. She knows what flowers go with what occasions, what hors d'oeuvres work with what people. She believes passionately in the power of food to heal, restore, and stimulate relationships, and she has built a following of loyal customers who really hope she's right. If she's wrong, says Sonia, no one wants to know.”
Joan Bauer, Thwonk

Bangambiki Habyarimana
“I am not holier than you, you are not holier than me. Any one who thinks he is holier than the rest deludes himself.”
Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity

Nick Harkaway
“Joe is never sure whether they're mad or just alarmingly and uncompromisingly incapable of self-delusion.”
Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker

Howard Pyle
“Now there was no sign of any foul weather, but when one wishes to do a thing . . . one finds no lack of reasons for the doing.”
Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

Leo Tolstoy
“The constant, obvious flattery, contrary to all evidence, of the people around him [Tsar Nicholas I] had brought him to the point that he no longer saw his contradictions, no longer conformed his actions and words to reality, logic, or even simple common sense, but was fully convinced that all his orders, however senseless, unjust, and inconsistent with each other, became sensible, just, and consistent with each other only because he gave them.”
Leo Tolstoy, Hadji Murad

Madeleine K. Albright
“In hindsight, it is tempting to dismiss every Fascist. . . as a thoroughly bad guy or a lunatic, but that is too easy, and by inducing complacency, also dangerous. Fascism is not an exception to humanity, but part of it. Even people who enlisted in such movements out of ambition, greed, or hatred likely were unaware of, or denied to themselves, their true motives.”
Madeleine K. Albright, Fascism: A Warning

Friedrich Nietzsche
“Do not make passion an argument for truth! - O you good-natured and even noble enthusiasts, I know you! You want to win your argument against us, but also against yourself, and above all against yourself!and a subtle and tender bad conscience so often incites you against your enthusiasm! How ingenious you then become in the outwitting and deadening of this conscience! How you hate the honest, the simple, the pure, how you avoid their innocent eyes! That knowing better whose representatives they are and whose voice you hear all too loudly within you, how it casts doubt on your belief- how you seek to make it suspect as a bad habit, as a sickness of the age, as neglect and infection of your own spiritual health! You drive yourself to the point of hating criticism, science, reason! You have to falsify history so that it may bear witness for you, you have to deny virtues so that they shall not cast into the shade those of your idols and ideals! Coloured pictures where what is needed is rational grounds! Ardour and power of expression! Silvery mists! Ambrosial nights! You understand how to illuminate and how to obscure, and how to obscure with light! And truly, when your passion rises to the point of frenzy, there comes a moment when you say to yourself: now I have conquered the good conscience, now I am light of heart, courageous, self-denying, magnificent, now I am honest! How you thirst for those moments when your passion bestows on you perfect self-justification and as it were innocence; when in struggle, intoxication, courage, hope, you are beside yourself and beyond all doubting; when you decree: 'he who is not beside himself as we are can in no way know what and where truth is!' How you thirst to discover people of your belief in this condition - it is that of intellectual vice - and ignite your flame at their torch! Oh your deplorable martyrdom! Oh your deplorable victory of the sanctified lie! Must you inflict so much suffering upon yourself? - Must you?”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality

Sven Lindqvist
“I am in good company, simply following those in front of me and knowing others are following behind. We are on our way up a narrow staircase. The bannister is a thick rope suggesting safety. The stairs go around and around inside a church tower; or perhaps it is a minaret? The whorls of the staircase grow narrower and narrower, but as there are so many people behind there is no longer any possibility of turning around or even stopping. The pressure from behind foeces me on. The staircase suddenly stops at a garbage chute in the wall. When i open the hatch and squeeze my way through the hole, i find myself on the outside of the tower. The rope has dissappeared. It is totally dark. I cling on to the slippery, icy wall of the tower while vainly trying to find a foothold in the emptiness.”
Sven Lindqvist, Exterminate All the Brutes: &, Desert Divers

Ryan Holiday
“At some time during the process, [of writing] I came up with a therapeutic device. After each draft I would tear up the pages and feed the paper to a worm compost I keep in my garage. A few months later, those painful pages were dirt that nourished my yard, which I could walk with bare feet. It was a real and tangible connection to that larger immensity. I liked to remind myself that the same process is going to happen to me when I'm done, when I die and nature tears me up...”
Ryan Holiday, Ego Is the Enemy

Bangambiki Habyarimana
“I am not hlier than you, you are not holier than me. Any one who thinks he is holier than the rest deludes himself.”
Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity

Leo Tolstoy
“This praise of his strategic abilities was especially pleasing to [Tsar] Nicholas, because, though he was proud of his strategic abilities, at the bottom of his heart he was aware that he had none. And now he wanted to to hear more detailed praise of himself.”
Leo Tolstoy, Hadji Murad

“Joe is never sure whether they're mad or just alarmingly and uncompromisingly incapable of self-delusion.”
Robert Warshow

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