Evidence Based Quotes

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You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe
Carl Sagan
Never surrender your hopes and dreams to the fateful limitations others have placed on their own lives. The vision of your true destiny does not reside within the blinkered outlook of the naysayers and the doom prophets. Judge not by their words, but accept advice based on the evidence of actual results. Do not be surprised should you find a complete absence of anything mystical or miraculous in the manifested reality of those who are so eager to advise you. Friends and family who suffer the lack of abundance, joy, love, fulfillment and prosperity in their own lives really have no business imposing their self-limiting beliefs on your reality experience.
Anthon St. Maarten
It is not what the man of science believes that distinguishes him, but how and why he believes it. His beliefs are tentative, not dogmatic; they are based on evidence, not on authority or intuition.
Bertrand Russell
If we wish to draw philosophical conclusions about our own existence, our significance, and the significance of the universe itself, our conclusions should be based on empirical knowledge. A truly open mind means forcing our imaginations to conform to the evidence of reality, and not vice versa, whether or not we like the implications.
Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing)
Never judge someone's character based on the words of another. Instead, study the motives behind the words of the person casting the bad judgment. An honest woman can sell tangerines all day and remain a good person until she dies, but there will always be naysayers who will try to convince you otherwise. Perhaps this woman did not give them something for free, or at a discount. Perhaps too, that she refused to stand with them when they were wrong — or just stood up for something she felt was right. And also, it could be that some bitter women are envious of her, or that she rejected the advances of some very proud men. Always trust your heart. If the Creator stood before a million men with the light of a million lamps, only a few would truly see him because truth is already alive in their hearts. Truth can only be seen by those with truth in them. He who does not have Truth in his heart, will always be blind to her.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Science seeks the truth. And it does not discriminate. For better or worse it finds things out. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence -­- evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn’t get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesn’t hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition.
Ricky Gervais
Are you a vegetarian?' I ask, based on the evidence in front of me. She nods. 'Why?' 'Because I have this theory that when we die, every animal that we've eaten has a chance at eating us back. So if you're a carnivore and you add up all the animals you've eaten--well, that's a long time in purgatory, being chewed.' 'Really?' She laughs. 'No. I'm just sick of the question. I mean, I'm a vegetarian because I think it's wrong to eat other sentient creatures. And it sucks for the environment.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
Faith is not a leap in the dark; it’s the exact opposite. It’s a commitment based on evidence… It is irrational to reduce all faith to blind faith and then subject it to ridicule. That provides a very anti-intellectual and convenient way of avoiding intelligent discussion.
John C. Lennox
It would be intolerant if I advocated the banning of religion, but of course I never have. I merely give robust expression to views about the cosmos and morality with which you happen to disagree. You interpret that as ‘intolerance’ because of the weirdly privileged status of religion, which expects to get a free ride and not have to defend itself. If I wrote a book called The Socialist Delusion or The Monetarist Delusion, you would never use a word like intolerance. But The God Delusion sounds automatically intolerant. Why? What’s the difference? I have a (you might say fanatical) desire for people to use their own minds and make their own choices, based upon publicly available evidence. Religious fanatics want people to switch off their own minds, ignore the evidence, and blindly follow a holy book based upon private ‘revelation’. There is a huge difference.
Richard Dawkins
Our challenge as introverts is to adopt the attitude, based on the introversion assumption, that your need to retreat requires no explanation—it is self-evident.
Laurie A. Helgoe (Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength)
Nothing is more evident than that modern capitalism is just as subversive as Marxism. The materialistic view of life on which both systems are based is identical; both of their ideals are qualitatively identical, including the premises connected to a world the centre of which is constituted of technology, science, production, "productivity," and "consumption." And as long as we only talk about economic classes, profit, salaries, and production, and as long as we believe that real human progress is determined by a particular system of distribution of wealth and goods, and that, generally speaking, human progress is measured by the degree of wealth or indigence—then we are not even close to what is essential...
Julius Evola (Men Among the Ruins: Post-War Reflections of a Radical Traditionalist)
The purpose of education is to give the student the intellectual tools to analyze, whether verbally or numerically, and to reach conclusions based on logic and evidence.
Thomas Sowell (Inside American Education)
When people believe a tale that conflicts with self-checkable evidence it tells me that people undervalue the role of evidence on formulating an internal belief system. Why this is so is not clear, but it enables many people to hold fast to ideas and notions based purely on supposition.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries)
...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might. When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology. The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim. I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study. ...Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
On the job people feel skillful and challenged, and therefore feel more happy, strong, creative, and satisfied. In their free time people feel that there is generally not much to do and their skills are not being used, and therefore they tend to feel more sad, weak, dull, and dissatisfied. Yet they would like to work less and spend more time in leisure. What does this contradictory pattern mean? There are several possible explanations, but one conclusion seems inevitable: when it comes to work, people do not heed the evidence of their senses. They disregard the quality of immediate experience, and base their motivation instead on the strongly rooted cultural stereotype of what work is supposed to be like. They think of it as an imposition, a constraint, an infringement of their freedom, and therefore something to be avoided as much as possible.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
Richard Dawkins regards faith as an evil to be eliminated; he takes all religious faith to be blind faith. (Dawkins says) ‘Scientific belief is based on publicly checkable evidence, religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its joy, shouted from the rooftops.’ However, taking Dawkins own advice we ask: where is the evidence that religious faith is not based on evidence? Mainstream Christianity will insist that faith and evidence are inseparable. Indeed, faith is a response to evidence, not a rejoicing in the absence of evidence. The apostle Paul says what many pioneers of modern science believed, that nature itself is part of the evidence for the existence of God ,‘ Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made. So that men are without an excuse.’ Dawkins’ definition of faith turns out to be the direct opposite of the biblical one. Curious that he does not seem to be aware of the discrepancy.
John C. Lennox
They tell you that if you're assaulted, there's a kingdom, a courthouse, high up on a mountain where justice can be found. Most victims are turned away at the base of the mountain, told they don't have enough evidence to make the journey. Some victims sacrifice everything to make the climb, but are slain along the way, the burden of proof impossibly high. I set off, accompanied by a strong team, who helped carry the weight, until I made it, the summit, the place few victims reached, the promised land. We'd gotten an arrest, a guilty verdict, the small percentage that gets a conviction. It was time to see what justice looked like. We threw open the doors, and there was nothing. It took the breath out of me. Even worse was looking back down to the bottom of the mountain, where I imagined expectant victims looking up, waving cheering, expectantly. What do you see? What does it feel like? What happens when you arrive? What could I tell them? A system does not exist for you. The pain of this process couldn't be worth it. These crimes are not crimes but inconveniences. You can fight and fight and for what? When you are assaulted, run and never look back. This was not one bad sentence. This was the best we could hope for.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
materialism is a fantasy. It’s based on unnecessary postulates, circular reasoning and selective consideration of evidence and data. Materialism is by no stretch of the imagination a scientific conclusion, but merely a metaphysical opinion that helps some people interpret scientific conclusions.
Bernardo Kastrup (Brief Peeks Beyond: Critical Essays on Metaphysics, Neuroscience, Free Will, Skepticism and Culture)
We either base our 'confidence' on reason (evident probabilities, past experience, competence, etc) or we base our beliefs on faith, which is blind by definition. Faith is the most dishonest position it is possible to have, because it is an assertion of stoic conviction that is assumed without reason and defended against all reason. If you have to believe it on faith, you have no reason to believe it at all.
AronRa
Can we stay faithful and persistent in our fidelity even when things seem not to succeed? I suppose Jesus could have chosen a strategy that worked better (evidence-based outcomes) — that didn't end in the Cross — but he couldn't find a strategy more soaked with fidelity that the one he embraced
Gregory J. Boyle (Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion)
If a belief is based on insufficient evidence, then any further conclusions drawn from the belief will at best be of questionable value.
Peter Boghossian (A Manual for Creating Atheists)
Science is based on evidence, not politics. In science knowing is always preferable to not knowing.”37 But today in academia, progressive ideology trumps scientific facts.
Gad Saad (The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense)
Disclaimer: While Pastafarianism is the only religion based on empirical evidence, it should also be noted that this is a faith-based book. Attentive readers will note numerous holes and contradictions throughout the text; they will even find blatant lies and exaggerations. These have been placed there to test the reader's faith.
Bobby Henderson (The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster)
Science is often expensive, and who pays for it can influence the outcome and whether or not the results are published. As enthusiastic as we are about evidence-based practices, it’s important to remember where that evidence comes from and why we might not see contrary evidence.
Emily Nagoski (Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle)
When we’re in scientist mode, we refuse to let our ideas become ideologies. We don’t start with answers or solutions; we lead with questions and puzzles. We don’t preach from intuition; we teach from evidence. We don’t just have healthy skepticism about other people’s arguments; we dare to disagree with our own arguments. Thinking like a scientist involves more than just reacting with an open mind. It means being actively open-minded. It requires searching for reasons why we might be wrong—not for reasons why we must be right—and revising our views based on what we learn.
Adam M. Grant (Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know)
Perception requires imagination because the data people encounter in their lives are never complete and always equivocal. For example, most people consider that the greatest evidence of an event one can obtain is to see it with their own eyes, and in a court of law little is held in more esteem than eyewitness testimony. Yet if you asked to display for a court a video of the same quality as the unprocessed data catptured on the retina of a human eye, the judge might wonder what you were tryig to put over. For one thing, the view will have a blind spot where the optic nerve attaches to the retina. Moreover, the only part of our field of vision with good resolution is a narrow area of about 1 degree of visual angle around the retina’s center, an area the width of our thumb as it looks when held at arm’s length. Outside that region, resolution drops off sharply. To compensate, we constantly move our eyes to bring the sharper region to bear on different portions of the scene we wish to observe. And so the pattern of raw data sent to the brain is a shaky, badly pixilated picture with a hole in it. Fortunately the brain processes the data, combining input from both eyes, filling in gaps on the assumption that the visual properties of neighboring locations are similar and interpolating. The result - at least until age, injury, disease, or an excess of mai tais takes its toll - is a happy human being suffering from the compelling illusion that his or her vision is sharp and clear. We also use our imagination and take shortcuts to fill gaps in patterns of nonvisual data. As with visual input, we draw conclusions and make judgments based on uncertain and incomplete information, and we conclude, when we are done analyzing the patterns, that out “picture” is clear and accurate. But is it?
Leonard Mlodinow (The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives)
EVIDENCE: Heed my warning. DO NOT make life decisions that will actually affect your future based around someone you like. Even if you think you may ‘love’ them. It is not worth it. You will end up like me. I am doing a whole extra AS level because I am an idiot .
Chloe Seager (Dating Disasters of Emma Nash)
When two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary.
Jeffrey Pfeffer (Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-based Management)
We must speak truth to power and confront ignorance with facts.
DaShanne Stokes
Michael Schrage is right: “A collaboration of incompetents, no matter how diligent or well-meaning, cannot be successful.
Jeffrey Pfeffer (Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-based Management)
I have reasonable expectations based on evidence, I have trust that has been earned, I will grant trust tentatively. I don't have faith, faith is the excuse people give for believing something when they don't have evidence.
Matt Dillahunty
Our problems and pain are universal and increasing, and the solutions to the problems are and always will be based upon universal, timeless, self-evident principles common to every enduring, prospering society throughout history.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
The more unworthy you feel yourself to be, the more evidence have you that nothing but unspeakable love could have led the Lord Jesus to save such a soul as yours. The more demerit you feel, the clearer is the display of the abounding love of God in having chosen you, and called you, and made you an heir of bliss.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening, Based on the English Standard Version)
Jobs's intensity was also evident in his ability to focus. He would set priorities, aim his laser attention on them, and filter out distractions. If something engaged him- the user interface for the original Macintosh, the design of the iPod and iPhone, getting music companies into the iTunes Store-he was relentless. But if he did not want to deal with something - a legal annoyance, a business issue, his cancer diagnosis, a family tug- he would resolutely ignore it. That focus allowed him to say no. He got Apple back on track by cutting all except a few core products. He made devices simpler by eliminating buttons, software simpler by eliminating features, and interfaces simpler by eliminating options. He attributed his ability to focus and his love of simplicity to his Zen training. It honed his appreciation for intuition, showed him how to filter out anything that was distracting or unnecessary, and nurtured in him an aesthetic based on minimalism.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Whales have been evolving for thirty million years. To our one million. A sperm whale’s brain is seven times the size of mine… The great size of his body has little to do with the great size of his brain, other than as a place to keep it. I have What If fantasies… What if the catalyst or the key to understanding creation lay somewhere in the immense mind of the whale? … Some species go for months without eating anything. Just completely idle.. So they have this incredible mental apparatus and no one has the least notion what they do with it. Lilly says that the most logical supposition, based on physiological and ecological evidence, is that they contemplate the universe… Suppose God came back from wherever it is he’s been and asked us smilingly if we’d figure it out yet. Suppose he wanted to know if it had finally occurred to us to ask the whale. And then he sort of looked around and he said, “By the way, where are the whales?
Cormac McCarthy
In order to deceive others, it is necessary also to deceive oneself. The actor playing Hamlet must indeed believe that he is the Prince of Denmark, though when he leaves the stage he will usually remember who he really is. On the other hand, when someone's entire life is based on pretense, they will seldom if ever return to reality. That is the secret of successful politicians, evangelists and confidence tricksters—they believe that they are telling the truth, even when they know that they have faked the evidence. Sincerity, my dear Julia, is a quality not to be trusted.
Sarah Caudwell (The Sibyl in Her Grave (Hilary Tamar, #4))
I argue that the toolkit of science, based on reason and empirical study, is reliable, while that of religion—including faith, dogma, and revelation—is unreliable and leads to incorrect, untestable, or conflicting conclusions. Indeed, by relying on faith rather than evidence, religion renders itself incapable of finding truth.
Jerry A. Coyne (Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible)
As Carl Jung put it, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” It’s even more important that decision making be evidence-based and logical when groups of people are working together.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
Thinking is very hard work. And management fashions are a wonderful substitute for thinking.
Jeffrey Pfeffer (Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-based Management)
The beauty of science is that people actually change their minds based on new evidence.
Darrel W. Ray (The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture)
I was taught the popular folktale of racism: that ignorant and hateful people had produced racist ideas, and that these racist people had instituted racist policies. But when I learned the motives behind the production of many of America’s most influentially racist ideas, it became quite obvious that this folktale, though sensible, was not based on a firm footing of historical evidence. Ignorance/hateracist ideasdiscrimination: this causal relationship is largely ahistorical. It has actually been the inverse relationship—racial discrimination led to racist ideas which led to ignorance and hate. Racial discriminationracist ideasignorance/hate: this is the causal relationship driving America’s history of race relations.
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
Ask yourself, "What kind of evidence would convince me to change my mind?" If the answer is "no evidence could ever change my mind about vaccination," then you are putting yourself outside evidence-based rationality, outside the very critical thinking that first brought you to this point. In that case, to be consistent in your skepticism about science, next time you have an operation please ask your surgeon not to bother washing her hands.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
A miscalculation is not negligence, nor prudence a crime. I am a scientist. I base my action or inaction upon probability and evidence. There is a reason we call science a discipline! Inferior minds bolt or build pyres to roast the witches in their midst!
Rick Yancey (The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1))
Religion demands complete conviction, but science advises against that. It demands understanding instead of belief, so it must be based on verifiable evidence; it must explain related observations with a measurable degree of accuracy; it must withstand continuous critical analysis in peer review; and it must be falsifiable too. If it doesn’t fulfill all these conditions at once, then it isn’t science. If it meets none of them, it could be religion.
Aron Ra (Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism)
At this point, any scientist, doctor, journalist, or policy maker who denies or minimizes the importance of a whole food, plant-based diet for individual and societal well-being simply isn’t looking clearly at the facts. There’s just too much good evidence to ignore anymore.
T. Colin Campbell (Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition)
She'd learned since rescuing it a couple of days ago that this particular cat was not like most others; it lacked all grace and spatial awareness, as evident by its current path of evacuation. Streaking off in the direction of the bedroom, it managed to hit the sofa, the base of a standing lamp, and the door frame before making good its escape. Chloe had decided that this nervous clumsiness marked the two of them as a fated pair.
Talia Hibbert (Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1))
I don’t want to hear any of your worries or your doubts or your remote possibilities based on so little evidence even you can’t explain where those thoughts are coming from aside from the ever-popular, ‘I just have this feeling’.
Jessica Lave (Realistically Yours)
Faith affects the whole of man’s nature. It commences with the conviction of the mind based on adequate evidence; it continues in the confidence of the heart or emotions based on conviction, and it is crowned in the consent of the will by means of which the conviction and confidence are expressed in conduct.
W.H. Griffith Thomas
The extent to which beliefs are based upon evidence is very much less than believers suppose. Take the kind of action which is most nearly rational: the investment of money by a rich City man. You will often find that his view (say) on the question whether the French franc will go up or down depends upon his political sympathies, and yet is so strongly held that he is prepared to risk money on it.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays (Routledge Classics))
It is now established by verifiable evidence that religion stultifies the brain and is the great obstacle in the path of intellectual progress. The more religious a person is, the more he is steeped in ignorance and superstition, the less is his sense of moral responsibility. The more intelligent a person, the less religious he is. There is an old saying that 'where there are three scientists, there are two atheists.' The countries whose governments are dominated by religion and religious institutions are the most backward. By the same token, the countries whose people are the most enlightened, and whose governments are based upon the principle of secularism—the separation of church and state—are the most progressive. And let me tell you: When man is intellectually free, the progress he will make is beyond calculation.
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
What are you doing here?" He takes a deep breath. "I came for you." "And how on EARTH did you know I was up here?" "I saw you." He pauses. "I came to make another wish,and I was standing on Point Zero when I saw you enter the tower. I called your name,and you looked around,but you didn't see me." "So you decided to just...come up?" I'm doubtful,despite the evidence in front of me.It must have taken superhuman strength for him to make it past the first flight of stairs alone. "I had to.I couldn't wait for you to come down,I couldn't wait any longer. I had to see you now.I have to know-" He breaks off,and my pulse races. What what what? "Why did you lie to me?" The question startles me.Not what I was expecting.Nor hoping.He's still on the ground,but he stares up at me.His brown eyes are huge and heartbroken. I'm confused. "I'm sorry, I don't know what-" "November.At the creperie. I asked you if we'd talked about anything strange that night I was drunk in your room.If I had said anything about our relationship,or my relationship with Ellie.And you said no." Oh my God. "How did you know?" "Josh told me." "When?" "November." I'm stunned. "I...I..." My throat is dry. "If you'd seen the look on your face that day.In the restaurant. How could I possibly tell you? With your mother-" "But if you had,I wouldn't have wasted all of these months.I thought you were turning me down.I thought you weren't interested." "But you were drunk! You had a girlfriend! What was I supposed to do? God,St. Clair,I didn't even know if you meant it." "Of course I meant it." He stands,and his legs falter. "Careful!" Step.Step.Step. He toddles toward me,and I reach for his hand to guide him.We're so close to the edge. He sits next to me and grips my hand harder. "I meant it,Anna.I mean it." "I don't under-" He's exasperated. "I'm saying I'm in love with you! I've been in love with you this whole bleeding year!" My mind spins. "But Ellie-" "I cheated on her every day.In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn't have,again and again. She was nothing compared to you.I've never felt this way about anybody before-" "But-" "The first day of school." He scoots closer. "We weren't physics partners by accident.I saw Professeur Wakefield assigning lab partners based on where people were sitting,so I leaned forward to borrow a pencil from you at just the right moment so he'd think we were next to each other.Anna,I wanted to be your partner the first day." "But..." I can't think straight. "I doubt you love poetry! 'I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly,between the shadow and the soul.'" I blink at him. "Neruda.I starred the passage.God," he moans. "Why didn't you open it?" "Because you said it was for school." "I said you were beautiful.I slept in your bed!" "You never mave a move! You had a girlfriend!" "No matter what a terrible boyfriend I was,I wouldn't actually cheat on her. But I thought you'd know.With me being there,I thought you'd know." We're going in circles. "How could I know if you never said anything?" "How could I know if you never said anyting?" "You had Ellie!" "You had Toph! And Dave!
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
As long as people think poverty is the problem,” Ganz explained, “they’re missing the whole point. Poverty is evidence of a problem; it’s not the source of the problem. They’re all based on the weakening of collective institutions—the decline of labor, of common interests. The core question is not about poverty, it’s really about democracy. The galloping poverty in the United States is evidence of a retreat from democratic beliefs and practices.
Sasha Abramsky (The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. According to the science of biology, people were not ‘created’. They have evolved. And they certainly did not evolve to be ‘equal’. The idea of equality is inextricably intertwined with the idea of creation. The Americans got the idea of equality from Christianity, which argues that every person has a divinely created soul, and that all souls are equal before God. However, if we do not believe in the Christian myths about God, creation and souls, what does it mean that all people are ‘equal’? Evolution is based on difference, not on equality. Every person carries a somewhat different genetic code, and is exposed from birth to different environmental influences. This leads to the development of different qualities that carry with them different chances of survival. ‘Created equal’ should therefore be translated into ‘evolved differently’. Just as people were never created, neither, according to the science of biology, is there a ‘Creator’ who ‘endows’ them with anything. There is only a blind evolutionary process, devoid of any purpose, leading to the birth of individuals. ‘Endowed by their creator’ should be translated simply into ‘born’. Equally, there are no such things as rights in biology. There are only organs, abilities and characteristics. Birds fly not because they have a right to fly, but because they have wings. And it’s not true that these organs, abilities and characteristics are ‘unalienable’. Many of them undergo constant mutations, and may well be completely lost over time. The ostrich is a bird that lost its ability to fly. So ‘unalienable rights’ should be translated into ‘mutable characteristics’. And what are the characteristics that evolved in humans? ‘Life’, certainly. But ‘liberty’? There is no such thing in biology. Just like equality, rights and limited liability companies, liberty is something that people invented and that exists only in their imagination. From a biological viewpoint, it is meaningless to say that humans in democratic societies are free, whereas humans in dictatorships are unfree. And what about ‘happiness’? So far biological research has failed to come up with a clear definition of happiness or a way to measure it objectively. Most biological studies acknowledge only the existence of pleasure, which is more easily defined and measured. So ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ should be translated into ‘life and the pursuit of pleasure’. So here is that line from the American Declaration of Independence translated into biological terms: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men evolved differently, that they are born with certain mutable characteristics, and that among these are life and the pursuit of pleasure.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
In a devastating of example critical thinking gone bad, highly educated, deeply caring parents avoid the vaccinations that would protect their children from killer diseases. I love critical thinking and I admire scepticism, but only in a framework that respects evidence. So if you are sceptical about the measles vaccinations, I ask you to do two things. First, make sure you know what it looks like when a child dies of measles. Most children who catch measles recover, but there is still no cure and even with the best modern medicine, one or two in every thousand will die from it. Second, ask yourself, “What kind of evidence would convince me change my mind about vaccination. If the answer is ‘no evidence could ever change my mind about vaccination,” then you are putting yourself outside evidence-based rationality, outside the very critical thinking that first brought you to this point. In that case, to be consistent in your scepticism about science, next time you have an operation please ask your surgeon not to bother washing her hands.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
As a logical thinker, I cannot help thinking, based on the evidence, that many people who exhibit dramatic reactions to bad news involving strangers are hypocrites. That troubles me. People like that hear bad news from across the world, and they burst into wails and tears as though their own children have just been run over by a bus. To me, they don’t seem very different from actors and actresses—they are able to burst into tears on command, but does it really mean anything?
John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's)
The justification I hear more often than any other for leaving the Bible behind is that “everyone knows” it is antiquated and full of scientific nonsense, if not blatant errors and contradictions. Amazingly, when I ask people to cite examples, many cannot bring to mind even one. Apparently, they base their opinion on hearsay and repeat a widespread misconception. Among those who do answer my question, one Bible portion draws more vigorous attack than all others combined: the first few chapters of Genesis. This attack opens a wonderful door of opportunity for me—and for every believer who knows something about the scientific discoveries of the past few decades. Instead of offering an excuse for disbelief and rejection, these chapters present some of the most persuasive evidences ever assembled for the supernatural authorship, accuracy, and authority of the Bible.
Hugh Ross (Navigating Genesis: A Scientist's Journey through Genesis 1–11)
What then is the secular ideal? The most important secular commitment is to the truth, which is based on observation and evidence rather than on mere faith. Seculars strive not to confuse truth with belief. If you have a very strong belief in some story, that may tell us a lot of interesting things about your psychology, about your childhood, and about your brain structure – but it does not prove that the story is true. (Often, strong beliefs are needed precisely when the story isn’t true.)
