Some Favorite Quotes

“You say you believe in Zarathustra? But what matters Zarathustra? You are my believers– but what matter all believers? You had not yet sought yourselves: and you found me. Thus do all believers; therefore all faith amounts to so little.” Nietzsche

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” Nietzsche

“But blood is the worst witness of truth; blood poisons the purest teaching, turning it into hearts’ delusion and hate. And if one goes through the fire for one’s teaching—what does that prove! It is more, verily, if one’s own teaching comes out of one’s own blaze! Sultry heart and cold head: where these come together there arises the roaring wind, the ‘Redeemer’.” Nietzsche

“Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.” Joker

“When you are talking to the young, you mustn’t bullshit.” Christopher Hitchens

“Dear liberal, enlightened Christian: I’m not lumping you in with fundies – you are. Get a new name and new holy book to selectively cite.” Matt Dillahunty

“We may be through with the past, but the past isn’t through with us” Paul Thomas Anderson

“We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It’s easy. The first girl I ever loved was someone I knew in sixth grade. Her name was Missy; we talked about horses. The last girl I love will be someone I haven’t even met yet, probably. They all count. But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there’s still one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of these loveable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they’re often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really, want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.” Chuck Klosterman

“I don’t believe in optimism. I believe in optimal behavior. That’s a different thing … Action is hope. At the end of each day, when you’ve done your work, you lie there and think, Well, I’ll be damned, I did this today. It doesn’t matter how good it is, or how bad – you did it. At the end of the week you’ll have a certain amount of accumulation. At the end of a year, you look back and say, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.” Ray Bradbury

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be” Kurt Vonnegut

“If there is something that is now imperfectly understood, we hope eventually to understand it and embrace it within the natural. As ever when we unweave a rainbow, it will not become less wonderful.” Richard Dawkins

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Steve Furtick

“Forgive me, Mr. President, but this ’1st Amendment’ sounds like a lot of bureaucratic jibbery-joo.” reporter on South Park

“Where does it come from, this silly and feigned idea that it’s good to be able to claim a small-town background? … [T]here is nothing about a bucolic upbringing that breeds the skills necessary to govern a complex society in an age of globalization and violent unease. We need candidates who know about laboratories, drones, trade cycles, and polychrome conurbations both here and overseas. Yet the media make us complicit in the myth—all politics is yokel?—that the fast-vanishing small-town life is the key to ancient virtues.” Christopher Hitchens

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” John Steinbeck

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” Winston Churchill

“My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.” Socrates

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are gone, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

“As a writer, I need an enormous amount of time alone. Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It’s a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write. Having anybody watching that or attempting to share it with me would be grisly.” Paul Rudnick

“When you start writing you’re 98% pure writer and 2% critic. After you’ve written for a length of time, you’ve learned a great deal about your craft, and you’ve become 2% pure writer and 98% critic. It’s like writing uphill.” David Westheimer

“Whenever you write, whatever you write, never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.” Rod Sterling

“Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I’m writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is.” Anne Rice

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison

“Writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon one can neither resist nor understand.” George Orwell

“A blogger who is not prepared to make a total fool out of himself is not a real blogger.” Andrew Sullivan

Your Thoughts? Your Quotes?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • ‘Tis Himself

    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” -Philip K. Dick

    depraved, p.p. The moral condition of someone who holds the opposite opinion. -Ambrose Bierce

  • EthicistDan

    “Man is by no means the crown of creation: every living being stands beside him on the same level of perfection. And even this is saying too much: relatively speaking, man is the most bungled of all the animals, the sickliest, and not one has strayed more dangerously from its instincts. But for all that, he is of course the most interesting.”
    Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Antichrist” Sec. 14

    • EthicistDan

      Also, I nearly forgot my favorite:

      “Whatever is done out of love always occurs beyond good and evil.”

  • Assassin’s Cloak

    I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.
    –Richard Wright

  • John Morales

    Fruit flies.

  • ‘Tis Himself

    When in danger or in doubt
    Run in circles, scream and shout.

    -Anon

  • andrewtripp

    That’s a whole lotta men, Dan. White men at that.

    • John Morales

      So it is.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Daniel Fincke

      Yeah, I noticed. The list accumulated over time, except most of the writer quotes, which I found on a page I loved when I found it in the fall.

  • http://sheilacrosby.com Sheila Crosby

    It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.
    Ursula K. Le Guin

    If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.
    J. K. Rowling

    I don’t think your ability to fight has anything to do with how big you are. It’s to do with how much anger is in you.
    Amy Winehouse

    If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.
    Dorothy Parker

    ‘God’s plan’ is often a front for men’s plans and a cover for inadequacy, ignorance, and evil.
    Mary Daly


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