Premise Quotes

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Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
Ayn Rand
Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not “if only.” Not “as long as.” I matter equally. Full stop.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions)
Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor’s Edge)
The premise of the Taker story is 'the world belongs to man'. … The premise of the Leaver story is 'man belongs to the world'.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
The basic premise of religion– that if you live a good life, things will go well for you– is wrong. Jesus was the most morally upright person who ever lived, yet He had a life filled with the experience of poverty, rejection, injustice, and even torture.
Timothy J. Keller
We won't be seeing you,' Fred told Professor Umbridge, swinging his leg over his broomstick. 'Yeah, don't bother to keep in touch,' said George, mounting his own. Fred looked around at the assembled students, and at the silent, watchful crowd. 'If anyone fancies buying a Portable Swamp, as demonstrated upstairs, come to number ninety-three, Diagon Alley — Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes,' he said in a loud voice, 'Our new premises!' 'Special discounts to Hogwarts students who swear they're going to use our products to get rid of this old bat,' added George, pointing at Professor Umbridge. 'STOP THEM!' shrieked Umbridge, but it was too late. As the Inquisitorial Squad closed in, Fred and George kicked off from the floor, shooting fifteen feet into the air, the iron peg swinging dangerously below. Fred looked across the hall at the poltergeist bobbing on his level above the crowd. 'Give her hell from us, Peeves.' And Peeves, who Harry had never seen take an order from a student before, swept his belled hat from his head and sprang to a salute as Fred and George wheeled about to tumultuous applause from the students below and sped out of the open front doors into the glorious sunset.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Our very idea of productivity is premised on the idea of producing something new, whereas we do not tend to see maintenance and care as productive in the same way.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
Most human activities are predicated on the assumption that life goes on. If you take that premise away, what is there left?
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation.
Mikhail Bakunin
For if we allow that human life is always guided by reason, we destroy the premise that life is possible at all.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
My God died young. Theolatry i found Degrading, and its premises, unsound. No free man needs God; but was I free?
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
That's the big mistake a lot of people make when they wonder how soldiers can put their lives on the line day after day or how they can fight for something they may not believe in. Not everyone does. I've worked with soldiers on all sides of the political spectrum; I've met some who hated the army and others who wanted to make it a career. I've met geniuses and idiots, but when all is said and done,we do what we do for one another. For friendship. Not for country, not for patriotism, not because we're programmed killing machines, but because of the guy next to you. You fight for your friend, to keep him alive, and he fights for you, and everything about the army is built on this simple premise.
Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
There are no contradictions. If you find one, check your premises.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I'm sure we'll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn't withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn't seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That's an idea we're so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it's kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is 'Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not? - because you're not!
Douglas Adams
Evil comes from a failure to think. It defies thought for as soon as thought tries to engage itself with evil and examine the premises and principles from which it originates, it is frustrated because it finds nothing there. That is the banality of evil.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.
Kenneth B. Elliott
Two students severely injured, you yourself covered in blood, a Reaper on the premises, a Fenrir wolf running around loose somewhere, and extensive property damage to the resort. Well?" Nickamedes snapped. "What do you have to say for yourself, Gwendolyn?" I thought for a second, then grinned at him. "I followed your directions exactly. I never set one foot outside the hotel.
Jennifer Estep (Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy, #2))
Questioning the ostensibly unquestionable premises of our way of life is arguably the most urgent of services we owe our fellow humans and ourselves.
Zygmunt Bauman (Globalization: The Human Consequences (Themes for the 21st Century))
Good writing works from a simple premise: your experience is not yours alone, but in some sense a metaphor for everyone's.
Dorianne Laux (The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry)
The premise of this book is that it is easier to recognize other people’s mistakes than our own.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
I'll give you a hint. Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.
Karl Marx (German Ideology)
Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family
Kofi Annan (Where on Earth Are We Going?)
The only evidence I had at all that Rhys remained on the premises were the blank copies of the alphabet, along with several sentences I was to write every day, swapping out words, each one more obnoxious than the last: Rhysand is the most handsome High Lord. Rhysand is the most delightful High Lord. Rhysand is the most cunning High Lord.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
No knowledge can summarize humans in one premise.
Zaman Ali (HUMANITY Understanding Reality and Inquiring Good)
When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some.
Harry A. Blackmun
What is more important to a library than anything else -- than everything else -- is the fact that it exists." [The Premise Of Meaning, American Scholar; Washington, DC, June 5, 1972]
Archibald MacLeish
I decided to irritate him, on the premise that it couldn't make my situation any worse.
Jeff Somers (The Terminal State (Avery Cates, #4))
Welcome to Freddy Fazbear's Pizza. A magical place for kids and grown-ups alike, where fantasy and fun come to life. Fazbear Entertainment is not responsible for damage to property or person. Upon discovering that damage or death has occurred, a missing person report will be filed within 90 days, or as soon property and premises have been thoroughly cleaned and bleached, and the carpets have been replaced.
Scott Cawthon
Finding an access to the ‘open public space’ is the challenge that really matters in life. We may know that everyone might feel like an alien to someone else or sometimes even to oneself, whether native, foreigner or exile, whether assimilated or singular, whether straight or gay. Be that as it may, a basic premise for the safeguard of self-fulfillment is the availability of a comforting maneuvering ground for one and all and an opportunity to enter a 'space of appearance' with a gate to a ‘citizenship of the world’. ("His master's voice" )
Erik Pevernagie
First, individual rights cannot be sacrificed for the sake of the general good, and second, the principles of justice that specify these rights cannot be premised on any particular vision of the good life. What justifies the rights is not that they maximize the general welfare or otherwise promote the good, but rather that they comprise a fair framework within which individuals and groups can choose their own values and ends, consistent with a similar liberty for others.
Michael J. Sandel (Liberalism and Its Critics (Readings in Social & Political Theory, 3))
Premise Eight: The needs of the natural world are more important than the needs of the economic system.
Derrick Jensen (Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization)
Let us repeat the two crucial negative premises as established firmly by all human experience: (1) Words are not the things we are speaking about; and (2) There is no such thing as an object in absolute isolation.
Alfred Korzybski
Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government.
Ezra Taft Benson (The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner)
The fourfold root of the principle of sufficent reason is "Anything perceived has a cause. All conclusions have premises. All effects have causes. All actions have motives.
Arthur Schopenhauer
No one is so sure of his premises as the man who knows too little.
Barbara W. Tuchman (The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam)
Common sense got drunk and giddy when Olivia was on the premises. Maybe he should just raise a glass, too, and dub reason a lost cause.
Kelly Moran (Redemption (Cattenach Ranch, #1))
Of course life frightens me sometimes. I don't happen to take that as the premise for everything else though. I'm going to give it hundred percent and go as far as I can. I'll take what I want and leave what I don't want. That's how I intend to live my life, and it things go bad, I'll stop and reconsider at that point. If you think about it, an unfair society is a society that makes it possible for you to exploit your abilities to the limit.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Logic, n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding. The basic of logic is the syllogism, consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion - thus: Major Premise: Sixty men can do a piece of work sixty times as quickly as one man. Minor Premise: One man can dig a post-hole in sixty seconds; Therefore- Conclusion: Sixty men can dig a post-hole in one second. This may be called syllogism arithmetical, in which, by combining logic and mathematics, we obtain a double certainty and are twice blessed.
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
Samuel Butler
Would you like consider a relationship with me, based on a premise of love.
Hiromi Kawakami (The Briefcase)
So in order to understand everything that happened, you have to start from the premise that high school sucks. Do you accept that premise? Of course you do. It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. In fact, high school is where we are first introduced to the basic existential question of life: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad?
Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)
Now all my tales are based on the fundemental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large.... To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all.
H.P. Lovecraft
When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
There has always been, for me, this other world, this second world to fall back on--a more reliable world in so far as it does not hide that its premise is illusion.
Graham Swift (Ever After)
When you begin with the premise "I treat everyone equally," you have already blinkered yourself from seeing where you don't, or can't, or shouldn't. There is no way to treat two people equally, because they are each unique, with respective strengths and weaknesses.
Anthony Ravenscroft (Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless & Hopeful)
Never marry something until you've established the perfect pizza ratio...The premise is simple. My husband and I knew we were made for each other because we're a 6:2 ratio, six slices for him and two for me...Never marry a man who wants two slices one week and four the next. They're undependable and highly unpredictable and will likely dump you for some Internet honey who says she doesn't mind his back hair.
Celia Rivenbark (Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments)
Good morning, Ms. Daniels. I’m calling to inform you that Julie has left our premises.” Not again. Curran’s arms closed around me and he hugged me to him. I leaned back against him. “How?” “She mailed herself.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
How do you control the amount of insulin your body produces?  You control the amount of glucose you put into your bloodstream. Put in less glucose, your body will produce less insulin, and you will lose weight. Put in more glucose, your body will produce more insulin, and you will gain weight. That brings us to the premise of this book: Control your blood glucose, and you control your weight.    Lower blood glucose, and you will lose weight. This is universal.  How do you lower your blood glucose? The answers are in Glucose Control Eating©.
Rick Mystrom (Glucose Control Eating: Lose Weight Stay Slimmer Live Healthier Live Longer)
...the basic premise of religion—that if you live a good life, things will go well for you—is wrong. Jesus was the most morally upright person who ever lived, yet he had a life filled with the experience of poverty, rejection, injustice, and even torture.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
Hope bases vast premises upon foolish accidents and reads a word where, in fact, only a scribble exists.
John Updike
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)
His mind has become a refuge for old thoughts, idle, indigent, with nowhere else to go. He ought to chase them out, sweep the premises clean. But he does not care to do so, or does not care enough"(72).
J.M. Coetzee (Disgrace)
I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders not more followers.
Ralph Nadar
I’ve gotten convinced that there’s something kind of timelessly vital and sacred about good writing. This thing doesn’t have that much to do with talent, even glittering talent... Talent’s just an instrument. It’s like having a pen that works instead of one that doesn’t. I’m not saying I’m able to work consistently out of the premise, but it seems like the big distinction between good art and so-so art lies somewhere in the art’s heart’s purpose, the agenda of the consciousness behind the text. It’s got something to do with love. With having the discipline to talk out of the part of yourself that can love instead of the part that just wants to be loved.
David Foster Wallace
Idealism does not represent a superfluous expression of emotion, but in truth it has been, is, and will be, the premise for what we designate as human culture...Without his idealistic attitude all, even the most dazzling faculties of the intellect, would remain mere intellect just like outward appearance without inner value, and never creative force....The purest idealism is unconsciously equivalent to the deepest knowledge...
Adolf Hitler
The Premise of Glucose Control Eating© You control the amount of glucose you put into your bloodstream. Put in less glucose, your body will produce less insulin, and you will lose weight. Put in more glucose, your body will produce more insulin, and you will gain weight. That brings us to the premise of this book.   Control your glucose, and you control your weight.   How do you control your glucose and your weight?    How can you know which foods create lots of glucose and weight gain and which create less glucose and weight loss?   In the book, Glucose Control Eating©, I will not only tell you, but I will also show you, based on over 85,000 blood glucose tests, how much glucose different foods will create in your body.
Rick Mystrom (Glucose Control Eating: Lose Weight Stay Slimmer Live Healthier Live Longer)
You are living far too much in the realms of your head. That is an ugly, mean, scary place to be. I am not just saying your head is nasty, everyone's head is. You need to vacate that premise immediately and start living in your heart. Your heart is a much nicer social venue.
Lauren Roedy Vaughn (OCD, the Dude, and Me)
Few celebrate a dog who jumps at people as they approach--but start with the premise that it is we who keep ourselves (and our faces) unbearably far away, and we can come to a mutual understanding.
Alexandra Horowitz (Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know)
Value versus Cost Economists tend to focus on cost, and, as economists, we are as guilty of that as anyone. The entire premise of our first book, Prediction Machines, was that AI advances were going to dramatically reduce the cost of prediction, leading to a scale-up of its use. However, while that book suggested that the initial uses of AI would be where prediction was already occurring, either explicitly in, say, forecasting sales or the weather, or implicitly in classifying photos and language, we were mindful that the real opportunity would be the new applications and uses that were enabled when prediction costs fell low enough.
Ajay Agrawal (Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence)
How can we judge fairly of the characters and merits of men, of the wisdom or folly of actions, unless we have . . . an accurate knowledge of all particulars, so that we may live as it were in the times, and among the persons, of whom we read, see with their eyes, and reason and decide on their premises?
William Wilberforce
There are days you wake up thinking you can juggle the world between your fingers, and other days you wake up feeling the air around you intoxicates you to a point where you can no longer leave the premises of your bed. The nights in between, you shuffle between being a warrior and a slave; wondering whether you want to lose yourself to win the world, or lose the world to win yourself.
Mohamed Kassem
Male supremacy is fused into the language, so that every sentence both heralds and affirms it. Thought, experienced primarily as language, is permeated by the linguistic and perceptual values developed expressly to subordinate women. Men have defined the parameters of every subject. All feminist arguments, however radical in intent or consequence, are with or against assertions or premises implicit in the male system, which is made credible or authentic by the power of men to name. No transcendence of the male system is possible as long as men have the power of naming... As Prometheus stole fire from the gods, so feminists will have to steal the power of naming from men, hopefully to better effect.
Andrea Dworkin
For life today in America is based on the premise of ever-widening circles of contact and communication. It involves not only family demands, but community demands, national demands, international demands on the good citizen, through social and cultural pressures, through newspapers, magazines, radio programs, political drives, charitable appeals, and so on. My mind reels in it, What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives. It puts the trapeze artist to shame. Look at us. We run a tight rope daily, balancing a pile of books on the head. Baby-carriage, parasol, kitchen chair, still under control. Steady now!
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
You are not naked when you take off your clothes. You still wear your religious assumptions, your prejudices, your fears, your illusions, your delusions. When you shed the cultural operating system, then, essentially you stand naked before the inspection of your own psyche…and it’s from that position, a position outside the cultural operating system, that we can begin to ask real questions about what does it mean to be human, what kind of circumstance are we caught in, and what kind of structures, if any, can we put in place to assuage the plan and accentuate the glory and the wonder that lurks, waiting for us, in this very narrow slice of time between the birth canal and the yawning grave. In other words we have to return to first premises.
Terence McKenna
I reject passive consumption. I reject the premise. I will have no passive consumers. Casanova will not stop and explain itself to you. It will not allow you to flip through it while you're dropping a deuce and waiting for Batman to show up.
Matt Fraction
The necessity of reform mustn’t be allowed to become a form of blackmail serving to limit, reduce, or halt the exercise of criticism. Under no circumstances should one pay attention to those who tell one: “Don’t criticize, since you’re not capable of carrying out a reform.” That’s ministerial cabinet talk. Critique doesn’t have to be the premise of a deduction that concludes, “this, then, is what needs to be done.” It should be an instrument for those for who fight, those who resist and refuse what is. Its use should be in processes of conflict and confrontation, essays in refusal. It doesn’t have to lay down the law for the law. It isn’t a stage in a programming. It is a challenge directed to what is.
Michel Foucault (The Essential Foucault: Selections from the Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984)
I remembered once, in Japan, having been to see the Gold Pavilion Temple in Kyoto and being mildly surprised at quite how well it had weathered the passage of time since it was first built in the fourteenth century. I was told it hadn’t weathered well at all, and had in fact been burnt to the ground twice in this century. “So it isn’t the original building?” I had asked my Japanese guide. “But yes, of course it is,” he insisted, rather surprised at my question. “But it’s burnt down?” “Yes.” “Twice.” “Many times.” “And rebuilt.” “Of course. It is an important and historic building.” “With completely new materials.” “But of course. It was burnt down.” “So how can it be the same building?” “It is always the same building.” I had to admit to myself that this was in fact a perfectly rational point of view, it merely started from an unexpected premise. The idea of the building, the intention of it, its design, are all immutable and are the essence of the building. The intention of the original builders is what survives. The wood of which the design is constructed decays and is replaced when necessary. To be overly concerned with the original materials, which are merely sentimental souvenirs of the past, is to fail to see the living building itself.
Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)
We create the world that we perceive, not because there is no reality outside our heads, but because we select and edit the reality we see to conform to our beliefs about what sort of world we live in. The man who believes that the resources of the world are infinite, for example, or that if something is good for you then the more of it the better, will not be able to see his errors, because he will not look for evidence of them. For a man to change the basic beliefs that determine his perception - his epistemological premises - he must first become aware that reality is not necessarily as he believes it to be. Sometimes the dissonance between reality and false beliefs reaches a point when it becomes impossible to avoid the awareness that the world no longer makes sense. Only then is it possible for the mind to consider radically different ideas and perceptions.
Gregory Bateson (Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology)
Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognize uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes–you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and knowable, a alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists take the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting. It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterward either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone.
Rebecca Solnit (Hope in the Dark: The Untold History of People Power)
I want to be able to listen to recording of piano sonatas and know who's playing. I want to go to classical concerts and know when you're meant to clap. I want to be able to 'get' modern jazz without it all sounding like this terrible mistake, and I want to know who the Velvet Underground are exactly. I want to be fully engaged in the World of Ideas, I want to understand complex economics, and what people see in Bob Dylan. I want to possess radical but humane and well-informed political ideals, and I want to hold passionate but reasoned debates round wooden kitchen tables, saying things like 'define your terms!' and 'your premise is patently specious!' and then suddenly to discover that the sun's come up and we've been talking all night. I want to use words like 'eponymous' and 'solipsistic' and 'utilitarian' with confidence. I want to learn to appreciate fine wines, and exotic liquers, and fine single malts, and learn how to drink them without turning into a complete div, and to eat strange and exotic foods, plovers' eggs and lobster thermidor, things that sound barely edible, or that I can't pronounce...Most of all I want to read books; books thick as brick, leather-bound books with incredibly thin paper and those purple ribbons to mark where you left off; cheap, dusty, second-hand books of collected verse, incredibly expensive, imported books of incomprehensible essays from foregin universities. At some point I'd like to have an original idea...And all of these are the things that a university education's going to give me.
David Nicholls (Starter for Ten)
If you walk 100 miles into the life you don't want. Often, you must walk those same 100 miles to get out of that life. This is the answer to why the journey to fulfillment is often so difficult. However, if you can find a shortcut, a new path, you can get to the life you want much quicker. This is the premise of personal development, self-improvement and self-discovery..!
James A. Murphy (The Waves of Life Quotes and Daily Meditations)
It sounds strange, somewhat on the line between irony and absurdity, to think that people would rather label and judge something as significant as each other but completely bypass a peanut. ... World peace is only a dream because people won't allow themselves and others around them to simply be peanuts. We won't allow the color of a man's heart to be the color of his skin, the premise of his beliefs, and his self-worth. We won't allow him to be a peanut, therefore we won't allow ourselves to come to live in harmony. (Diary 18)
Erin Gruwell (The Freedom Writers Diary)
I"m often accused of being irreligious, and I suppose it's for this very reason. Whether it's Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Judaism, or any other ism, when a religioin is created on the subtle premise that God withholds his love and you must submit to the system to earn that love, I consider it the worst of corruptions... For centuries, the church has been telling us that if we want God to love us, we need to follow the rules. It's been far more important to focus on the sin problem than the love problem.
Erwin Raphael McManus
Those who hope for purity and righteousness always try and destroy that which disturbs them. They think the disturbance comes from outside themselves. This is a serious problem. Wars, suicide bombings, and all sorts of other nasty things start from the premise that we can destroy "evil" outside ourselves without dealing with the evil within.
Brad Warner (Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate: A Trip Through Death, Sex, Divorce, and Spiritual Celebrity in Search of the True Dharma)
Americans mythologize competition and credit it with saving us from socialist bread lines. Actually, capitalism and competition are opposites. Capitalism is premised on the accumulation of capital, but under perfect competition all profits get competed away.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
All the present bureaucracies of political governments, great religious organizations, and all big businesses find that physical success for all humanity would be devastating to the perpetuation of their ongoing activities. This is because all of them are founded on the premise of ameliorating individual cases while generally exploiting on behalf of their respective political, religious, or business organizations the condition of no-where-nearly-enough-life-support-for-all and its resultant great human suffering and discontent.
R. Buckminster Fuller (Critical Path)
I think I hate Capaldi because deep down I suspect he may be right. That what he claims is true. That science has now proved beyond doubt there’s nothing so unique about my daughter, nothing there our modern tools can’t excavate, copy, transfer. That people have been living with one another all this time, centuries, loving and hating each other, and all on a mistaken premise. A kind of superstition we kept going while we didn’t know better.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Klara and the Sun)
In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as if it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions. Our reasoning grasps at straws for premises and float on gossamer for deductions.
Alfred North Whitehead
However, I hope to have made clear that white supremacy is something much more pervasive and subtle than the actions of explicit white nationalists. White supremacy describes the culture we live in, a culture that positions white people and all that is associated with them (whiteness) as ideal. White supremacy is more than the idea that whites are superior to people of color; it is the deeper premise that supports this idea—the definition of whites as the norm or standard for human, and people of color as a deviation from that norm.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
It's a false premise to say that most monogamous people have chosen monogamy. Most people belong to the religion they were raised in...because that's what's familiar. That's the milieu they grew up in, and, for better or worse, they're just continuing the pattern. Until this traditionalist mindset is shaken loose, you would likely try from reflex to impose notions onto nonmonogamy that are not only untenable in the new context but spel sudden and messy doom even in situations that otherwise could be worked out.
Anthony Ravenscroft (Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless & Hopeful)
Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think - not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment - on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict ‘It is.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling. This, however, is not generally a part of the domestic apparatus on the premises. I think myself that the thing might be managed with several pails of Aspinall and a broom. Only if one worked in a really sweeping and masterly way, and laid on the color in great washes, it might drip down again on one's face in floods of rich and mingled color like some strange fairy rain; and that would have its disadvantages. I am afraid it would be necessary to stick to black and white in this form of artistic composition. To that purpose, indeed, the white ceiling would be of the greatest possible use; in fact, it is the only use I think of a white ceiling being put to.
G.K. Chesterton
Fiction's about what it is to be a fucking human being. If you operate, which most of us do, from the premise that there are things about the contemporary U.S. that make it distinctively hard to be a real human being, then maybe half of fiction's job is to dramatize what makes it tough. The other half is to dramatize the fact that we still are human beings, now. Or can be…I just think that fiction that isn't exploring what it means to be human today isn't good art.
David Foster Wallace
Truth be told, I'm not an easy man. I can be an entertaining one, though it's been my experience that most people don't want to be entertained. They want to be comforted. And, of course, my idea of entertaining might not be yours. I'm in complete agreement with all those people who say, regarding movies, 'I just want to be entertained.' This populist position is much derided by my academic colleagues as simpleminded and unsophisticated, evidence of questionable analytical and critical acuity. But I agree with the premise, and I too just want to be entertained. That I am almost never entertained by what entertains other people who just want to be entertained doesn't make us philosophically incompatible. It just means that we shouldn't go to movies together.
Richard Russo (Straight Man)
There's one other thing I'd like to remind you of, my dear. There've been many times when you've sworn to me that after all that life has dealt you, it was no longer possible for you to believe in anything. I replied that both life and my studies had led me to the same conclusion. I asked you, 'What is a person permitted, once he's realized that truth is unattainable and consequently doesn't exist for him?' Do you remember your answer?" "I do, ibn Sabbah. I said something like this: 'If a person realized that everything people call happiness, love and joy was just a miscalculation based on a false premise, he'd feel a horrible emptiness inside. The only thing that could rouse him from his paralysis would be to gamble with his own face and the face of others. The person capable of that would be permitted anything.
Vladimir Bartol (Alamut)
Every argument for God and every attribute ascribed to Him rests on a false metaphysical premise. None can survive for a moment on a correct metaphysics.... Existence exists, and only existence exists. Existence is a primary: it is uncreated, indestructible, eternal. So if you are to postulate something beyond existence—some supernatural realm—you must do it by openly denying reason, dispensing with definitions, proofs, arguments, and saying flatly, “To Hell with argument, I have faith.” That, of course, is a willful rejection of reason. Objectivism advocates reason as man’s sole means of knowledge, and therefore, for the reasons I have already given, it is atheist. It denies any supernatural dimension presented as a contradiction of nature, of existence. This applies not only to God, but also to every variant of the supernatural ever advocated or to be advocated. In other words, we accept reality, and that’s all.
Leonard Peikoff (Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand)
Terrifying, that the loss of intimacy with one person results in the freezing over of the world, and the loss of oneself! And terrifying that the terms of love are so rigorous, its checks and liberties so tightly bound together… Their relationship depended on her restraint… The premise of their affair, or the basis of their comedy, was that they were two independent people, who needed each other for a time, who would always be friends, but who, probably, would not always be lovers. Such a premise forbids the intrusion of the future, or too vivid an exhibition of need.
James Baldwin (Another Country)
You own me,” he said, water sputtering against his lips as his head bobbed at the surface. “You have lock and key, deed to the house, the welcome mat, all that shit. It’s all yours, baby.” “I’ll have to take good care of my property, then.” “And I’ll have to behave on and off the premises. I may be a little rowdy, but...I’ll use my manners.” I sent him a small splash. “No swearing, invading personal space, or forgetting your pleases and thank-yous.” A glimmer twinkled in his irises, and for a moment, it looked as if he was the one about to drown. “Damn straight,” he pulled me against him abruptly, nose to nose. “Now please get over here and fucking kiss me.
Rachael Wade (Love and Relativity (Preservation))
One explanation was offered by Alice Miller: “Many people continue to pass on the cruel deeds and attitudes to which they were subjected as children, so that they can continue to idealize their parents.”16 Her premise is that we have a powerful, unconscious need to believe that everything our parents did to us was really for our own good and was done out of love. It’s too threatening for many of us even to entertain the possibility that they weren’t entirely well-meaning—or competent. So, in order to erase any doubts, we do the same things to our own children that our parents did to us.
Alfie Kohn (Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason)
One day we came home from some errands to find a grocery sack of [zucchini] hanging on our mailbox. The perpetrator, of course, was nowhere in sight ... Garrison Keillor says July is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people won't put squash on the front seat. I used to think that was a joke ... It's a relaxed atmosphere in our little town, plus our neighbors keep an eye out and will, if asked, tell us the make and model of every vehicle that ever enters the lane to our farm. So the family was a bit surprised when I started double-checking the security of doors and gates any time we all were about to leave the premises. "Do I have to explain the obvious?" I asked impatiently. "Somebody might break in and put zucchini in our house.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Whenever those immersed in the bureaucratic culture of the age try to think their way through to the moral foundations of what they are and what they do, they will discover suppressed Nietzschean premises. And consequently it is possible to predict with confidence that in the apparently quite unlikely contexts of bureaucratically managed modern societies there will periodically emerge social movements informed by just that kind of prophetic irrationalism of which Nietzsche's thought is the ancestor. Indeed just because and insofar as contemporary Marxism is Weberian in substance we can expect prophetic irrationalisms of the left as well as of the Right.
Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue)
And the City, in its own way, gets down for you, cooperates, smoothing its sidewalks, correcting its curbstones, offering you melons and green apples on the corner. Racks of yellow head scarves; strings of Egyptian beads. Kansas fried chicken and something with raisins call attention to an open window where the aroma seems to lurk. And if that's not enough, doors to speakeasies stand ajar and in that cool dark place a clarinet coughs and clears its throat waiting for the woman to decide on the key. She makes up her mind and as you pass by informs your back that she is daddy's little angel child. The City is smart at this: smelling and good and looking raunchy; sending secret messages disguised as public signs: this way, open here, danger to let colored only single men on sale woman wanted private room stop dog on premises absolutely no money down fresh chicken free delivery fast. And good at opening locks, dimming stairways. Covering your moans with its own.
Toni Morrison (Jazz (Beloved Trilogy, #2))
It had seemed so foreign to me - the idea that you could move forward without a painful airing of grievances on both sides. But maybe - maybe it wasn't necessary to pick apart pain. Maybe some things just weren't worth fighting about. Some friends weren't friends anymore, but family - and there were different rules for family. It didn't make sense to sit down with family and detail all the reasons they'd upset you - for many reasons, not least among them the fact that they could whip out a checklist of your transgressions themselves. And after you'd both picked apart the carcasses, why would you want to be friends again? Maybe the important thing was to recognize that everyone felt wronged and slighted - but the point worth concentrating on was that everyone loved each other. If we worked from that premise, we should be fine. Or anyway, I hoped we would.
Megan Crane (Frenemies)
I was born in a village in the northeast, and it wasn’t until I was quite big that I saw my first train. I climbed up and down the station bridge, quite unaware that its function was to permit people to cross from one track to another. I was convinced that the bridge had been provided to lend an exotic touch and to make the station premises a place of pleasant diversity, like some foreign playground. I remained under this delusion for quite a long time, and it was for me a very refined amusement indeed to climb up and down the bridge. I thought that it was one of the most elegant services provided by the railways. When later I discovered that the bridge was nothing more than a utilitarian device, I lost all interest in it. Again, when as a child I saw photographs of subway trains in picture books, it never occurred to me that they had been invented out of practical necessity; I could only suppose that riding underground instead of on the surface must be a novel and delightful pastime. I have been sickly ever since I was a child and have frequently been confined to bed. How often as I lay there I used to think what uninspired decorations sheets and pillow cases make. It wasn’t until I was about twenty that I realized that they actually served a practical purpose, and this revelation of human dullness stirred dark depression in me.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least, but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be settled has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee-house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless.
Charles Dickens
Similarly, he forgot - or never really understood - that we live in a culture where men, as a group, have more power than women. This isn't a controversial statement, despite the protestations of guys who funnel their frustration that not all extremely young, conventionally attractive women want to sleep with them into and argument that women, as a group, have "all the power." (Bill Maher, repping for his fan base, famously jokes that men have to do all sorts of shit to get laid, but women only have to do "their hair.") The really great thing about this argument is how the patently nonsensical premise - that some young women's ability to manipulate certain men equals a greater degree of gendered power than say, owning the presidency for 220-odd years - obscures the most chilling part: in this mindset, "all the power" means, simply, the power to withhold consent. Let that sink in for a minute. If one believes women are more powerful that men because we own practically all of the vaginas, then women's power to withhold consent to sex is the greatest power there is. Which means the guy who can take away a woman's right to consent is basically a superhero. Right?
Kate Harding (Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It)
Structural factors are those such as ownership and control, dependence on other major funding sources (notably, advertisers), and mutual interests and relationships between the media and those who make the news and have the power to define it and explain what it means. The propaganda model also incorporates other closely related factors such as the ability to complain about the media’s treatment of news (that is, produce “flak”), to provide “experts” to confirm the official slant on the news, and to fix the basic principles and ideologies that are taken for granted by media personnel and the elite, but are often resisted by the general population.1 In our view, the same underlying power sources that own the media and fund them as advertisers, that serve as primary definers of the news, and that produce flak and proper-thinking experts, also play a key role in fixing basic principles and the dominant ideologies. We believe that what journalists do, what they see as newsworthy, and what they take for granted as premises of their work are frequently well explained by the incentives, pressures, and constraints incorporated into such a structural analysis. These structural factors that dominate media operations are not allcontrolling and do not always produce simple and homogeneous results.
Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media)
Man's inhumanity to man will continue as long as man loves God more than he loves his fellow man. The love of God means wasted love. 'For God and Country' means a divided allegiance—a 50 per cent patriot. The most abused word in the language of man is the word 'God.' The reason for this is that it is subject to so much abuse. There is no other word in the human language that is as meaningless and incapable of explanation as is the word 'God.' It is the beginning and end of nothing. It is the Alpha and Omega of Ignorance. It has as many meanings as there are minds. And as each person has an opinion of what the word God ought to mean, it is a word without premise, without foundation, and without substance. It is without validity. It is all things to all people, and is as meaningless as it is indefinable. It is the most dangerous in the hands of the unscrupulous, and is the joker that trumps the ace. It is the poisoned word that has paralyzed the brain of man. 'The fear of the Lord' is not the beginning of wisdom; on the contrary, it has made man a groveling slave; it has made raving lunatics of those who have attempted to interpret what God 'is' and what is supposed to be our 'duty' to God. It has made man prostitute the most precious things of life—it has made him sacrifice wife, and child, and home. 'In the name of God' means in the name of nothing—it has caused man to be a wastrel with the precious elixir of life, because there is no God.
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
In my travels on the surface, I once met a man who wore his religious beliefs like a badge of honor upon the sleeves of his tunic. "I am a Gondsman!" he proudly told me as we sat beside eachother at a tavern bar, I sipping my wind, and he, I fear, partaking a bit too much of his more potent drink. He went on to explain the premise of his religion, his very reason for being, that all things were based in science, in mechanics and in discovery. He even asked if he could take a piece of my flesh, that he might study it to determine why the skin of the drow elf is black. "What element is missing," he wondered, "that makes your race different from your surface kin?" I think that the Gondsman honestly believed his claim that if he could merely find the various elements that comprised the drow skin, he might affect a change in that pigmentation to make the dark elves more akin to their surface relatives. And, given his devotion, almost fanaticism, it seemed to me as if he felt he could affect a change in more than physical appearance. Because, in his view of the world, all things could be so explained and corrected. How could i even begin to enlighten him to the complexity? How could i show him the variations between drow and surface elf in the very view of the world resulting from eons of walking widely disparate roads? To a Gondsman fanatic, everything can be broken down, taken apart and put back together. Even a wizard's magic might be no more than a way of conveying universal energies - and that, too, might one day be replicated. My Gondsman companion promised me that he and his fellow inventor priests would one day replicate every spell in any wizard's repertoire, using natural elements in the proper combinations. But there was no mention of the discipline any wizard must attain as he perfects his craft. There was no mention of the fact that powerful wizardly magic is not given to anyone, but rather, is earned, day by day, year by year and decade by decade. It is a lifelong pursuit with gradual increase in power, as mystical as it is secular. So it is with the warrior. The Gondsman spoke of some weapon called an arquebus, a tubular missile thrower with many times the power of the strongest crossbow. Such a weapon strikes terror into the heart of the true warrior, and not because he fears that he will fall victim to it, or even that he fears it will one day replace him. Such weapons offend because the true warrior understands that while one is learning how to use a sword, one should also be learning why and when to use a sword. To grant the power of a weapon master to anyone at all, without effort, without training and proof that the lessons have taken hold, is to deny the responsibility that comes with such power. Of course, there are wizards and warriors who perfect their craft without learning the level of emotional discipline to accompany it, and certainly there are those who attain great prowess in either profession to the detriment of all the world - Artemis Entreri seems a perfect example - but these individuals are, thankfully, rare, and mostly because their emotional lacking will be revealed early in their careers, and it often brings about a fairly abrupt downfall. But if the Gondsman has his way, if his errant view of paradise should come to fruition, then all the years of training will mean little. Any fool could pick up an arquebus or some other powerful weapon and summarily destroy a skilled warrior. Or any child could utilize a Gondsman's magic machine and replicate a firebal, perhaps, and burn down half a city. When I pointed out some of my fears to the Gondsman, he seemed shocked - not at the devastating possibilities, but rather, at my, as he put it, arrogance. "The inventions of the priests of Gond will make all equal!" he declared. "We will lift up the lowly peasant
R.A. Salvatore (Streams of Silver (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #5))