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
In Him we have . . . the forgiveness of sins . . . —Ephesians 1:7 Beware of the pleasant view of the fatherhood of God: God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That thought, based solely on emotion, cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament. The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To base our forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way! Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony at Calvary. We should never take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification in simple faith, and then forget the enormous cost to God that made all of this ours. Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God if it blots out the atonement. The revealed truth of God is that without the atonement He cannot forgive— He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God through the atonement of the Cross. God’s forgiveness is possible only in the supernatural realm. Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is small. Sanctification is simply the wonderful expression or evidence of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
It was Freud's ambition to discover the cause of hysteria, the archetypal female neurosis of his time. In his early investigations, he gained the trust and confidence of many women, who revealed their troubles to him.Time after time, Freud's patients, women from prosperous, conventional families, unburdened painful memories of childhood sexual encounters with men they had trusted: family friends, relatives, and fathers. Freud initially believed his patients and recognized the significance of their confessions. In 1896, with the publication of two works, The Aetiology of Hysteria and Studies on Hysteria, he announced that he had solved the mystery of the female neurosis. At the origin of every case of hysteria, Freud asserted, was a childhood sexual trauma. But Freud was never comfortable with this discovery, because of what it implied about the behavior of respectable family men. If his patients' reports were true, incest was not a rare abuse, confined to the poor and the mentally defective, but was endemic to the patriarchal family. Recognizing the implicit challenge to patriarchal values, Freud refused to identify fathers publicly as sexual aggressors. Though in his private correspondence he cited "seduction by the father" as the "essential point" in hysteria, he was never able to bring himself to make this statement in public. Scrupulously honest and courageous in other respects, Freud falsified his incest cases. In The Aetiology of Hysteria, Freud implausibly identified governessss, nurses, maids, and children of both sexes as the offenders. In Studies in Hysteria, he managed to name an uncle as the seducer in two cases. Many years later, Freud acknowledged that the "uncles" who had molested Rosaslia and Katharina were in fact their fathers. Though he had shown little reluctance to shock prudish sensibilities in other matters, Freud claimed that "discretion" had led him to suppress this essential information. Even though Freud had gone to such lengths to avoid publicly inculpating fathers, he remained so distressed by his seduction theory that within a year he repudiated it entirely. He concluded that his patients' numerous reports of sexual abuse were untrue. This conclusion was based not on any new evidence from patients, but rather on Freud's own growing unwillingness to believe that licentious behavior on the part of fathers could be so widespread. His correspondence of the period revealed that he was particularly troubled by awareness of his own incestuous wishes toward his daughter, and by suspicions of his father, who had died recently. p9-10
Judith Lewis Herman (Father-Daughter Incest (with a new Afterword))
I later learned that while Elsie was at Crownsville, scientists often conducted research on patients there without consent, including one study titled "Pneumoencephalographic and skull X-ray studies in 100 epileptics." Pneumoencephalography was a technique developed in 1919 for taking images of the brain, which floats in a sea of liquid. That fluid protects the brain from damage, but makes it very difficult to X-ray, since images taken through fluid are cloudy. Pneumoencephalography involved drilling holes into the skulls of research subjects, draining the fluid surrounding their brains, and pumping air or helium into the skull in place of the fluid to allow crisp X-rays of the brain through the skull. the side effects--crippling headaches, dizziness, seizures, vomiting--lasted until the body naturally refilled the skull with spinal fluid, which usually took two to three months. Because pneumoencephalography could cause permanent brain damage and paralysis, it was abandoned in the 1970s. "There is no evidence that the scientists who did research on patients at Crownsville got consent from either the patients of their parents. Bases on the number of patients listed in the pneumoencephalography studyand the years it was conducted, Lurz told me later, it most likely involved every epileptic child in the hospital including Elsie. The same is likely true of at lest on other study called "The Use of Deep Temporal Leads in the Study of Psychomotor Epilepsy," which involved inserting metal probes into patients' brains.
Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
At school you were taught about chemicals in test tubes, equations to describe motion, and maybe something on photosynthesis – about which more later – but in all likelihood you were taught nothing about death, risk, statistics, and the science of what will kill or cure you. The hole in our culture is gaping: evidence-based medicine, the ultimate applied science, contains some of the cleverest ideas from the past two centuries, it has saved millions of lives, but there has never once been a single exhibit on the subject in London’s Science Museum.
Ben Goldacre (Bad Science)
The BLM-antifa narrative that police are murdering black and brown people in epidemic proportions needs to be thoroughly debunked. It is not supported by the evidence or data. This should be the job of the media, but it has been they who fan the flames of racial division through one-sided wall-to-wall coverage. The unending distraction from real issues that can otherwise be addressed through evidence-based policy making has us chasing shadows.
Andy Ngo (Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy)
Alliances are useful in some situations. In others, they are absolutely vital. But they must always be approached with caution. Unity of that sort is based on mutual advantage. While that advantage exists the alliance may stand firm. But needs change, and advantages fade, and a day may come when one ally sees new benefits to be gained in betraying another. The warrior must be alert to such changes if he is to anticipate and survive an anannounced blow. Fortunately, the signs are usually evident in time for defense to be planned and executed. There is also always the possibility that changes will serve to meld the allies even more closely together. It is rare, but it can happen.
Timothy Zahn
if you can experience a healing over and over again in the inner world of thoughts and feelings, then in time, that healing should finally manifest as an outer experience. And if you make a thought as real as the experience in the external environment, shouldn’t there be evidence in your body and brain sooner or later? In other words, if you mentally rehearse that unknown future with a clear intention and an elevated emotion, and do it repeatedly, then based on what you’ve learned, you should have real neuroplastic changes in your brain and epigenetic changes in your body.
Joe Dispenza (You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter)
Because cells are surrounded with a lipid membrane, essential oils are attracted to and able to penetrate the cell membrane to deliver nutrients to the cell nucleus.[103],[104],[105],[106],[107] This suggests that essential oils can affect cell function and behavior, thus influencing overall well-being. At the same time, the aroma of the essential oil that is inhaled travels to the limbic system where a cascade of psychophysiological effects is triggered in response.
Scott A. Johnson (Evidence-Based Essential Oil Therapy: The Ultimate Guide to the Therapeutic and Clinical Application of Essential Oils)
Our fundamental economic beliefs, which we have elevated from a conviction based on observation to an unquestioned truism, is that the free market is the best of all economic systems—the freer the better. Our generation has seen the decisive victory of free-market principles over planned economies. So we stick with this belief, largely oblivious to emerging evidence that while free markets beat planned economies, there may be room for a modification that is even better.
Andrew S. Grove
Bayes’s Rule tells us that when it comes to making predictions based on limited evidence, few things are as important as having good priors—that is, a sense of the distribution from which we expect that evidence to have come. Good predictions thus begin with having good instincts about when we’re dealing with a normal distribution and when with a power-law distribution. As it turns out, Bayes’s Rule offers us a simple but dramatically different predictive rule of thumb for each.  …
Brian Christian (Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions)
Kagan has given us painstakingly documented evidence that high reactivity is one biological basis of introversion but his findings are powerful in part because they confirm what we’ve sensed all along. Some of Kagan’s studies even venture into the realm of cultural myth. For example, he believes, based on his data, that high reactivity is associated with physical traits such as blue eyes, allergies, and hay fever, and that high-reactive men are more likely than others to have a thin body and narrow face.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Truth doesn't exist. Truth is our perception of what does exist; our assessment of it. You will have to find the truth that's appropriate to your own life and also exists in reality. Note that I did not say "your own truth." Individualism is the greatest con job ever. You are the product of those who came before you in your bloodline, and the factors of your life. You do not exist separately from the world and you cannot escape this state. Furthermore, there's no point. Pursue truth as it is evident to you.
Brett Stevens (Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity)
The fundamental core of contemporary Darwinism, the theory of DNA-based reproduction and evolution, is now beyond dispute among scientists. It demonstrates its power every day, contributing crucially to the explanation of planet-sized facts of geology and meteorology, through middle-sized facts of ecology and agronomy, down to the latest microscopic facts of genetic engineering. It unifies all of biology and the history of our planet into a single grand story. Like Gulliver tied down in Lilliput, it is unbudgeable, not because of some one or two huge chains of argument that might–hope against hope–have weak links in them, but because it is securely tied by hundreds of thousands of threads of evidence anchoring it to virtually every other field of knowledge. New discoveries may conceivably lead to dramatic, even 'revolutionary' shifts in the Darwinian theory, but the hope that it will be 'refuted' by some shattering breakthrough is about as reasonable as the hope that we will return to a geocentric vision and discard Copernicus.
Daniel C. Dennett (Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life)
Things that look like they were designed, probably were... If intelligence is an operative component of the universe, a science that methodologically excludes its existence will be susceptible to being trapped in an endless chase for materialistic causes that do not exist... Where there are sufficient grounds for inferring intelligent causation, based on evidence of "specified complexity," it should be considered as a component of scientific theories. Inclusion of intelligent causation in the scientific equation is not novel and has not impeded the practice of science in the past, e.g. Newton and Kepler, in an age when science was not constrained by a philosophical materialism, and by many current scientists who have remained open to following the evidence where it leads.
Donald L. Ewert
There is a belief, current in many countries, which has been elevated to the rank of an official article of faith in the United States, that free competition is itself a homeostatic process: that in a free market the individual selfishness of the bargainers, each seeking to sell as high and buy as low as possible, will result in the end in a stable dynamics of prices, and with redound to the greatest common good. This is associated with the very comforting view that the individual entrepreneur, in seeking to forward his own interest, is in some manner a public benefactor and has thus earned the great rewards with which society has showered him. Unfortunately, the evidence, such as it is, is against this simpleminded theory. The market is a game, which has indeed received a simulacrum in the family game of Monopoly. It is thus strictly subject to the general theory of games, developed by von Neumann and Morgenstern. This theory is based on the assumption that each player, at every stage, in view of the information then available to him, plays in accordance with a completely intelligent policy, which will in the end assure him of the greatest possible expectation of reward.
