Self-Evident Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 49 quotes )
Conceive the condition of the human mind if all propositions whatsoever were self-evident except one, which was to become self-evident at the close of a summer’s day, but in the meantime might be the subject of question, of hypothesis, of debate. Art and philosophy, literature and science, would fasten like bees on that one proposition which had the honey of probability in it, and be the more eager because their enjoyment would end with sunset. Our impulses, our spiritual activities, no more adjust themselves to the idea of their future nullity, than the beating of our heart, or the irritability of our muscles.
„All effective propaganda“, Hitler wrote, „must be expressed in a few stereotyped formulas.“ The stereotyped formulas must be constantly repeated for „only constant repetition will finally succeed in im printing an idea upon the memory of a crowd.“ Philosophy teaches us to feel uncertain about the things that seems to us self-evident. Propaganda, on the other hand, teaches us to accept as self-evident matters about which it would be reasonable to suspend our judgement or to feel doubt.
To throw obstacles in the way of a complete education is like putting out the eyes AND The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others. AND We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.
If there are no self-evident first principles, as a foundation for reasoning to conclusions that are not immediately apparent, how can you construct any kind of a philosophy? If you have to prove even the basic axioms of your metaphysics, you will never have a metaphysics, because you will never have any strict proof of anything, for your first proof will involve you in an infinite regress, proving that you are proving what you are proving and so on, into the exterior darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. If Descartes thought it was necessary to prove his own existence by the fact that he was thinking, and that his though therefore existed in some subject, how did he prove that he was thinking in the first place? But as to the second step, that God must exist because Descartes had a clear idea of him? that never convinced me, then or at any other time, or now either. There are much better proofs for the existence of God than that one.
sense of futility that comes from doing anything merely to prove to yourself that you can do it: having a child, climbing a mountain, making some sexual conquest, committing suicide.The marathon is a form of demonstrative suicide, suicide as advertising: it is running to show you are capable of getting every last drop of energy out of yourself, to prove i? to prove what? That you are capable of finishing. Graffiti carry the same message. They simply say: ?m so-and-so and I exist! They are free publicity for existence.Do we continually have to prove to ourselves that we exist? A strange sign of weakness, harbinger of a new fanaticism for a faceless performance, endlessly self-evident.
Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly miniscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favorable properties of physics on which life depends are in every respect deliberate ... . It is therefore almost inevitable that our own measure of intelligence must reflect ... higher intelligences ... even to the limit of God ... such a theory is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific.