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Stephen commented on Doone's group Humans of Earth and a Grotesque Idiot News
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"And it got even more egotistical when we created gods that looked like us."
yesterday

We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy), was a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.

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In fact, the whole machinery of our intelligence, our general ideas and laws, fixed and external objects, principles, persons, and gods, are so many symbolic, algebraic expressions. They stand for experience; experience which we are incapable of retaining and surveying in its multitudinous immediacy. We should flounder hopelessly, like the animals, did we not keep ourselves afloat and direct our course by these intellectual devices. Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of fact.

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Happiness is the only sanction of life; where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment.

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That life is worth living is the most necessary of assumptions and, were it not assumed, the most impossible of conclusions.

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Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.

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Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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Injustice in this world is not something comparative; the wrong is deep, clear, and absolute in each private fate.

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History is nothing but assisted and recorded memory. It might almost be said to be no science at all, if memory and faith in memory were not what science necessarily rest on. In order to sift evidence we must rely on some witness, and we must trust experience before we proceed to expand it. The line between what is known scientifically and what has to be assumed in order to support knowledge is impossible to draw. Memory itself is an internal rumour; and when to this hearsay within the mind we add the falsified echoes that reach us from others, we have but a shifting and unseizable basis to build upon. The picture we frame of the past changes continually and grows every day less similar to the original experience which it purports to describe.

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Let a man once overcome his selfish terror at his own finitude, and his finitude is, in one sense, overcome.

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Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself.

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Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of which are too complicated to be readily understood.

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The Bible is literature, not dogma.

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Profound skepticism is favorable to conventions, because it doubts that the criticism of conventions is any truer than they are.

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Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.

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Replies to This Discussion

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.

So true! This captures the desperate nature of fanaticism.

The last 5 ones ring a bell deeply inside me.

It is interesting how the assumption that life is worth living makes it impossible to legislate issues like those touching on assisted dying.

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