Norbert Wiener (Cybernetics: or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine)
Effective altruism is about asking "How can I make the biggest difference I can?" and using evidence and careful reasoning to try to find an answer. It takes a scientific approach to doing good. Just as science consists of the honest and impartial attempt to work out what's true, and a committment to believe the truth whatever that turns out to be. As the phrase suggests, effective altruism consists of the honest and impartial attempt to work out what's best for the world, and a commitment to do what's best, whatever that turns out to be.
William MacAskill (Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference)
Materialism is a conviction based not upon evidence or logic but upon what Carl Sagan (speaking of another kind of faith) called a “deep-seated need to believe.” Considered purely as a rational philosophy, it has little to recommend it; but as an emotional sedative, what Czeslaw Milosz liked to call the opiate of unbelief, it offers a refuge from so many elaborate perplexities, so many arduous spiritual exertions, so many trying intellectual and moral problems, so many exhausting expressions of hope or fear, charity or remorse. In this sense, it should be classified as one of those religions of consolation whose purpose is not to engage the mind or will with the mysteries of being but merely to provide a palliative for existential grievances and private disappointments. Popular atheism is not a philosophy but a therapy.
David Bentley Hart (The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss)
There are several specific things that the church can do. First, it should try to get to the ideational roots of race hate, something that the law cannot accomplish. All race prejudice is based upon fears, suspicions, and misunderstandings, usually groundless. The church can be of immeasurable help in giving the popular mind direction here. Through its channels of religious education, the church can point out the irrationality of these beliefs. It can show that the idea of a superior or inferior race is a myth that has been completely refuted by anthropological evidence. It can show that Negroes are not innately inferior in academic, health, and moral standards. It can show that, when given equal opportunities, Negroes can demonstrate equal achievement.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (King Legacy Book 1))
The nine in our list are based on a longer list in Robert Leahy, Stephen Holland, and Lata McGinn’s book, Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders. For more on CBT—how it works, and how to practice it—please see Appendix 1.) EMOTIONAL REASONING: Letting your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. “I feel depressed; therefore, my marriage is not working out.” CATASTROPHIZING: Focusing on the worst possible outcome and seeing it as most likely. “It would be terrible if I failed.” OVERGENERALIZING: Perceiving a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me. I seem to fail at a lot of things.” DICHOTOMOUS THINKING (also known variously as “black-and-white thinking,” “all-or-nothing thinking,” and “binary thinking”): Viewing events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.” MIND READING: Assuming that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts. “He thinks I’m a loser.” LABELING: Assigning global negative traits to yourself or others (often in the service of dichotomous thinking). “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.” NEGATIVE FILTERING: You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives. “Look at all of the people who don’t like me.” DISCOUNTING POSITIVES: Claiming that the positive things you or others do are trivial, so that you can maintain a negative judgment. “That’s what wives are supposed to do—so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.” BLAMING: Focusing on the other person as the source of your negative feelings; you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all my problems.”11
Greg Lukianoff (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
Note that I am not relying in this book on the beastly method of collecting selective "corroborating evidence." ...I call this overload of examples naïve empiricism--successions of anecdotes selected to fit a story do not constitute evidence. Anyone looking for confirmation will find enough of it to deceive himself--and no doubt his peers.* The Black Swan idea is based on the structure of randomness in empirical reality. *It is also naïve empiricism to provide, in support of some argument, series of eloquent confirmatory quotes by dead authorities. By searching, you can always find someone who made a well-sounding statement that confirms your point of view--and, on every topic, it is possible to find another dead thinker who said the exact opposite. Almost all my non Yogi Berra quotes are from people I disagree with.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
Science seeks the truth. And it does not discriminate. For better or worse it finds things out. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence—evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn’t get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesn’t hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition. If it did, you wouldn’t get a shot of penicillin, you’d pop a leech down your trousers and pray.
Donald R. Prothero (Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future)
A modern fad which has gained widespread acceptance amongst the semi-educated who wish to appear secular is the practice of meditation. They proclaim with an air of smug superiority, ‘Main mandir-vandir nahin jaata, meditate karta hoon (I don’t go to temples or other such places, I meditate).’ The exercise involves sitting lotus-pose (padma asana), regulating one’s breathing and making your mind go blank to prevent it from ‘jumping about like monkeys’ from one (thought) branch to another. This intense concentration awakens the kundalini serpent coiled at the base of the spine. It travels upwards through chakras (circles) till it reaches its destination in the cranium. Then the kundalini is fully jaagrit (roused) and the person is assured to have reached his goal. What does meditation achieve? The usual answer is ‘peace of mind’. If you probe further, ‘and what does peace of mind achieve?’, you will get no answer because there is none. Peace of mind is a sterile concept which achieves nothing. The exercise may be justified as therapy for those with disturbed minds or those suffering from hypertension, but there is no evidence to prove that it enhances creativity. On the contrary it can be established by statistical data that all the great works of art, literature, science and music were works of highly agitated minds, at times minds on the verge of collapse. Allama Iqbal’s short prayer is pertinent: Khuda tujhey kisee toofaan say aashna kar dey Keh terey beher kee maujon mein iztiraab naheen (May God bring a storm in your life, There is no agitation in the waves of your life’s ocean.)
Khushwant Singh (The End Of India)
The naming of a virus is a controversial matter. In 1832, cholera advanced from British India toward Europe. It was called ‘Asiatic Cholera’. The French felt that since they were democratic, they would not succumb to a disease of authoritarianism; but France was ravaged by cholera, which was as much about the bacteria as it is about the state of hygiene inside Europe and North America. (When cholera struck the United States in 1848, the Public Bathing Movement was born.) The ‘Spanish Flu’ was only named after Spain because it came during World War I when journalism in most belligerent countries was censored. The media in Spain, not being in the war, widely reported the flu, and so that pandemic took the name of the country. In fact, evidence showed that the Spanish Flu began in the United States in a military base in Kansas where the chickens transmitted the virus to soldiers. It would then travel to British India, where 60 percent of the casualties of that pandemic took place. It was never named the ‘American Flu’ and no Indian government has ever sought to recover costs from the United States because of the animal-to-human transmission that happened there.
Vijay Prashad
I don't think anybody'd remember and certainly do know everybody'd lie. The reason I'm so bitter and, as I said, 'in anguish,' nowadays, or one of the reasons, is that everybody's begun to lie and because they lie they assume that I lie too: they overlook the fact that I remember very well many things (of course I've forgotten some...) I do believe that lying is a sin, unless it's innocent lie based on lack of memory, certainly the giving of false evidence and being a false witness is a mortal sin, but what I mean is, insofar as lying has become so prevalent in the world today (thanks to Marxian Dialectical propaganda and Comitern techniques among other causes) that, when a man tells the truth, everybody, looking in the mirror and seeing a liar... ...like those LSD heads in newspaper photographs who sit in parks gazing rapturously at the sky to show how high they are when they're only victims momentarily of a contraction of the blood vessels and nerves in the brain that causes the illusion...
Jack Kerouac (Vanity of Duluoz: An Adventurous Education, 1935-46)
In the United States both scholars and the general public have been conditioned to viewing human races as natural and separate divisions within the human species based on visible physical differences. With the vast expansion of scientific knowledge in this century, however, it has become clear that human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups. Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g. DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic "racial" groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation within "racial" groups than between them. In neighboring populations there is much overlapping of genes and their phenotypic (physical) expressions. Throughout history whenever different groups have come into contact, they have interbred. The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of humankind as a single species.
American Anthropological Association
❝Washington — perhaps as many global powers have done in the past — uses what I might call the “immaculate conception” theory of crises abroad. That is, we believe we are essentially out there, just minding our own business, trying to help make the world right, only to be endlessly faced with a series of spontaneous, nasty challenges from abroad to which we must react. There is not the slightest consideration that perhaps US policies themselves may have at least contributed to a series of unfolding events. This presents a huge paradox: how can America on the one hand pride itself on being the world’s sole global superpower, with over seven hundred military bases abroad and the Pentagon’s huge global footprint, and yet, on the other hand, be oblivious to and unacknowledging of the magnitude of its own role — for better or for worse — as the dominant force charting the course of world events? This Alice-in-Wonderland delusion affects not just policy makers, but even the glut of think tanks that abound in Washington. In what may otherwise often be intelligent analysis of a foreign situation, the focus of each study is invariably the other country, the other culture, the negative intentions of other players; the impact of US actions and perceptions are quite absent from the equation. It is hard to point to serious analysis from mainstream publications or think tanks that address the role of the United States itself in helping create current problems or crises, through policies of omission or commission. We’re not even talking about blame here; we’re addressing the logical and self-evident fact that the actions of the world’s sole global superpower have huge consequences in the unfolding of international politics. They require examination.
