Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 Q - Quotations - R



"As sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul."
   (Aristotle, Ethics)

"Reason is, and always must be, the slave of the passions."
   (David Hume)

"Si vis tibi omnia subjudicere, subjicere te rationi. (If you would subject all things to yourself, subject yourself to reason.)"

"Homo sapiens, the only creature endowed with reason, is also the only creature to pin its existence on things unreasonable."
   (Henri Bergson, Two Sources of Morality and Religion)

"He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave."
   (William Drummond, Academical Questions)

"Let us not dream that reason can ever be popular. Passions, emotions, may be made popular, but reason remains ever the property of the few."
   (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

"Time makes more converts than reason."
   (Thomas Paine, Common Sense)

"True virtue is life under the direction of reason."
   (Benedict Spinoza, Ethics)

"Men who are governed by reason ... desire for themselves nothing which they do not also desire for the rest of mankind."

"Men is a reasonable animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason."

"We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others."

"The first of nature's gifts is this force of reason which raises you above your own passions and your weaknesses and puts you in control of your capacities, your talents, and your virtues."


"Religion is a disease, but it is a noble disease."

"Superstition is rooted in a much deeper and more sensitive layer of the psyche than skepticism."

"Among medieval and modern philosophers anxious to establish the religious significance of God, an unfortunate habit has prevailed of paying him metaphysical compliments."

"If some small mistake were made in doctrine, huge blunders might be made in human happiness."

"The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful."

"A man who should act, for one day, on the supposition that all the people about him were influenced by the religion which they professed would find himself ruined by night."

"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love on another."

"Most men's anger about religion is as if two men should quarrel for a lady they neither of them care for."

"There is not even enough religion in the world to destroy the world's religions."

"Defoe says that there were a hundred thousand country fellows in his time ready to fight to the death against popery, without knowing whether popery was a man or a horse."

"Fanaticism in religion is the alliance of the passions she condemns with the dogmas she professes."
   (Lord Acton)

"So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise, and their conscience that it is wrong."

"Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat."

"Every sect is a moral check on its neighbor. Competition is as wholesome in religion as in commerce."

"There is not the least use preaching to anyone unless you chance to catch them ill."
   (Sydney Smith)

"God will provide - ah, if only He would till he does so!"
   (Yewish proverb)

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
   (Blaise Pascal, Pensées)

"Most people have some sort of religion - at least they know what church they're staying away from."

"The writers against religion, whilst they oppose every system, are wisely careful never to set up any of their own."


"Genuine responsibility exists only where there is a real responding."


"Do you think that revolutions are made with rose water?"



"One must admit the possibility of living in the world without acting a part from time to time. The honest man can be distinguished from the swindler in this: he assumes a role only when he must, and to avoid danger, whereas the other goes looking for opportunities."

 Original: Mar 26, 2005                                                Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top