Graham E. Fuller (A World Without Islam)
If, in recommending that Americans avoid meat, cheese, milk, cream, butter, eggs, and the rest, it turns out that nutrition experts made a mistake, it will have been a monumental one. Measured just by death and disease, and not including the millions of lives derailed by excess weight and obesity, it’s very possible that the course of nutrition advice over the past sixty years has taken an unparalleled toll on human history. It now appears that since 1961, the entire American population has, indeed, been subjected to a mass experiment, and the results have clearly been a failure. Every reliable indicator of good health is worsened by a low-fat diet. Whereas diets high in fat have been shown, again and again, in a large body of clinical trials, to lead to improved measures for heart disease, blood pressure, and diabetes, and are better for weight loss. Moreover, it’s clear that the original case against saturated fats was based on faulty evidence and has, over the last decade, fallen apart. Despite more than two billion dollars in public money spent trying to prove that lowering saturated fat will prevent heart attacks, the diet-heart hypothesis has not held up.
Nina Teicholz (The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet)
Some readers may find it a curious or even unscientific endeavour to craft a criminological model of organised abuse based on the testimony of survivors. One of the standard objections to qualitative research is that participants may lie or fantasise in interview, it has been suggested that adults who report severe child sexual abuse are particularly prone to such confabulation. Whilst all forms of research, whether qualitative or quantitative, may be impacted upon by memory error or false reporting. there is no evidence that qualitative research is particularly vulnerable to this, nor is there any evidence that a fantasy— or lie—prone individual would be particularly likely to volunteer for research into child sexual abuse. Research has consistently found that child abuse histories, including severe and sadistic abuse, are accurate and can be corroborated (Ross 2009, Otnow et al. 1997, Chu et al. 1999). Survivors of child abuse may struggle with amnesia and other forms of memory disturbance but the notion that they are particularly prone to suggestion and confabulation has yet to find a scientific basis. It is interesting to note that questions about the veracity of eyewitness evidence appear to be asked far more frequently in relation to sexual abuse and rape than in relation to other crimes. The research on which this book is based has been conducted with an ethical commitment to taking the lives and voices of survivors of organised abuse seriously.
Michael Salter (Organised Sexual Abuse)
The secular are at this moment in history a great deal more optimistic than the religious – something of an irony, given the frequency with which the latter have been derided by the former for their apparent naivety and credulousness. It is the secular whose longing for perfection has grown so intense as to lead them to imagine that paradise might be realized on this earth after just a few more years of financial growth and medical research. With no evident awareness of the contradiction they may, in the same breath, gruffly dismiss a belief in angels while sincerely trusting that the combined powers of the IMF, the medical research establishment, Silicon Valley and democratic politics could together cure the ills of mankind.... It is telling that the secular world is not well versed in the art of gratitude: we no longer offer up thanks for harvests, meals, bees or clement weather. On a superficial level, we might suppose that this is because there is no one to say ‘Thank you’ to. But at base it seems more a matter of ambition and expectation. Many of those blessings for which our pious and pessimistic ancestors offered thanks, we now pride ourselves on having worked hard enough to take for granted.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
But why bother? Why exert all this effort to focus totally on the boring prattlings of a six-year-old? First, your willingness to do so is the best possible concrete evidence of your esteem you can give your child. If you give your child the same esteem you would give a great lecturer, then the child will know him- or herself to be valued and therefore will feel valuable. There is no better and ultimately no other way to teach your children that they are valuable people than by valuing them. Second, the more children feel valuable, the more they will begin to say things of value. They will rise to your expectation of them. Third, the more you listen to your child, the more you will realize that in amongst the pauses, the stutterings, the seemingly innocent chatter, your child does indeed have valuable things to say. The dictum that great wisdom comes from "the mouths of babes" is recognized as an absolute fact by anyone who truly listens to children. Listen to your child enough and you will come to realize that he or she is quite an extraordinary individual. And the more extraordinary you realize your child to be, the more you will be willing to listen. And the more you will learn. Fourth, the more you know about your child, the more you will be able to teach. Know little about your children, and usually you will be teaching things that either they are not ready to learn or they already know and perhaps understand better than you. Finally, the more children know that you value them, that you consider them extraordinary people, the more willing they will be to listen to you and afford you the same esteem. And the more appropriate your teaching, based on your knowledge of them, the more eager your children will be to learn from you. And the more they learn, the more extraordinary they will become. If the reader senses the cyclical character of this process, he or she is quite correct and is appreciating the truth of the reciprocity of love. Instead of a vicious downward cycle, it is a creative upward cycle of evolution and growth. Value creates value. Love begets love. Parents and child together spin forward faster and faster in the pas de deux of love.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
I am a cuddly atheist... I am against creationism being taught in schools because there is empirical evidence that it is a silly notion... I am passionately concerned about the rise in pseudo-science; in beliefs in alternative medicine; in creationism. The idea that somehow it is based on logic, on rational arguments, but it's not. It doesn't stand up to empirical evidence. In the same way in medicine, alternative medicines like homeopathy or new age therapies – reiki healing – a lot of people buy into it and it grates against my rationalist view of the world. There is no evidence for it. It is deceitful. It is insidious. I feel passionately about living in a society with a rationalist view of the world. I will be vocal on issues where religion impacts on people's lives in a way that I don't agree with – if, for instance, in faith schools some of the teaching of religion suggests the children might have homophobic views or views that are intolerant towards other belief systems... I am totally against, for example, bishops in the House of Lords. Why should someone of a particular religious faith have some preferential treatment over anyone else? This notion that the Church of England is the official religion of the country is utterly outmoded now.
Jim Al-Khalili
The fundamental basis by which the court’s decision might be made is, in itself, imperfect and subject to contradictions. There is very little consideration given to a priori knowledge regarding the circumstances being presented and as a result, arguments must be made empirically, under the assumption that assumptions themselves are, in fact, likely to give way to specious reasoning...Decisions must be made meticulously and according to specific, yet immeasurable criteria that can only be further manipulated by any cunning lawyer with the ability to make emotional pleas based on a requisite amount of inconsequential evidence to affect a decision beneficial to his clients. And so, in this respect, the law is capable of proving nothing except that its absurd attention to detail is really a kind of a façade meant to cover up the fact that a truly logical and just way to deal with such matters has not yet been devised. And the absence of adequate definition to its principles has given way to a kind of apathy among the men employed by the courts, who want nothing more now than to make a living for themselves and their families and not work themselves into too much of a frenzy about how little can be changed through their own initiative. Thus things aren’t likely to.
Ashim Shanker (Don't Forget to Breathe (Migrations, Volume I))
What can we do when we have hurt people and nowthey consider us to be their enemy? Thereare few things to do. The first thing is to take the time to say, “I am sorry, I hurt you out of my ignorance, out of my lack of mindfulness, out of my lack of skillfulness. I will try my best to change myself. I don’t dare to say anything more to you.” Sometimes, we do not have the intention to hurt, but because we are not mindful or skillful enough, we hurt someone. Being mindful in our daily life is important, speaking in a way that will not hurt anyone. The second thing to do is to try to bring out the best part in ourselves, to transform ourselves. That is the only way to demonstrate what you have just said. When you have become fresh and pleasant, the other person will notice very soon. Then when there is a chance to approach that person, you can come to her as a flower and she will notice immediately that you are quite different. You may not have to say anything. Just seeing you like that, she will accept you and forgive you. That is called “speaking with your life and not just with words.” When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight. When you see in yourself the wish that the other person stop suffering,that is a sign of real love. But be careful. Sometimes you may think that you are stronger than you actually are. To test your real strength, try going to the other person to listen and talk to him or her, and you will discover right away whether your loving compassion is real. You need the other person in order to test. If you just meditate on some abstract principle such as understanding or love, it may be just your imagination and not real understanding or real love. Reconciliation opposes all forms of ambition, without taking sides. Most of us want to take sides in each encounter or conflict. We distinguish right from wrong based on partial evidence or hearsay. We need indignation in order to act, but even righteous, legitimate indignation is not enough. Our world does not lack people willing to throw themselves into action. What we need are people who are capable of loving, of not taking sides so that they can embrace the whole of reality.
Thich Nhat Hanh
The traitor elves of the World Above professed to hate evil. In reality, Quenthel thought, they feared what they didn’t understand. Thanks to the tutelage of Lolth, the drow did, and having understood it, they embraced it. For evil, like chaos, was one of the fundamental forces of Creation, manifest in both the macrocosm of the wide world and the microcosm of the individual soul. As chaos gave rise to possibility and imagination, so evil engendered strength and will. It made sentient beings aspire to wealth and power. It enabled them to subjugate, kill, rob, and deceive. It allowed them to do whatever was required to better themselves with never a crippling flicker of remorse. Thus, evil was responsible for the existence of civilization and for every great deed any hero had ever performed. Without it, the peoples of the world would live like animals. It was amazing that so many races, blinded by false religions and philosophies, had lost sight of this self-evident truth. In contrast, the dark elves had based a society on it, and that was one of the points of superiority that served to exalt them above all other races.
Richard Lee Byers (Dissolution (Forgotten Realms: War of the Spider Queen, #1))
February 3 The Recognised Ban of Relationship We are made as the filth of the world. 1 Corinthians 4:13 These words are not an exaggeration. The reason they are not true of us who call ourselves ministers of the gospel is not that Paul forgot the exact truth in using them, but that we have too many discreet affinities to allow ourselves to be made refuse. “Filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ” is not an evidence of sanctification, but of being “separated unto the gospel.” “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,” says Peter. If we do think it strange concerning the things we meet with, it is because we are craven-hearted. We have discreet affinities that keep us out of the mire—“I won’t stoop; I won’t bend.” You do not need to, you can be saved by the skin of your teeth if you like; you can refuse to let God count you as one separated unto the gospel. Or you may say—“I do not care if I am treated as the offscouring of the earth as long as the Gospel is proclaimed.” A servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to go to martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God. When a merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery, the recoil is so desperately offensive to human goodness that the heart shuts up in despair. The marvel of the Redemptive Reality of God is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but “to reveal His son in me.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
They are also difficult to reconcile with archaeological evidence of how cities actually began in many parts of the world: as civic experiments on a grand scale, which frequently lacked the expected features of administrative hierarchy and authoritarian rule. We do not possess an adequate terminology for these early cities. To call them ‘egalitarian’, as we’ve seen, could mean quite a number of different things. It might imply an urban parliament and co-ordinated projects of social housing, as with some pre-Columbian centres in the Americas; or the self-organizing of autonomous households into neighbourhoods and citizens’ assemblies, as with prehistoric mega-sites north of the Black Sea; or, perhaps, the introduction of some explicit notion of equality based on principles of uniformity and sameness, as in Uruk-period Mesopotamia. None of this variability is surprising once we recall what preceded cities in each region. That was not, in fact, rudimentary or isolated groups, but far-flung networks of societies, spanning diverse ecologies, with people, plants, animals, drugs, objects of value, songs and ideas moving between them in endlessly intricate ways. While the individual units were demographically small, especially at certain times of year, they were typically organized into loose coalitions or confederacies. At the very least, these were simply the logical outcome of our first freedom: to move away from one’s home, knowing one will be received and cared for, even valued, in some distant place. At most they were examples of ‘amphictyony’, in which some kind of formal organization was put in charge of the care and maintenance of sacred places. It seems that Marcel Mauss had a point when he argued that we should reserve the term ‘civilization’ for great hospitality zones such as these. Of course, we are used to thinking of ‘civilization’ as something that originates in cities – but, armed with new knowledge, it seems more realistic to put things the other way round and to imagine the first cities as one of those great regional confederacies, compressed into a small space.
David Graeber (The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity)
The Legend of Robert Halsey This article examines the criminal conviction of Robert Halsey for sexually abusing two young boys on his school-van route near Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Mr. Halsey's name has been invoked by academics, journalists, and activists as the victim of the “witch hunt” in this country over child sexual abuse. Based on a comprehensive examination of the trial transcript, this article details the overwhelming evidence of guilt against Mr. Halsey. The credulous acceptance of the “false conviction” legend about Robert Halsey provides a case study in the techniques and tactics used to minimize and deny sexual abuse, while promoting a narrative about “ritual abuse” and “witch hunts” that apparently requires little or no factual basis. The second part of this article analyzes how the erroneous “false conviction” narrative about Robert Halsey was constructed and how it gained widespread acceptance. The Legend of Robert Halsey provides a cautionary tale about how easy it is to wrap even the guiltiest person in a cloak of righteous “witch hunt” claims. Cases identified as “false convictions” by defense lawyers and political activists deserve far greater scrutiny from the media and the public. journal: Cheit, Ross E. "The Legend of Robert Halsey." Journal of child sexual abuse 9.3-4 (2002): 37-52.
Ross E. Cheit
Dark gray, flexible, and infinitely tough. Seven-foot membranous wings of same color, found folded, spread out of furrows between ridges. Wing framework tubular or glandular, of lighter gray, with orifices at wing tips. Spread wings have serrated edge. Around equator, one at central apex of each of the five vertical, stave-like ridges are five systems of light gray flexible arms or tentacles found tightly folded to torso but expansible to maximum length of over three feet. Like arms of primitive crinoid. Single stalks three inches diameter branch after six inches into five substalks, each of which branches after eight inches into small, tapering tentacles or tendrils, giving each stalk a total of twenty-five tentacles. At top of torso blunt, bulbous neck of lighter gray, with gill-like suggestions, holds yellowish five-pointed starfish-shaped apparent head covered with three-inch wiry cilia of various prismatic colors. Head thick and puffy, about two feet point to point, with three-inch flexible yellowish tubes projecting from each point. Slit in exact center of top probably breathing aperture. At end of each tube is spherical expansion where yellowish membrane rolls back on handling to reveal glassy, red-irised globe, evidently an eye. Five slightly longer reddish tubes start from inner angles of starfish-shaped head and end in saclike swellings of same color which, upon pressure, open to bell-shaped orifices two inches maximum diameter and lined with sharp, white tooth like projections - probably mouths. All these tubes, cilia, and points of starfish head, found folded tightly down; tubes and points clinging to bulbous neck and torso. Flexibility surprising despite vast toughness. At bottom of torso, rough but dissimilarly functioning counterparts of head arrangements exist. Bulbous light-gray pseudo-neck, without gill suggestions, holds greenish five-pointed starfish arrangement. Tough, muscular arms four feet long and tapering from seven inches diameter at base to about two and five-tenths at point. To each point is attached small end of a greenish five-veined membranous triangle eight inches long and six wide at farther end. This is the paddle, fin, or pseudofoot which has made prints in rocks from a thousand million to fifty or sixty million years old. From inner angles of starfish-arrangement project two-foot reddish tubes tapering from three inches diameter at base to one at tip. Orifices at tips. All these parts infinitely tough and leathery, but extremely flexible. Four-foot arms with paddles undoubtedly used for locomotion of some sort, marine or otherwise. When moved, display suggestions of exaggerated muscularity. As found, all these projections tightly folded over pseudoneck and end of torso, corresponding to projections at other end.
H.P. Lovecraft
Let us not underestimate the privileges of the mediocre. Life is always harder as one mounts the heights—the cold increases, responsibility increases. A high civilization is a pyramid: it can stand only on a broad base; its primary prerequisite is a strong and soundly consolidated mediocrity. The handicrafts, commerce, agriculture, science, the greater part of art, in brief, the whole range of occupational activities, are compatible only with mediocre ability and aspiration; such callings would be out of place for exceptional men; the instincts which belong to them stand as much opposed to aristocracy as to anarchism. The fact that a man is publicly useful, that he is a wheel, a function, is evidence of a natural predisposition; it is not society, but the only sort of happiness that the majority are capable of, that makes them intelligent machines. To the mediocre mediocrity is a form of happiness; they have a natural instinct for mastering one thing, for specialization. It would be altogether unworthy of a profound intellect to see anything objectionable in mediocrity in itself. It is, in fact, the first prerequisite to the appearance of the exceptional: it is a necessary condition to a high degree of civilization. When the exceptional man handles the mediocre man with more delicate fingers than he applies to himself or to his equals, this is not merely kindness of heart—it is simply his duty.... Whom do I hate most heartily among the rabbles of today? The rabble of Socialists, the apostles to the Chandala, who undermine the workingman’s instincts, his pleasure, his feeling of contentment with his petty existence—who make him envious and teach him revenge.... Wrong never lies in unequal rights; it lies in the assertion of “equal” rights.... What is bad? But I have already answered: all that proceeds from weakness, from envy, from revenge.—The anarchist and the Christian have the same ancestry....
Friedrich Nietzsche
A system of justice does not need to pursue retribution. If the purpose of drug sentencing is to prevent harm, all we need to do is decide what to do with people who pose a genuine risk to society or cause tangible harm. There are perfectly rational ways of doing this; in fact, most societies already pursue such policies with respect to alcohol: we leave people free to drink and get inebriated, but set limits on where and when. In general, we prosecute drunk drivers, not inebriated pedestrians. In this sense, the justice system is in many respects a battleground between moral ideas and evidence concerning how to most effectively promote both individual and societal interests, liberty, health, happiness and wellbeing. Severely compromising this system, insofar as it serves to further these ideals, is our vacillation or obsession with moral responsibility, which is, in the broadest sense, an attempt to isolate the subjective element of human choice, an exercise that all too readily deteriorates into blaming and scapegoating without providing effective solutions to the actual problem. The problem with the question of moral responsibility is that it is inherently subjective and involves conjecture about an individuals’ state of mind, awareness and ability to act that can rarely if ever be proved. Thus it involves precisely the same type of conjecture that characterizes superstitious notions of possession and the influence of the devil and provides no effective means of managing conduct: the individual convicted for an offence or crime considered morally wrong is convicted based on a series of hypotheses and probabilities and not necessarily because he or she is actually morally wrong. The fairness and effectiveness of a system of justice based on such hypotheses is highly questionable particularly as a basis for preventing or reducing drug use related harm. For example, with respect to drugs, the system quite obviously fails as a deterrent and the system is not organised to ‘reform’ the offender much less to ensure that he or she has ‘learned a lesson’; moreover, the offender does not get an opportunity to make amends or even have a conversation with the alleged victim. In the case of retributive justice, the justice system is effectively mopping up after the fact. In other words, as far as deterrence is concerned, the entire exercise of justice becomes an exercise based on faith, rather than one based on evidence.
Daniel Waterman (Entheogens, Society and Law: The Politics of Consciousness, Autonomy and Responsibility)
You know, of course, that as prophesied by Moroni, there are those whose research relating to Joseph Smith is not for the purpose of gaining added light and knowledge but to undermine his character, magnify his flaws, and if possible destroy his influence. Their work product can sometimes be jarring, and so can issues raised at times by honest historians and researchers with no “axe to grind.” But I would offer you this advice in your own study: Be patient, don’t be superficial, and don’t ignore the Spirit. In counseling patience, I simply mean that while some answers come quickly or with little effort, others are simply not available for the moment because information or evidence is lacking. Don’t suppose, however, that a lack of evidence about something today means that evidence doesn’t exist or that it will not be forthcoming in the future. The absence of evidence is not proof. . . . When I say don’t be superficial, I mean don’t form conclusions based on unexamined assertions or incomplete research, and don’t be influenced by insincere seekers. I would offer you the advice of our Assistant Church Historian, Rick Turley, an intellectually gifted researcher and author whose recent works include the definitive history of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. He says simply, “Don’t study Church history too little.” While some honestly pursue truth and real understanding, others are intent on finding or creating doubts. Their interpretations may come from projecting 21st Century concepts and culture backward onto 19th Century people. If there are differing interpretations possible, they will pick the most negative. They sometimes accuse the Church of hiding something because they only recently found or heard about it—an interesting accusation for a Church that’s publishing 24 volumes of all it can find of Joseph Smith’s papers. They may share their assumptions and speculations with some glee, but either can’t or won’t search further to find contradictory information. . . . A complete understanding can never be attained by scholarly research alone, especially since much of what is needed is either lost or never existed. There is no benefit in imposing artificial limits on ourselves that cut off the light of Christ and the revelations of the Holy Spirit. Remember, “By the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things.” . . . If you determine to sit still, paralyzed until every question is answered and every whisper of doubt resolved, you will never move because in this life there will always be some issue pending or something yet unexplained.
D. Todd Christofferson
Finally, we arrive at the question of the so-called nonpolitical man. Hitler not only established his power from the very beginning with masses of people who were until then essentially nonpolitical; he also accomplished his last step to victory in March of 1933 in a "legal" manner, by mobilizing no less than five million nonvoters, that is to say, nonpolitical people. The Left parties had made every effort to win over the indifferent masses, without posing the question as to what it means "to be indifferent or nonpolitical." If an industrialist and large estate owner champions a rightist party, this is easily understood in terms of his immediate economic interests. In his case a leftist orientation would be at variance with his social situation and would, for that reason, point to irrational motives. If an industrial worker has a leftist orientation, this too is by all mean rationally consistent—it derives from his economic and social position in industry. If, however, a worker, an employee, or an official has a rightist orientation, this must be ascribed to a lack of political clarity, i.e., he is ignorant of his social position. The more a man who belongs to the broad working masses is nonpolitical, the more susceptible he is to the ideology of political reaction. To be nonpolitical is not, as one might suppose, evidence of a passive psychic condition, but of a highly active attitude, a defense against the awareness of social responsibility. The analysis of this defense against consciousness of one's social responsibility yields clear insights into a number of dark questions concerning the behavior of the broad nonpolitical strata. In the case of the average intellectual "who wants nothing to do with politics," it can easily be shown that immediate economic interests and fears related to his social position, which is dependent upon public opinion, lie at the basis of his noninvolvement. These fears cause him to make the most grotesque sacrifices with respect to his knowledge and convictions. Those people who are engaged in the production process in one way or another and are nonetheless socially irresponsible can be divided into two major groups. In the case of the one group the concept of politics is unconsciously associated with the idea of violence and physical danger, i.e., with an intense fear, which prevents them from facing life realistically. In the case of the other group, which undoubtedly constitutes the majority, social irresponsibility is based on personal conflicts and anxieties, of which the sexual anxiety is the predominant one. […] Until now the revolutionary movement has misunderstood this situation. It attempted to awaken the "nonpolitical" man by making him conscious solely of his unfulfilled economic interests. Experience teaches that the majority of these "nonpolitical" people can hardly be made to listen to anything about their socio-economic situation, whereas they are very accessible to the mystical claptrap of a National Socialist, despite the fact that the latter makes very little mention of economic interests. [This] is explained by the fact that severe sexual conflicts (in the broadest sense of the word), whether conscious or unconscious, inhibit rational thinking and the development of social responsibility. They make a person afraid and force him into a shell. If, now, such a self-encapsulated person meets a propagandist who works with faith and mysticism, meets, in other words, a fascist who works with sexual, libidinous methods, he turns his complete attention to him. This is not because the fascist program makes a greater impression on him than the liberal program, but because in his devotion to the führer and the führer's ideology, he experiences a momentary release from his unrelenting inner tension. Unconsciously, he is able to give his conflicts a different form and in this way to "solve" them.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
A slave, Marcus Cato said, should be working when he is not sleeping. It does not matter whether his work in itself is good in itself—for slaves, at least. This sentiment still survives, and it has piled up mountains of useless drudgery. I believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless work is, at bottom, simply fear of the mob. The mob (the thought runs) are such low animals that they would be dangerous if they had leisure; it is safer to keep them too busy to think. A rich man who happens to be intellectually honest, if he is questioned about the improvement of working conditions, usually says something like this: "We know that poverty is unpleasant; in fact, since it is so remote, we rather enjoy harrowing ourselves with the thought of its unpleasantness. But don’t expect us to do anything about it. We are sorry fort you lower classes, just as we are sorry for a cat with the mange, of your condition. We feel that you are much safer as you are. The present state of affairs suits us, and we are not going to take the risk of setting you free, even by an extra hour a day. So, dear brothers, since evidently you must sweat to pay for our trips to Italy, sweat and be damned to you.” This is particularly the attitude of intelligent, cultivated people; one can read the substance if it in a hundred essays. Very few cultivated people have less than (say) four hundred pounds a year, and naturally they side with the rich, because they imagine that any liberty conceded to the poor is a threat to their own liberty. foreseeing some dismal Marxian Utopia as the alternative, the educated man prefers to keep things as they are. Possibly he does not like his fellow-rich very much, but he supposes that even the vulgarest of them are less inimical to his pleasures, more his kind of people, than the poor, and that he had better stand by them. It is this fear of a supposedly dangerous mob that makes nearly all intelligent people conservative in their opinions. Fear of the mob is a superstitious fear. It is based on the idea that there is some mysterious, fundamental difference between rich and poor, as though they were two different races, like negroes and white men. But in reality there is no such difference. The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothings else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit. Change places, and handy dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Everyone who has mixed on equal terms with the poor knows this quite well. But the trouble is that intelligent, cultivated people, the very people who might be expected to have liberal opinions, never do mix with the poor. For what do the majority of educated people know about poverty? In my copy of Villon’s poems the editor has actually thought it necessary to explain the line “Ne pain ne voyent qu'aux fenestres” by a footnote; so remote is even hunger from the educated man’s experience. From this ignorance a superstitious fear of the mob results quite naturally. The educated man pictures a horde of submen, wanting only a day’s liberty to loot his house, burn his books, and set him to work minding a machine or sweeping out a lavatory. “Anything,” he thinks, “any injustice, sooner than let that mob loose.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)